Why young people need lawyers Just For Kids – Part 2 – PP258

JUST FOR KIDS LAW exists to help children and young people overcome all the difficulties they face, from problems at school and issues with immigration status to trouble with the police.

They work with and for young people to ensure their legal rights are respected and promoted, and their voices heard and valued.

Last time, Lynsie Monroe spoke to three Just For Kids Law team members:

  • Chief Executive Officer, Enver Solomon
  • Natalie Bichard, Youth Advocate
  • Alex Temple, Public Lawyer and Policy Officer

For part two of this episode, we hear from two young people, Harry and Kadeem, who have supported the School Exclusion Project and campaign as well as advocate for social change on the issue of school exclusion.

Why young people need lawyers Just For Kids – PP257

JUST FOR KIDS LAW exists to help children and young people overcome all the difficulties they face, from problems at school and issues with immigration status to trouble with the police.

They work with and for young people to ensure their legal rights are respected and promoted, and their voices heard and valued.

Aika Stephenson and Shauneen Lambe established Just for Kids Law in 2006. Shauneen, a barrister and an attorney, had previously acted for death row defendants in the US, and Aika, a solicitor, had become a lawyer after working with the youth offending team and remand prisoners at Feltham Young Offenders Institution.

Shauneen and Aika recognised that the children and young people they worked for often needed more than legal representation – they also needed support and advocacy to address the issues that had led them into the youth justice system in the first place – school exclusion and a lack of support for children with special education needs, children with mental health issues, children in the care system who were not receiving support, and children with housing problems.

Since our first youth advocate was appointed in 2008, we have expanded into an organisation offering a unique holistic service that combines direct advocacy with youth opportunities support and legal representation, while we have also used strategic litigation to change the law on issues as diverse as holding of children in police cells, the law of joint enterprise and access to student finance. We have spread our impact through the advice and training delivered by our Youth Justice Legal Centre and widened the scope of our work from casework and campaigning to holding government to account on their child rights obligations through the merger with the Children’s Rights Alliance for England in 2015.

Lynsie Monroe spoke to three Just For Kids Law team members:

  • Chief Executive Officer, Enver Solomon
  • Natalie Bichard, Youth Advocate
  • Alex Temple, Public Lawyer and Policy Officer

How Kiran Gill is continuing to make ‘The Difference’ in PRUs and AP PP256

Photo of Kiran Gill

Kiran began her career in inner-city London, as an English teacher in schools serving the most deprived postcodes in the country.  After five years on the frontline, Kiran left to work in education policy, searching for solutions to the rising number of vulnerable children who fall through the gaps.  Kiran was working at Social Mobility Commission when she conceived the idea for The Difference.  She has led its work full-time since January 2017.

Kiran is driven by her own family experiences. Growing up with two adopted sisters, Kiran witnessed the long-term effects of childhood trauma and the lack of support for young people with complex needs. This insight is what keeps Kiran striving for the most vulnerable children to get the education they deserve.

You can find out more about Kiran and what drove her to set up The Difference in these Schools Week, Guardian and TES interviews, and in these pieces she has written in The Times, Schools Week and TES.

In a detailed and wide-ranging conversation with Pivotal Education’s Mark Bocker, we learn a huge amount about Kiran – her story, what motivates her, hat The Difference stands for and a lot more.

Listen if you believe that we can do much better to support the most vulnerable children in our schools and find out more about The Difference here.

How Kris Boyd moved from scoring goals to supporting children’s mental health – and why it matters PP255

Former footballing star, Kris Boyd

This week, a new presenter to the Pivotal Podcast, Cathy Duncan, spoke to the Scottish former football star, Kris Boyd. After a very successful career, Kris now works to help improve the mental health of those in need.

Kris grew up in the South Ayrshire village of Tarbolton and started his senior football career with Kilmarnock. He transferred to Rangers in January 2006, and was their top goalscorer in each of his seasons at Ibrox. He is the top goalscorer in the history of the Scottish Premier League, with 167 goals in total.

