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Secondary / KS3 and KS4

Billy’s experience in alternative provision

A portrait of a young boy, looking at the camera in front of a white background.

Billy came from a very unsettled background and was the oldest of five siblings. The youngest was born dependent on heroin. Billy was referred to a Catch22 school having previously had a negative experience of education, despite being a capable and intelligent student.

He would often say:

“It isn’t that I don’t like school, I just can’t physically and mentally cope with everything…”

Billy’s difficult home life and volatile relationship with his parents contributed to his poor mental health and, ultimately, his drug abuse. He felt a great sense of responsibility for his younger siblings, helping his grandparents look after them. He sometimes used to sleep on the street, just to get some peace.

Billy was sexually abused by his dad’s girlfriend and became suicidal. He was supported by Catch22 to bring charges.

Catch22 supported Billy throughout; arranging doctors’ and supporting the family to secure appropriate support from Children’s Services. To encourage his attendance at school, Billy was sometimes picked up by staff, or caught the bus and was met at the bus station. In school, he was given one-to-one, round-the-clock support. Daily phone calls were made if Billy was absent to check on his well-being. Billy continued to struggle with the lack of action surrounding the sexual abuse charges and took a drug overdose. After recovering from the overdose, he came into school.

“I knew that I’d receive the best care and support at school”

Billy is a keen sportsman, evidenced by his improved attendance when sports was on the timetable. Catch22 provided him with the opportunity to take a Level 1 course in Sports Leadership and made contact with a local football team so he could enrol when he left school.

On leaving school, despite gaps in his education prior to joining Catch22 and his many absences, Billy attained English GCSE Level 3, Maths GCSE Level 2, English Functional Skills Levels 1 & 2, Maths Functional Skills Level 1 and Sports Leadership Level 1.

Billy now has a part-time job, has been accepted onto a football scholarship and is re-taking his GCSEs in English and Maths. He feels he has been able to take back control of his life.