"To everyone at Education 1st, Thank you for all the fun times it's been a pleasure meeting you all, hope you have more fun times to come."
"To everyone at Education-1st, I had a good time. Thanks for making school fun, that was very kind of you."
"All the staff at Education 1st, Thank you for the support you have given Mathew through a difficult time."
"I work as a Work2Learn Co-ordinator at a South Gloucestershire secondary school and I have referred many students from ages 11-16 to Education 1st on revolving door programmes. I have always received the most welcoming and professional courtesy from the staff. They work wonders with the students who are challenging and vulnerable to help them feel safe and build their confidence to achieve. Sophie Palmer is always on hand to contact via email or phone, which makes a huge difference when you are trying to secure placements.
The mentors keep in touch and feedback from the students is positive. They enjoy their time with Education 1st. Some of these students would otherwise leave school being NEET but Education 1st provides them with life skills and work skills they may not get in school, due to behavioural/family issues. They also work towards ASDAN courses which engage them and supports them in their learning and development. We closely work together and ensure that the students don't see this as a reward and that they have to engage in school as well, to continue having this opportunity."
"I work for a Bristol special school and have been placing pupils with Education 1st for the last couple of years. I am very impressed by the provision that they offer in particular how flexible they are and responsive to changing needs. The staff are really approachable and professional and clearly care deeply about the young people they work with. I have been inspired watching how the company has grown and developed over the last few years due to the vision, commitment and skill of the managers of this organisation. Education 1st have worked successfully with some of our most difficult to reach young people and the relationships that their mentors make with our pupils are crucial to their success. I feel really lucky to work in partnership with Education 1st and believe they play a vital role in Bristol’s alternative provision."
"Our Bristol school has worked successfully with Education 1st for two years. During this time, we have found Education 1st to be an excellent alternative provider. The provision has a clear vision for all its pupils and communicates expertly to the host school on a regular basis. Additionally the school receives written reports and regular monitoring sheets to update the school."
"Education 1st recently supported us during an Ofsted Inspection of Alternative Provision and they were praised for their accurate record keeping, relationships with students and target setting. We currently have three pupils at this provision and they have made excellent progress. They were originally disengaged from mainstream education. All our communications with Education 1st have been extremely professional and at all times, we have found them supportive and accommodating."
"I have known of Sports 1st, and then Education 1st, in my varying roles within Bristol City Council education services for five years or so. In that time, the services provided to the young people with whom I have worked has been sterling. Education 1st engages with some of Bristol’s hardest to reach young people and have a wonderful record of success. Their outcomes have included improved attendance, improved social skills, improved GCSE grades, encourage team work and sometimes, initiate career paths into sports leadership. They have also managed to reduce the committing of crimes by some of their pupils by engaging them outside of school hours. The staff, led by Craig Dembicki, remain committed and single-minded in their purpose. I find Craig to be a man driven to achieve the best for the young people with whom he works. I have yet to meet a pupil who has been to Education 1st who does not hold him in high regard. When I worked directly with young people, I never had any reservation in making referrals to Education 1st because it is an organisation that I trust and value."
"My school has worked in partnership with Education 1st since November 2012. During this time we have watched the company grow from its small sports based mentoring origins, into a considerably more diverse alternative provision catering for a wide range of young people who are failing to thrive in conventional educational settings. The company now offers additional high quality educational packages with accreditation and qualifications in a range of subjects, including Maths and English.
During its period of growth and development the company has continued to demonstrate their central ethos of supportive mentoring and education for the whole child. Communication has been central to this. Staff have listened carefully to the school and parents /carers in order to build an individualised package of support for each child. They have given regular and rigorous termly reports, followed by face to face termly meetings with the school in order to ensure that all aspects of the child’s needs are being met. This extends to mentors being present for all relevant meetings regarding the child, including annual reviews of SEN statements and escorting students to interviews and supporting them in their post 16 decision making.
Education 1st use a mentor – based supportive approach to their work. Each mentor is carefully chosen, trained and managed in order that the best possible service is offered to the child. Education 1st are vigilant and adhere to strict child protection codes of practice, which we have witnessed first-hand, working hand in hand with the school and other agencies to the benefit of the child. We have been delighted by the impact that Education 1st has on the students we refer. Their academic work and attendance has improved, and critically, student’s self esteem, behaviour and social and personal interaction skills have progressed to a level where young people have been able to successfully progress to post 16 college placements.
We shall continue to refer some of our most complex and challenging students to Education 1st, secure in the knowledge that they are in safe, caring and dedicated hands."
"Our Bristol secondary school has worked successfully with Education 1st for two years. During this time, we have found Education 1st to be an excellent alternative provider. The provision has a clear vision for all its pupils and communicates expertly to the host school on a regular basis. Additionally, the school receives written reports and regular monitoring sheets to update the school.
Education 1st recently supported us during an Ofsted Inspection of Alternative Provisions in Bristol and they were praised for their accurate record keeping, relationships with pupils and target setting. We currently have three pupils at this provision who have made excellent progress and who were originally disengaged from mainstream education. All our communications with Education 1st have been extremely professional and at all times, we have found them supportive and accommodating."