Pivotal Education Principal Trainer,
Cathy Duncan

Boyd had a short spell in English football with Middlesbrough, during which time he was sent on loan to Nottingham Forest. He signed for Turkish club Eskişehirspor in 2011, but terminated his contract after five months and moved to the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer in January 2012. He later returned to both Kilmarnock and Rangers.

Having played several games for the Scotland U21 and Scotland B teams, Boyd received his first cap for the senior Scottish national team in 2006. He scored seven goals in eighteen appearances for the senior national side over four years.

In 2016, Boyd’s younger brother Scott took his own life aged 27. The Kris Boyd Charity was founded in January, 2018. As Kris says:

My wee brother Scott tragically took his own life in September, 2016 and it has left my family devastated. There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think about him and I know it’s even worse for my parents, I feel for them even more as they try to get on with their lives as best they can without Scott being a part of it.

Is the reason I’ve set up The Kris Boyd Charity solely down to what happened to Scott? No. Is it a big part of the reason? Yes.

To be hit with Scott’s tragedy was a big wake-up call for me which led me to start looking into the different circumstances as to why people commit suicide. It is clear to me now that any given individual doesn’t wake up one morning and, on a whim, decide to end it all. It’s a gradual process which takes place over a period of time. My own wife, Christine, suffers from anxiety. Christine has had to fight internal battles that led to her being unable to do certain things over the years and I did not deal with them properly. I was not fully aware of what she was going through and still goes through on a daily basis, I should have been there for her, been more comforting and understanding. I’m the first to admit I’ve had my failings when trying to deal with Christine’s battles with anxiety, however, I am now listening and I’m learning. It is absolutely vital to do both and this is what I want to impart on those who are living with someone suffering from depression or anxiety.

The aim of this charity is to educate people and get people to engage with others when they are in need of help instead of dismissing them or brushing of their feelings as being “weak”. We hope that, in time, society can speak openly when they have issues, it’s about them knowing there will be someone there for them who will show decency and a level of understanding. With young people today mental health is being an ever prevalent issue, due to teenagers being so focused on their phones and social media instead of being active and socialising with their peers in person. This also leads to more online bullying as well as unrealistic beauty standards which add mounting pressure on young people, and can lead to mental health issues.


The Kris Boyd Charity on Facebook

The Kris Boyd Charity on Twitter

Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Boyd#/media/File:Kris_Boyd.jpg
CC BY-SA 3.0 Alex Lister

Some text from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Boyd under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

How to maximise lockdown learning with Serena Clark PP254

Serena Clark, formerly of Ark Globe Academy

This week, Lynsie Monro speaks to Harrow International School Hong Kong‘s Deputy Head of Lower School (Pupil Wellbeing), Serena Clark.

Serena is an award winning mentor and the recipient of outstanding leadership judgements from Ofsted in 2014 and 2018. With extensive experience of delivering the highest professional standards of educational and parochial care, she has been a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead since 2015 with FGM and Positive Handling specialist training. Serena believes in the value of lifelong learning, the equality and rights of every child and the crucial role education has in building our future.

As you can imagine, Serena is able to share many insights into her experiences of teaching through lockdown, particularly how to maximise learning at a distance.

Why wellbeing is more important than curriculum coverage with Adrian Bethune PP253

Adrian Bethune

Mark Bocker picks the brains of Wellness champion, Adrian Bethune this week.

Adrian Bethune is a Healthy Body and Mind Leader and Teacher at a primary school in Hertfordshire. He was awarded a ‘Happy Hero’ medal at the House of Lords on the UN International Day of Happiness in 2013, and has been on stage with the Dalai Lama and Lord Richard Layard in 2015 talking about teaching happiness in his school.

He is passionate about children’s mental health and happiness and has been interviewed by numerous national newspapers and other press organisations, including The Telegraph and Teach Primary Magazine. Adrian is founder of www.teachappy.co.uk

Adrian is the author of, Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom – A Practical Guide to Teaching Happiness, which is out now:

In a wide-ranging, in-depth discussion, Mark and Adrian explore the importance of wellbeing for children and adults in our schools as well as Adrian’s story and plans for the future.

