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About Us

One to One, Small groups & Vocational courses across the East Midlands. Short & long term interventions, through to full time delivery and management of education for a young person.

Since its formation in 2008, R.E.A.L. Education has earned an excellent reputation for re-engaging children and young people in learning.
We have learned that we need to take an holistic and precise approach to our learners’ needs. We build a team around each child in our care and work collaboratively with each stakeholder to effect change. Each programme is evaluated for impact and managed against the specification agreed with the commissioning body.

Our involvement is tailored to support your specific needs. This may range from the supply of tutors to support your own interventions, through to full management of education for a young person.

“R.E.A.L. understands the demands on schools and academies and the importance of finding an alternative solution quickly. The process from initial enquiry to placement with R.E.A.L. was thorough, seamless and timely.”
Headteacher, Nottingham

How we work

We understand that there are often multiple barriers to some students acquiring the skills they need to achieve their full potential. In response to this we build bespoke pathways for our students that can include a wide range of vocational options, whilst maintaining a focus on improving their core skills. Through our experiences and focus on improving outcomes for our target groups, we have developed many leading edge systems and processes for working with children and young people across a wide range of facilities and community venues.


Our staff team is able to meet the challenge of working with students who have yet to reach their full potential. We know that the first key step is to engage the student and stabilise their educational situation. To do this we work in person-centred ways by putting relationships at the very heart of what we do. Working in this way is recognised by Ofsted as good practice. In their report “Reducing the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training: what works and why” they emphasised the centrality of relationships as the vehicle to get young people back on track, and working towards qualifications.


Experience over many years has shown that exclusion from educational entitlement may happen for a broad range of reasons that include specific learning needs, intellectual disabilities or significant change and trauma. Very often the individuals whose progress has been delayed by complexities of background circumstances need to have their situation stabilised and supported in a sensitive and understanding manner in order to find a pathway towards engagement and future re-inclusion in their learning.

Take a look at a parent’s view


Our curriculum model is geared to re-establishing educational opportunity for our students and their families/carers, with a precise focus on social and emotional development. Our services include independent schools, vocational group opportunities, one to one supported learning programmes for all key stages. Befriending and counselling services are also available to support students’ learning. We follow the national curriculum at all key stages and offer a broad range of subjects from entry level through to GCSE.

View Our Curriculum

Keeping it R.E.A.L.

R.E.A.L. is an acronym of the phrase Re-thinking Engagement and Approaches to Learning which is our attempt to spell out that, for some students, success in the education system means we have to offer something different.

Whilst mainstream schools are incredible forces for good in society, helping to socialize, educate and engage the next generation, the journey through mainstream education, for some youngsters, is not a smooth one.

Our aim is to offer what our students need to help them make the most of their potential. This requires a highly flexible approach, specialised skills and lots of experience in working with young people with additional needs. It also requires lots of energy and the right attitude.

A referral can be for as little as 3 hours a week to a managed full time programme.

Making A Referral

Our referrals process is designed with partnership working at its core, as it is essential that we start with a clear understanding of the needs of our students and clear goals for our work.

Following an initial inquiry, referral forms for completion are issued. On receipt of completed referral forms, the information will be presented at a weekly referral panel meeting where the placement will be discussed and actions agreed and communicated with the commissioner within 48 hours.

Make a Referral

Learning Hub Model

Our schools and vocational sites are learning hubs linked to local community venues that provide opportunities for a dynamic approach to re-engagement.

Our experience has shown that this group of students and their families need facilities and services close to their communities. We know that these students thrive in small, tightly structured, compact, personalised teaching environments that provide a stimulating, welcoming space within which they can learn, achieve and rebuild their social and communication skills.

Our hubs are developed for this purpose. Each accommodates no more than 10-15 students on the designated site at any one time. We have facilities for 1:1 support and paired working, as well as small group and larger group working.

This model, in which each school site is linked to suitable venues within local communities, allows us to meet individual needs by responding to students’ interests and strengths.


R.E.A.L. is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All staff are required to act in the best interests of our students at all times, as described in our “Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy”.

R.E.A.L. places people in positions of responsibility for young people. Consequently, R.E.A.L. seeks to do all that is reasonable to ensure the good character of all employed in delivering its services, including volunteers, and ensuring the safety of young people. Therefore, recruitment and induction procedures are necessarily robust and all staff and key volunteers undertake an enhanced DBS check. R.E.A.L. recognises however that these checks are not a guarantee that the checked person’s behaviour will always continue to be appropriate. All staff are responsible for maintaining high standards of behaviour when engaged in R.E.A.L.’s provision and are encouraged to raise their own concerns of others’ inappropriate behaviour with the Safeguarding Coordinator.

We are committed to continually improve our approaches to eSafety, keeping staff and pupils safe. We use 360 safe to benchmark R.E.A.L. against other schools nationally and we have been awarded a Certificate of Commitment and Progress from the national awarding body.

All staff will wear photographic identification whilst engaged in the work of R.E.A.L. and this will include details of their DBS certificate should it be requested by external parties.

Staying Safe

We take great care to make sure that every child is safe while they are with us. Every venue we use and every activity each child takes part in will have been assessed for risks to make sure it is safe. This practice is continually updated through training and policy. All sites are monitored and filtered for the safe use of technology and the worldwide web.

Making A Referral

Our referrals process is designed with partnership working at its core, as it is essential that we start with a clear understanding of the needs of our students and clear goals for our work.

Following an initial inquiry, referral forms for completion are issued. On receipt of completed referral forms, the information will be presented at a weekly referral panel meeting where the placement will be discussed and actions agreed and communicated with the commissioner.

[contact-form-7 id=”942″ title=”Make A Referral”]

Quality Assured

R.E.A.L.’s commitment to Ofsted quality standards within Alternative Provision is driven by the R.E.A.L. Independent School and the new R.E.A.L. Alternative Provision School both rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

The Independent School received an OFSTED rating of “Good” in its second term and both Head Teachers are committed to providing outstanding services to the young people in their care.

In our work we have committed to Rethink Engagement and Approaches to Learning; this requires experienced staff dedicated to going the extra mile. Children and young people with complex and challenging needs require the care and support of a professional team equipped to handle exceptional demands that arise from special educational needs, behaviour management and attendance issues. Our staff support model includes training in the management of behaviour, safeguarding, knowledge of special educational needs and risk management as well as access to specialists such as psychologists and advisory teachers.

As well as external observations from our commissioners throughout the year, we also undertake our own internal inspections lead by an Ofsted inspector to ensure the highest standards of education and safety are met.


We work with a market leading insurer who regularly visits us to ensure they understand the nature of work we undertake and that they are providing comprehensive cover.

Our public liability insurance meets and in many cases exceeds the requirements of our commissioners. All certification is displayed at our R.E.A.L. Learning Hubs.

R.E.A.L. Education