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Parental Comments Spring 2024

Parents and carers were asked to complete questionnaires as part of our progress and achievement event in March 2024. Below are a selection of positive comments received from these questionnaires.

Positive Comments From Professionals Spring 2022

Bev Bailey, DSL/Family Support Worker, was praised by CAMHS for her continued pro-active multi agency working from herself and the School.  A full copy of the letter is below.

Email dated 27.4.22 received from Dr Lewis Field, Educational Psychologist,Walsall Children’s Services – Access & Achievement to Mr Lee Cross, Headteacher:

I just wanted to say it has been a pleasure for me when we have worked together and I continue to hear amazing things about Elmwood as a school, which is no doubt attributable to your hard work and that of the fantastic school community.

Email dated 10.2.22 received from Petronella Mensah, Social Worker, Safeguarding & Family Support to Mrs Bev Bailey, DSL/Family Support Worker:

First of all I just want to say thank you for all  the hard work you have provided to ensure that CH’s needs are met. As a result of multi-disciplinary working we were able to identify a placement for CH and you have been there to attend meetings offering your experiences of working with CH which was very helpful in identifying  a placement given that he had never been in care before. Additionally the multi-disciplinary working was very helpful in terms ensuring that CH’s health appointments are met as Grandmother required support around this.

Overall I cannot thank you enough for all your input and always being present for CH to make sure that his needs are met whether this is in school or outside of school.

Email received 8.2.22 from Brian Weldon, Exploitation Worker to Mrs Bev Bailey, DSL/Family Support Worker:

I have linked with Elmwood school on many occasions working with several young people. I have dealt directly with Bev Bailey for most of this contact.

For all the young people I have worked with I have found their attendance at Elmwood to be nothing but positive. The staff in school have an excellent relationship with the children and I have witnessed many occasions where they have dealt with pupils, professionally, calmly and always in a caring and respectful manner.

Bev has always done her upmost to accommodate my visits in the school, to the point of speaking with the young person prior to my visit to help address any concerns they may have about meeting me. This has helped me massively with engaging the young people as they know they are in a safe place and have people close by should they become uncomfortable during the sessions. 

I have worked with several boys who have attended Elmwood, all being at different levels of risk and vulnerabilities. I have been well informed prior to meeting them by Bev and the team around any relevant info I might need, and how the young person is feeling that day/week. 

I have found that attending school has been the only regular structure and support many of these young people have in their lives. This is particularly evident with the young people attending Elmwood. Due to the positive environment that is offered the young people are happy to attend and engage with the team. 

It is evident that school support and encourage many services into the school to support the young people. Both Bev and Lee have attended various meetings around the young people I have also attended. I have seen first hand the passion they have for supporting the children, they will challenge professionals if needed and will strive for the best outcome of the young person and their family.

I believe that their willingness and support has helped me engage with many young people who would likely not have wanted to meet with me in the community. Due to school taking such a pro active and positive approach towards supporting the young people and working closely with services has definitely assisted in positive outcomes for the young people. I have had direct feedback from the boys I have worked with that school has helped them to avoid being drawn into further criminal activity and helped them have belief in themselves.

Email dated 3.2.22 received from PC 20946 Benton | Exploitation Officer | Walsall Partnerships Team to Mrs Bev Bailey, DSL/Family Support Worker:

I am Police Constable 20946 Benton from Walsall Police. Beginning of 2019 I was attached to the Offender Management Team.  February 2021, I joined the Exploitation Team working in partnership with key partners across Walsall to safeguard all age exploitation and target those that are exploiting them.


I have worked in collaboration with Elmwood School for approx. 3 years. This has consisted of, safeguarding young people, sharing information & intelligence, attending Child in need / STRAT meetings at Elmwood School. On one occasion when I was struggling with a young person who was being taken into care, Head Teacher Mr Cross came to my location, sat with the young person and calmed him down. This assisted us hugely as Mr Cross has specialist training that enabled him to engage with the young person in ways I couldn’t.

DSL – Mrs Bailey and Mr Cross go above and beyond in terms of supporting their pupils, their parents, police and other partner agencies. In my opinion, this school has contributed immensely to reducing re-offending and ASB for their pupils which we have noted across the neighbourhood beats.

Their main priority has always been to support their pupils; this is very clearly from our collaborative working which assist us within West Midlands Police regarding re-offending and safeguarding our most vulnerable.  

Testimonial received from a former parent dated 3.2.22 to Mrs Bev Bailey, DSL/Family Support Worker:

My first knowledge of the school was via a friend whose son was a pupil. I decided to nip in on the off chance of being able to enrol my Daughter later as she was in a Pru. Previous Headmaster welcomed me and answered many many questions I had, and this showed me that the school  would be a school that puts the Students first, 100%

Both my children attended the school being 1 school  year apart. Throughout I watched my children flourish into wonderful young adults. School would keep me informed if they had to support my children in any way. They taught the children how to regulate their  behaviours themselves, and how to look at different ways which they could do things differently, which saw their behaviours reduce as they learned how.

