TCES Group Latest News & Events

29 Jun 2018

Official opening of East London Independent School’s state-of-the-art building by Dame Esther Rantzen DBE

East London Independent School’s new state-of-the-art building in Stratford, east London has been officially opened by Dame Esther Rantzen DBE.

The respected TV presenter and journalist joined pupils, parents, staff and special guests on Friday 29 June to see how the school has extended its site by redeveloping a church building that dates back to 1775. The £1.5m redevelopment means the school will be able to almost double its intake from 38 to 70.

During the opening event, Dame Esther Rantzen and other guests toured the school and saw that the refurbished church now boasts six new classrooms, as well as a double art room and state-of-the-art classrooms for science, ICT and food technology. There is also a new school hall, two sensory rooms, and an excellent outside space.

To accommodate it all, the single storey church building has been converted to two storeys, retaining all the existing windows that now cast light both upstairs and downstairs. The school’s specially designed low-arousal, autism-friendly environment suits all pupils at the school, regardless of their individual needs.

The school is part of TCES Group. The social enterprise has been supporting young people aged 7-19 years with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) or autism spectrum conditions (ASC) for almost 20 years.

Uniquely, at TCES Group schools, pupils of all abilities and disabilities learn alongside each other in a general education setting supported by a skilled team of educators.

In June 2018, the school was awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark Award (IQM). IQM is the only national award for inclusion and provides validation of current practice in UK schools. The school has also been rated Outstanding by Ofsted.

Dame Esther Rantzen DBE said:

“It was a privilege to open this remarkable school building and see the amazing new spaces that have been created to support pupils with special education needs. This building represents the school’s commitment to integration, and their inclusive approach means that more young people in east London will be educated locally and get the support they need. I’m sure staff and pupils will enjoy and benefit greatly from their new facilities.”

Thomas Keaney, CEO and Schools’ Proprietor of TCES Group, said:

“By converting this church, we’ve shown what can be achieved when you remove labels and dare to be ambitious. The new school building complements our unique and innovative approach to education. It will enable us to support more young people with a range of different and often complex needs.

“Although it is often necessary to label children initially to ensure that they can get the support they need, we strongly believe that they should not then be segregated and divided according to their support needs. Labels are debilitating and can hold back children and young people. 

“Our inspiring new school building will enable us to seamlessly bring together pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs or an autism spectrum condition and ensure that they can achieve the very best in life.”



14 Jun 2018

East London Independent School achieves IQM award

In June 2018 East London Independent School was awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark Award (IQM). This means that both our London Schools  have been awarded the IQM. Essex Fresh Start and Create London will be working towards this next academic year.

The IQM scheme allows for the exploration of all aspects of education within the school, with the process affording a complete snapshot of school life. The IQM award provides evidence of all the incredible hard work that is ongoing at ELIS.

“IQM delivers industry-leading standards and assists schools to develop the prestigious IQM scheme award. IQM is the only national award for inclusion and provides validation of current practice in UK schools.” IQM website, 2017.

View East London Independent School’s IQM report here

Here are just some of the many positive comments about East London Independent School, taken from the IQM assessment report:

“The staff were confident in their knowledge of the pupils which meant the pupils were on task and motivated to learn in the classroom.”

“The teachers’ planning was meticulous in the lessons observed to ensure differentiation had an impact on the progress of the pupils with clear Learning Objectives and Success Criteria.”

“ELIS makes outstanding use of the space available. The outside area is very well thought out with excellent outdoor facilities including horticulture area, play area for table tennis, space for a sensory garden for those who wish for reflection time and an enclosed court area for games. The main building is very inviting with a sense of purpose in every classroom. There is a dedicated Science lab, Food Tech room, Art room, Music room and library as well as a fully resourced Sensory Room.”

“It was evident that the curriculum was geared towards enabling the pupils to become independent; teaching them skills for life across a broad range of subjects and opportunities. This organisational approach by teaching in stage not age means that pupils feel safe in an atmosphere balanced to suit each pupils’ needs.”

“During the morning of the IQM visit, a very powerful message was outstandingly put across in an assembly regarding our actions and the importance of respect for oneself, one’s community and the world. All the pupils who were present were fully engaged and showed skills of self-reflection, empathy and were able to focus and listen.”

“The dedication of the staff for the pupils at ELIS means that pupils have the best opportunities for inclusion and for success in life.”



06 Jun 2018

TCES Group appoints former Google director to help drive exciting cultural and technological developments

TCES Group has appointed Thomas Davies as a Non-Executive Director as part of the organisation’s drive to provide an excellent education to children and young people with special educational needs. He will also work with TCES Group’s leadership team to develop its corporate strategy and meet its vision of becoming an employer of choice.

Thomas is the founder and CEO of Temporall, an executive advisory and technology company that specialises in culture by design. He is also a former global director at Google, and has 20 years’ experience in the technology sector, specialising in corporate strategy, market development, organisational culture and innovation.

During his ten years at Google, Thomas led the UK&I cloud business as country manager, then became director of Northern, Eastern and Central Europe, before leading the global partnerships team.

TCES Group is a social enterprise that has been supporting children and young people from 7-19 years with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) or Social, Emotional or Mental Health (SEMH) plus complex needs for almost 20 years. The group prides itself on uniquely integrating its pupils with real inclusion at the heart of everything it does.

Thomas Davies said:

“I’m honoured to be joining TCES Group and working with the leadership team to drive cultural change and develop a sustainable strategy for future success. I believe that a strong and positive organisational culture can lead to great things, and for pupils at TCES Group this is particularly important. I’m looking forward to working with this unique social enterprise to ensure we take advantage of exciting developments in digital technology to provide an excellent education for young people with special educational needs.”

Thomas Keaney, CEO and Schools’ Proprietor of TCES Group, said:

“We’re excited to welcome Thomas to TCES Group and I’m looking forward to working closely with him to explore the exciting ways we can use his expertise to improve the quality of the education we offer to young people with ASC and SEMH. Thomas has a wealth of experience that will benefit us greatly, including being a former global director at Google. He will help ensure that TCES Group continues to innovate and becomes not only a leading provider of specialist education but also a leading employer in our field.”