Why we exist
The Reach Children’s Hub has developed over the past three years as a result of:
- The experience of the team at Reach Academy Feltham;
- The context in Feltham; and
- The desire of the Reach Foundation to have a broader cradle-to-career impact in the community.
Since Reach Academy Feltham opened in 2012, the school has innovated widely in the support it provides for pupils, parents and families, and in the measures it has put in place to ensure inclusion for all. These have included: home visits, family support, intensive pupil support, mental health provision through Place2Be, a Community Farm and a range of group programmes for parents.
The school has achieved excellent results and the team knew that it would not have achieved these without the provision in place to provide additional support for those who need it. In 2017 it was agreed that a separate organisation could have a broader impact on the whole community.
Feltham will benefit greatly from a community hub. It is a community with very poor access to services (unusually for London) - it is among the areas of England with the highest level of barriers to services. Parents in Feltham often need to take two buses to get to the job centre, council offices, or other services, and as a result often struggle to access critical support. Equally, it is a community where not enough young people are going on to Higher Education. Feltham West is one of one 16 wards in London which is in the lowest quintile of access to Higher Education.
To feed into the development of the Hub, we undertook a community consultation in the first half of 2017, which included parents, students, local professionals, and more than thirty local community organisations. The consultation confirmed that the local community needed additional services and capacity, especially for young children and for those approaching school-leaving age.
The Reach Children’s Hub has emerged from a golden opportunity provided by the fact that Reach Academy Feltham (and the Trust’s proposed second school) are all-through schools. The Reach Children’s Hub builds on this provision to create a cradle-to-career pipe-line - the Hub model is explained in more detail here.