In loving memory of Raeye Tedros W/Michael

In loving memory of Raeye Tedros W/Michael

15th September 2021

In August, TLG received the tragic news that a former student, Raeye, had passed away. Deborah, Raeye’s headteacher during his time at TLG, pays tribute to a wonderful young man who will be missed.

Words fail me as I write this tribute. TLG West London staff and students of 2016 - 2018 will find it difficult to believe that you are no longer with us. 

‘Raeye’ means friend and he was a friend to so many. He was kind-hearted, caring, and a very peaceful young man.   

Raeye began his secondary education journey at our education centre; TLG West London in 2017. I still remember when he was referred to us by the local authority after a series of difficulties in year 7. He came to us shy, an introvert in some respects, and fatigued by the months of school trauma due to the challenges of transitioning into year 7. 

It took some months for Raeye to let his guard down, with weeks of questions such as ‘Can I trust you?’, ‘Do I belong here?’ and ‘Is it safe?’. However, he was welcomed into our education centre with the belief that he had a purpose, had potential, and that his past would not define or determine his future. On this basis began his journey with TLG. 

Raye quickly established deep and meaningful relationships with his peers and teachers; James Awofisan, Anthonet Dwyer, Jemimah Paine, Nancy Haynes, Kwesi Mills, and a collective of other individuals and supporters that were very much part of the work of transformation in the lives of our young people. These connections were deeper than just teaching students, these people were like family to Raeye.

Raeye was always quick witted and had a snappy sense of humour. He had a way of not only seeing the funny side to situations, but also spreading joy wherever he felt at home. I remember the day Raye was tickled by his peers until tears were streaming down his cheeks and he could laugh no more. That particular snapshot perfectly captures how joyful Raeye felt with his TLG family!

Buried deep within Raeye was treasure; he was charming, a visionary, entrepreneurial, articulate, mischievous, and extremely intelligent. The positive relationships Raeye built with his teachers and peers allowed him to flourish, giving him self-belief that he could go on and achieve. Raye was everyone’s ‘favourite’. He was a leader and many of his peers would look to him for advice, encouragement or to hold them to account. He was responsible for setting up the exclusive ‘student’ WhatsApp group - which still connects the students today. He would be the one to encourage past students to attend their termly visits to the centre. More recently, he was on a mission to coordinate the TLG West London Class of 2017- 2018 reunion. 

2018 saw Raeye at the pinnacle of his transformation. He was ready to go back into mainstream school. However, this was not without its challenges; Raeye was so connected to the TLG staff and his peers that he did not want to leave. I remember fondly the last day of term in 2018, when we had taken the students on a trip and came back to the centre for dinner. Late into the evening Raye and others were refusing to go home and demanding a ‘lock in’, enjoying the camaraderie and reminiscing over stories and jokes over the years. 

Raeye eventually reintegrated back into mainstream education and was focused on gaining his GCSEs. He had it all mapped out, what he needed for his A levels and ultimately what he needed for a place at university. He was a good student and worked hard to accomplish his GCSE’s last year in the midst of the pandemic, embarking on his business studies college course in September 2020. 

Unfortunately, his dream of university was never realised as Raeye’s life was lost in a tragic road accident on the 3rd of August 2021.

We pay tribute to this amazing young man, celebrating his young life on this earth and we recognise the many lives that he has touched over the years at TLG and beyond.  

This news of Raeye’s death comes as a huge shock to all of us who knew him as a bright young man with vibrant energy and a beautiful smile. We send our love and deepest condolences to his family and all who knew him. 

Raeye Tedros W/Michael - gone but never forgotten.

Deborah Barnett

Deborah Barnett

Deborah Barnett is School Development Manager and Education Policy Lead, she is London based and has worked in mainstream education, special schools and alternative provision for over twenty years. Deborah has a broad and in depth knowledge of national education policy and passionate about social and racial justice in education. She is committed to structural change to ensure all children can achieve more in schools. Her values in education are firmly linked to an inclusive, comprehensive system where all learners are valued equally.

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