What are Therapeutic Schools and why should all schools follow this pattern? Shahana Knight explains. PP252

This week, Mark Bocker speaks to Shahana Knight, Childhood Trauma and Mental Health Specialist.

Shahana is the Founder and Director of TPC therapy Ltd. A mental health service for children and young people. She manages a large team of play therapists who work with vulnerable children in schools, adoption, fostering and homicide across the UK. She is the founder of the ‘Therapeutic Schools Programme’ through which she works with schools across England to put children’s wellbeing at the core of education.

Shahana is pioneering a vision/mission for all schools to become therapeutic. Her unique approach is making a significant impact and has been recognised by BBC newsround and BBC Teach who have both done features in which she has appeared. She is also a finalist in the upcoming Ladies First Awards 2020, in the categories of; ‘Inspirational Women’ and ‘Business Entrepreneur’.

Shahana writes a regular segment in Headteachers Update, the national magazine for primary schools, sharing therapeutic teaching ideas and techniques. She is also a governor of a primary school and sits on two foster care panels.

Her own experiences of childhood trauma inform her work, offering a unique perspective based on empathy, understanding and a raw truth that cannot be found in textbooks alone.

In a detailed and expansive conversation, we learn a great deal about Shahana’s work and plans.


Dr Hope – Learning Packs before Six Packs – PP251

Lynsie Monro
Principal Trainer

This week, new presenter Lynsie Monro speaks to Dr Harry Hope about how he has led his Primary School through the opening stages of the Coronvirus emergency.

It’s a fascinating interview and Harry shares a huge amount about his approaches and stresses what he thinks is most important for everyone to remember at times like these.

Harry earned his medical degree and worked as a Junior Doctor before following his true passion, education. He hung up his stethoscope and trained to become a teacher. Working across a range of settings in both the UK and in Singapore, Harry cultivated a strong belief in lifelong learning and developed a his expertise in the leadership and management of curriculum change.

After taking on the role of Deputy Headteacher in East Sussex, Harry was appointed as Principal of Waterfield Primary School in the Summer Term of 2019. Harry holds firm the belief that we all have an important role in developing our children to become global citizens who are equipped with the skills they will require to tackle the world of tomorrow. School should be a happy place, where every child has the freedom to explore and discover their talents amongst a strong foundation of essential core skills.

Our interviewee is Dr Harry Hope (MBChB PGCE NPQH) @DrHopePrincipal

Waterfield Primary School @Waterfield_TCT

Baby J and the Baby People – UK’s first Hip Hop school! PP250

This week, Huw talks to the amazing Baby J about the alternative provision in Derby he runs called Baby People. We use the term ‘inspirational’ a lot but Baby J is definitely an inspiration to the many young people who have benefited from what he has achieved.

Baby J

Baby J is an established record producer who has been working in the industry for over a decade. Artists he has worked with include Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Skinnyman, Jamelia and Plan B. Alongside his production work Baby J runs Baby People, a music and arts development agency that produces events and runs educational provision for young people.

Baby People’s Educational work covers everything from one of workshops to full academic year placements. Working from Primary school age to Adult Education. Their focus is on working with young people that struggle to engage in mainstream education. Classes can take place at their recording studios or offsite.

Their tutors all work professionally in their field and include UK champion Breakdancers, commissioned artists, and MC, Songwriters and producers that have been played on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music, BBC Introducing and 1Xtra aswell as MTV and have toured with Jay Z and Mark Ronson.

Baby People can provide workshops and educational classes in Music Production, Creative Writing & Lyrics, Breakdance, Aerosol and Graffiti Art and more.



What all teachers should know about Autism and learning – PP249

portrait of Mark Bocker

This is a compilation episode with clips from the following episodes:

Sarah Wild on girls and autism…it’s not just a boy thing – PP159

Autistic? Genius! with Tom Bowes – PP192

Do we know enough about Inclusion? Tara Elie speaks to Emma Brown – PP204

Emma Brown is back! Listener Questions on Autism – 210

Kevin and Mark Bocker introduce the clips and stress the importance of understanding Autism.

You can listen to the full episodes referred to on http://www.pivotalpodcast.com/