The school were very Supportive in all different  area’s, always keeping us informed with anything about our children and worked with us and this made the relationship between school /parents run smoothly. Info when needed was very helpful when it came to cahms, Pip or anything else .This then helps us parents giving Cahms day to day input from school in order to help  our children. Supporting letters that help with Pip as evidence, taking students to the Colleges for taster sessions which gives students ideas and help to choosing their next chapter in their life. List goes on. 

2020 .. Covid and GCSE’s …  very challenging year. My daughter and friends didn’t get to do exams due to Lockdowns.  The school based grades on the students progress throughout their years Each progress report showed if they have met their goals for their year , was very formative and fairly graded  and watching my eldest child meeting almost all of her goals during her time at Elmwood was a feeling I didn't think she would have got if it wasn’t for Elmwood. This  showed in her GCSE’s Fantastic Results Very Proud Mom.

This school, Mr Cross helped organise for my Daughter to take a Health and Social Class at a mainstream school This is  something that will help her towards her future and Elmwood help make that happen ..

The school should be proud of themselves. This helped her and other students gain their confidence and taught them to the best they can be right up to the end – this helped my daughter gain a Level 3 place for her A levels at college.

2021 Covid  – my son for most of his year 10 was home during  lockdown..  School did everything they could possibly do to help the students prepare for exams.  Very challenging times again with some in school learning / home learning.

GCSE’s again was changed May/June 2021 as Covid was still full on so grades  was based on his progress through the years and tests were given for subjects he was taking.   

How the teachers helped  my son to cope as he doesn't like change  but the school  helped him through these times and like his sister he had  excellent GCSE Results which again this is down to the School believing in the students and teaching them to be the best they can be.  This helped my son gain a Level 3 place at College.

I am really happy that I had taken that plunge to see if this is a school my children could grow in, it exceeded my expectations 

Feedback Following Student Placement:

I just wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude for allowing me to spend a fascinating 2 weeks at your school. The experience was one which I thoroughly enjoyed and gained so much from. From the receptionist, to the senior team, to the children and Mr Francis, the level of warmth and support given was second to none. I have gained so much knowledge and practical strategies related to behaviour management and classroom control from observing your staff, who are a credit to your school. The level of dedication and commitment from your staff in building relationships and setting high expectations which challenge and inspire pupils is something which I have found quite inspiring and I believe, a reflection of the high standards set by your senior team. In summary, two weeks at your school wasn’t enough and I wish I could have stayed for longer! Again, Thank you for everything.

Mohammed Adnan, Student teacher

Feedback Received From Walsall Academy:

Our partnership with Elmwood has not only garnered a culture of collective trust, it has also fostered a unique learning experience for both our students and theirs. Research tells us that all young people need a wide range of learning opportunities and support to succeed.  Working collaboratively with Elmwood within our community helps to spread an ethos of understanding, respect, empathy and a sense of belonging.  We are proud of our relationship with Elmwood and their dedicated staff and pupils. This precious affiliation has given our students experience working with a diverse group of young people and most importantly a real sense of achievement. G Cosnett, Walsall Academy


Recommendation From Birmingham Local Authority:

I just wanted to express the Local Authority’s appreciation of the fantastic work that you are doing with a year 9 pupil. As you are aware he is a young person who had traumatic formative years which were coupled with a transient lifestyle of parents before coming to the Local Authority’s care. He has previously struggled to engage with education but listening to your comments during his last PEP review was really refreshing as you described him as a model student, which is a complete turnaround from what he was 12 months ago.

Thank you very much to you and your team. Masimba Kadzviti ,Social Worker,Directorate for People,PO Box 15566, Birmingham.

Supporting Student Placements:

We are always pleased to help and support students from local Schools and Universities when we can whether it be for a few days or weeks. These placements have been very positive and successful for both students and the School with good feedback often being received at the end of the placement.

Below are some of the comments we have received.

My experience at Elmwood has been amazing and I have loved every second of it. I feel as though I have learned so much about how to help young people with those additional as well as experienced different ways in which that help can be provided. Having worked mainly with the 7s and 8s it is great to see and learn how they are being helped to better themselves and push themselves onto the next stage. Everyone within the school has helped and assisted me to understand the techniques used so I can improve my own understand and take this into my future teaching. The experience I have gained in my 2 weeks at Elmwood have been invaluable in shaping me to be a more effective teacher and I would love to come back and gain further experience from the school to develop even further the ability to assist young people emotional intelligence. Statement from Cameron Millard

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