TCES Group Latest News & Events

27 Sep 2018

Leadership Week at TCES Group

EFS pupils designed leaflets and wrote poems in support of their local soup kitchen

This week has been Leadership Week across the TCES Group of schools. Our leadership curriculum was launched in June 2017, with each school participating in Leadership Week, designed to teach leadership skills by introducing a variety of exciting activities for pupils to participate in.  Every TCES Group pupil from KS2 upwards now has the opportunity to take part in leadership skills training.  We believe that by learning to understand themselves, pupils develop strengths and talents in leadership that offer benefits for the individual, their group, the whole school and their communities beyond TCES Group.

Pupils progress to mentoring their peers and to taking on leadership roles within school, such as election to Student Council.  

Essex Fresh Start School in Clacton kicked off Leadership Week events with their Nurture Group supporting the local soup kitchen; a combined Harvest Festival activity. As part of the programme, pupils have designed leaflets to support their Harvest Festival collection which will then be presented in person to a representative at the soup kitchen. Each pupil has also written brilliant poems in support of their efforts to help those less fortunate than themselves. 

East London Independent school pupils took part in a leadership assembly, with pupil Ale taking the lead with his role as assembly technician.

Create London pupils learned about the leadership roles that are available within the Student Council programme at Custom House, and North West London Independent School drew inspiration from a recent visit to their school by the sculptor Willard Wigan, MBE. Willard has utilised his talents as a person with autism to become a record-breaking artist, creating microscopic sculptures that has seen him receive an MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace – and gain a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. As part of Leadership Week, pupils from the school took part in Student Council presentations and created some artwork around the concepts of leadership versus fame.


North West London pupils take part in student council presentations







East London pupils learn what it takes to become a leader

27 Sep 2018

East London Independent School presented with IQM award at official ceremony in Pall Mall

Pupil Antony, Head Teacher Sandra Harrison and Kevin Parker, School Improvement Partner, proud recipients of the IQM award

In June 2018 East London Independent School was awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark Award (IQM) and on Tuesday representatives from the school proudly attended the official presentation ceremony at the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall Mall. Accompanying  East London Independent School’s Head Teacher Sandra Harrison was Yr 9 pupil Antony, School Improvement Partner Kevin Parker and Pastoral Care Co-Ordinator Leona Talian.

Both TCES Group London-based schools have now achieved this prestigious award – North West London Independent School was awarded the IQM in 2017.

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.

View East London Independent School’s IQM report here
Pupil Antony with staff members Sandra Harrison and Leona Talian at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall


27 Sep 2018

‘This is Britain at its best’

Sculptor Willard Wigan, MBE with North West London Independent School pupil Adam

North West London Independent School welcomed micro-sculptor Willard Wigan MBE, who visited the school and spoke of the pupils’ ‘tidal wave of talent’, encouraging them to embrace their learning differences.

Willard, creator of the world’s smallest handmade sculptures in history, enthralled pupils and staff at the Acton-based school, showcasing his microscopic art by way of visual aids. The internationally renowned-artist also brought in microscopes, enabling pupils to discover an enticing world carved from a variety of materials that can sit within the eye of a needle, or the end of an eyelash.

Willard spoke of his own experiences as a child at school in the Midlands, where he struggled with autism and dyslexia. He spoke of being ‘blessed, not bitter’ about his diagnoses, encouraging pupils to embrace their ‘hidden talents’ as a gift to the world. Addressing his audience, Willard advised: “Don’t underestimate the tidal wave of talent at North West London Independent School. This is where it is: the pupils here are unique. Some of the best engineers in the world could come from here. This is Britain at its best.”

Year 11 pupil and Co-President of the Student Council, Rochelle – accompanied by fellow Student Council member Bailey – confidently and articulately toured the school with Willard. Particularly impressed with the school’s art department, Willard spoke to several pupils, including post-16 student Michael, who played his film ‘Stormie and Friends’ (a self-taught series, created with the Stop motion animated-film making technique). Fellow post-16 art student Myles was particularly impressed with Willard’s sculptures and managed to photograph them by pointing his camera onto the microscope lens.

