‘Alex’ had missed much of her primary and secondary education. She had a history of truancy, disruptive behaviour and non-engagement with education. She has ongoing health problems as a result of abuse within the family and is now in foster care where her physical and emotional health is improving.

Alex was referred to White Gold who was asked to support her to access and engage with education. It could be said that this was a last attempt to engage Alex in education, as a legal requirement, and there was little expectation that she would succeed. The formal investigation into alleged abuse was live at the time of engagement and there were considerable issues around safeguarding and confidentiality throughout.

Alex continued to disclose information during the engagement sessions, usually during the drive to and from school, and this was passed to the Social worker in a weekly report. Having established a relationship, it became apparent that Alex was actually a bright young person who had none of the early learning ‘building blocks’ on which to base her learning. A dyslexia screen has shown a severe risk of dyslexia.

It was important to build a sense of self-esteem, motivate her to learn and help her deal with the trauma of discovering the life she had lived was far from ‘normal.’ Alex was also coping with the loss of her family, change of school and going into care.

Through close communication and integrated working between White Gold, the foster family, Education providers and the social worker, it has been possible to successfully support Alex through a time of enormous change and difficulty.

It is to her great credit that she has surpassed everyone’s expectations. She has taken 5 GCSE’s (maths and science are double awards) and is predicted to get grade C in all subjects. She has achieved a college place, and starts her Apprenticeship in September.