Greenacre School has received £11,000 funding from the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit to fund a full-time a higher-level teaching assistant to work with pupils who are at risk of displaying violence.

Based in Barnsley, Greenacre School is a school for children and young people aged 3 to 19 with severe and complex learning disabilities.

The ‘Development of Self-Regulation Strategies’ project includes planned interventions, working 1:1 and in small groups, with young people who are displaying early signs of being unable to manage their own anxiety triggers, as well as those known to display violent or aggressive behaviour.

Tom O’Hara, Social Conduct Team Lead at Greenacre School said: “The work will focus around supporting pupils to develop the self-awareness skills necessary to identify their own triggers and to communicate frustration or anxiety at an early stage.

“Each pupil will produce a ‘Pupil-Created Positive Intervention Plan’ that is co-produced with the child. This plan provides the personalised de-escalation and self-regulation strategies and looks to be fully transferable into adult and community-based service settings.

“The initiative is already up and running in the school with over 40 students taking part in 1:1 sessions to discuss what makes them happy and what they don’t like. By opening these conversations up, the school can work alongside the pupil’s families to help them to understand why their children are getting angry and how to best deal with issues to avoid volatile situations.”

The funding is from the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Fund, part of the £1.6 million provided by the Home Office to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings to set up a Violence Reduction Unit.

Rachel Staniforth, Joint Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “The ‘Development of Self-Regulation Strategies’ project is a perfect example of primary intervention – stopping violence before it begins. 

“We want to understand the common factors and the root causes and this initiative opens doors for us to hear why young people are becoming angry.

“We want to find out what triggers young people to act in a violent manner to help everyone to think differently and work with young people before violence begins.”

To find out more about Greenacre School see here – https://greenacre-school.co.uk/