TCES Group CEO & Schools’ Proprietor Thomas Keaney reflected, “What an amazing day at North West London Independent School. Willard Wigan is the most inspirational man who talked to our pupils about his Asperger’s Syndrome gifts and being bullied and ignored by teachers. Now he makes micro-sculptures, one given to the Queen, and he is an MBE.”

To find out more about Willard Wigan, please visit his website at

Willard Wigan MBE with CEO & Schools’ proprietor Thomas Keaney

24 Sep 2018

Create Service London celebrates success

Head Teacher Tony Meehan







Tony Meehan with Equality Ambassador and Student Council representative Sean

Staff, pupils and parents gathered at Create Service London on Friday 21 September to celebrate the achievements of pupils in an uplifting Graduation Ceremony at Custom House.

Several pupils are moving across to East London Independent School, affording them the opportunity to transition back into the school environment. Other pupils were recognised for their positive engagement and personal development throughout the academic year. 

Student council representatives proudly showed groups of parents around the site at Custom House before the ceremony commenced in the main hall.

Head Teacher Tony Meehan praised the “dedicated staff”  who “make sure these young people achieve, helping them to self-sufficiency and offering something positive to society.” Mr. Meehan went on to add, “Learning is what gets you moving on in life. At Create Service we aim to capture what learning really is and discover our pupils’ hidden talents.”

17 Sep 2018

Annual Graduation Ceremony celebrates achievements of Essex pupils


Graduate Ryan with Head Teacher Cheryl Rutter

As we leave the summer term behind us and welcome in the start of a new academic year, and a very busy autumn term for TCES Group schools, we pause collectively to celebrate the vast and impressive achievements of our Y11 and Y12 pupils from Essex Fresh Start Schools at their annual graduation ceremony at Chelmsford’s Anglia Ruskin University.

The ceremony, held on Friday 14 September, saw pupils, parents, staff and Local Authority representatives gather to celebrate the achievements of the 24 pupils who graduated from the schools in Witham and Clacton at the end of the summer term.

Head Teacher Cheryl Rutter delivered an impassioned speech to an attentive audience, praising pupils for their hard work in gaining a variety of qualifications (GCSEs, BTECs are just a few examples). In fact, 83% of Essex Fresh Start pupils left school in summer 2018 with a qualification. A number of awards were presented by key figures from TCES Group, plus Thurrock Council representative Gwen Trapp.

‘Most Improved Performance’  was awarded to Ryan; William was recognised for his ‘Most Improved Behaviour’; the ‘Attendance’ award was handed to Aeron and Joshua achieved the ‘Contribution to School Council’ award. Said Joshua, “I think other children that need help should go there (EFS).”

TCES Group and Schools’ Proprietor Thomas Keaney described the ceremony as ‘inspirational’. He went on to add: “24 SEND pupils with a number of children in care graduated from our Essex Fresh Start Schools. Multiple talented pupils gained lots of qualifications, but as importantly many values and life skills. Parents/carers and graduates told us that they never expected to make it with their SEND and with children in care’s multiple moves. But an amazing staff team who through nurture, care, attachment and trauma-informed practice supported our young leaders to achieve multiple qualifications and college courses. I’m so proud.”

Said Gwen Trapp, SEN Manager of Children’s Services at Thurrock Council, “This evening was really lovely and something to celebrate. The confidence in the pupils is evident and they continue to progress.”

Many of the graduating pupils have gained places on courses at local colleges. One such pupil, Ryan, has graduated from EFS with a Level 1 mechanics course and is now attending Ottley College in Ipswich to study a one-year level 2 mechanics course, with a view to gaining a mechanics apprenticeship. Ryan said, “EFS has really helped me out. I’ve progressed a huge amount.” His dad added, “I wish Ryan had started here (EFS) earlier, His attitude changed completely; there was no hope before. I’m so proud of what he’s achieved.”

To read more about Essex Fresh Start, download their brochure here: EFS-brochure_

If you require information about the services TCES Group offer to post-16 pupils, please read our leaflet here: Post-16 leaflet