When Jaiden struggled with his school work, he would kick out and run away. He constantly battled with his emotions, feeling sad, angry and abandoned. Now, his life has done a complete 360 thanks to support from the TLG Education Centre team.
Nikkola, Jaiden's mum, was regularly called out of work to talk about her son and to be told that he had, once again, been excluded.
“I was in quite a dark place and felt abandoned and like nobody wanted to help me or take me in,” said Jaiden. “The school before TLG was a Pupil Referral Unit and there I was at my worst. I felt sad and angry, and all these emotions caused me to spiral into a dark place.”
His aggression would sometimes spill into his home life and Nikkola didn’t know where to turn.
They both believed there was nothing anyone could do to help.
Just as things were reaching breaking point, Jaiden was referred to TLG’s North Birmingham Education Centre, run by James and his committed team.
Jaiden’s first few weeks at the Education Centre were not easy. Jaiden didn’t feel like he fitted in and didn’t believe he could do well. He didn’t make friends at first and continued to struggle with conflict resolution.
However, the pastoral approach and persistence of the North Birmingham team meant that Jaiden soon started to feel accepted and believe he did have a future. He learnt how to control his emotions, express his feelings in a constructive way and build positive relationships with his peers. It wasn’t long before he started to get on better with everyone and make friends.
When asked what TLG did to help, Jaiden said:
‘‘TLG accepted me and that was the first step in my journey moving forward. They helped in many ways but what I think they helped improve the most was my positive peer relationships. My favourite part was the journey it took me on, and no matter what they didn’t let me down. The teachers were always so supportive, and if I came in feeling bad about something from home they would support me.’
Jaiden made such brilliant progress and he is now starting back at a school. He is doing better with his Maths and English and is looking forward to sitting his GCSEs, hoping to study engineering at college.
“TLG has helped me get back into school, which I once thought was impossible.”
But it wasn’t just his academic achievements that TLG helped with. Jaiden now describes himself as more relaxed and having a better positive attitude. Jaiden was invited on one of TLG’s Faith Residential holidays, where young people and families have the chance to go on holiday, engage in fun activities and have space to explore the big questions of life. While away on the weekend Jaiden quickly made friends that he still keeps in contact with.
Nikkola has noticed the transformation in her son and is grateful for the support TLG gave.
She said: “Their support, patience and communication with all of us was amazing. They taught Jaiden strategies to help him cope in school and in life. His behaviour has massively improved and he has learned many ways to express himself and communicate with different people.”
Nikkola also acknowledged it wasn’t just Jaiden’s life that was changed. The support given by the Education Centre team had an impact on the whole family.
She said: “It’s a complete 360. We still have some dips but family life is much calmer and a much happier home for us to live in. I can’t thank TLG, James and his team enough for not giving up and for their constant persistence!”
Now back in school, Jaiden had some advice for other children who may be finding school a struggle:
“Get your head down and don’t pay attention to the negative behaviour around you. I know this is hard to resist but in the long run not taking part will make a massive difference.”