TCES Group Latest News & Events

04 Sep 2019

Supporting ASC/SEMH Pupils Returning in September: My ‘Top Ten’ List

Thomas Keaney
CEO and Schools’ Proprietor, TCES Group

1) Discuss their strengths and needs

If you have a new class of pupils, discuss their strengths and needs with their previous Teachers and Teaching Assistants and read the pupils’ files – but remember that a file never represents the amazing talented children and young people that you’ll be working with.

2) Visit them at home

Where possible, do a home visit to meet the pupil and their parents/carers to introduce yourself, discuss their child’s strengths, and set out your expectations and targets for them around learning and behaviour.

Use the visit to signal to parents/carers that you want a positive partnership with them, and establish an agreed plan for communication. Remember to keep in contact with them regularly – and keep the news mostly about the positives.

3) Meet and greet each pupil

Meet and greet each pupil as they arrive and show them how much they were missed. For pupils with the most complex circumstances, explore how they managed through the holidays.

4) Nurture them back into the school environment

Remember your pupils may have been out of routine throughout the holidays. Some will not have had structure, boundaries or occasionally enough food, and some pupils may have been moved and will need an appropriate blend of care, support and control to get back into the school routine. Provide lots of nurture.

5) Hold a ‘Welcome back’ assembly

Hold a whole school assembly where staff and pupils are welcomed back, and remind the entire community of your school values, ethos or mission, and the high expectations you have for them in the upcoming year.

6) Create a welcoming environment

Work together with your pupils to put some significant effort into making your classroom a welcome learning environment. Work together to create inspirational and motivational wall displays. Give your class a real ‘Wow’ wow factor!

7) Hold a Tutor Group

Prepare and deliver a Tutor Group to your pupils in which you remind them of the support you will provide them and the work you will do to support them in making it a very successful year.

8) Anticipate your pupils’ needs

Behaviour is a method of communication, and poor behaviour is very often a communication of unmet needs. Anticipate those needs in advance and try to find out the underlying reasons for any concerning behaviour. Watch out for those pupils who communicate unmet needs by their silence or by withdrawing.

9) Stay calm and support each other

Remember that the only tool we have when working with children/young people who challenge us is ourselves. Always take a breath before getting involved in a situation that is escalating, stay calm and support each other and always look to deescalate.

10) Seek advice from your clinical team

Seek advice from your schools’ clinical staff if a pupil is demonstrating difficulty with settling back into the school environment – but remember, it is your relationship with your pupils that will enable them to settle most quickly.

03 Sep 2019

Thomas Keaney Shortlisted for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards

We are delighted to announce that Thomas Keaney, TCES Group’s CEO and Schools’ Proprietor has been shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Diversity Awards 2019.

Over 28,000 people nominated this year, resulting in an astonishing 124 nominees being recognised for their various achievements nationwide.  Community organisations and role models from across the UK will head to the breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on 20 September to witness the country’s 2019 winners being crowned the best of British diversity.

Also amongst those being honoured are a reformed gangster, a Junior Bake Off Star and a host of campaigners and activists, all of whom work tirelessly to combat injustice and discrimination in very different ways.

Thomas (middle-right) with pupils and staff during a visit from His Excellency Justice Anthony Carmona, 5th President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (middle-left)

Thomas has been responsible for transforming the lives of more than 3,000 young people throughout his career. After 13 years in social work, specialising in children’s mental health services, he founded TCES Group in 1999, starting as a social care company with one client, before transitioning into education for SEN pupils. Over 20 years he has developed the Group into one of the larger providers of independent school education for pupils with co-morbid SEMH needs or ASC in London and Essex, working with some of the most challenging pupils with complex needs. Thomas works tirelessly to ensure that pupils’ diversity is reflected in the diversity of school staff and management. This ensures that pupils are surrounded by successful role models from their own communities, cultures and background.

Thomas said: “I’m very honoured and humbled to have been shortlisted for this award. Although it’s in my name, the award is really for the whole TCES Group and my truly inspirational staff team who have, over the past 20 years, helped to transform the lives of more than 3,000 children and young people through REAL inclusion. We are all proud that in this time we’ve not excluded a single pupil and that we are now able to successfully integrate our Autistic and SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs) pupils together in the classroom.  Congratulations to all who have been shortlisted for these awards – I feel as though I’m in very distinguished company.”

Patron of TCES Group, Dame Esther Rantzen DBE said: “I was delighted to hear that Thomas has been shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Diversity Awards.  I’m not surprised as, when visiting his schools, the inclusive approach and difference it makes to his pupils is impressive.”

HSBC, Direct Line Group & MI5 have recently been announced as sponsors of the pioneering awards that have paid tribute to over 700 grass root charities and diversity champions since its inception. Joining the likes of Auto Trader UK & Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure, ITV News are also listed amongst a host of companies showcasing their support to recognising diverse talent.

A spokesperson for MI5 said: “It is MI5’s mission to keep the country safe, and it’s vital that we represent the diverse society we seek to protect. We are at our strongest when we have the richest mix of the best talent, working together in an environment that allows people to thrive. Put simply, our diverse workforce is crucial to our operational successes. We are pleased to be able to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to inclusion through our continued support for these awards. They are an important way of recognising and celebrating the good work being done across the country to promote inclusivity, diversity and provide opportunity for all.”

Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the NDA’s continue to gain endorsements from high profile figures such as Stephen Fry, Sir Lenny Henry CBE and Graham Norton.

Actress and comedian Sally Phillips will take centre stage on 20th September as the official host of this year’s ceremony. Reflecting on the forthcoming celebrations, Sally said: “I am delighted to be hosting the 2019 National Diversity Awards. Acknowledging and celebrating the hard work and stand out achievements of role models and community groups throughout the UK is a genuine honour for me. Having attended the Awards back in 2016, I experienced this fabulous ceremony first hand and I cannot wait to be back this year celebrating the dedication and commitment of some of the UK’s most luminous and exceptional people.”

Previous winners include actor Warwick Davis, football’s equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out and freedom fighter Abbey Kiwanuka.

Paul Sesay, Founder and CEO of the National Diversity Awards added “A record amount of nominations and votes were received this year, the most we have ever received. I know our judging panel had an incredibly difficult task of whittling down the nominees to create an outstanding shortlist.

“So many heartfelt testimonies really showcased how these people and organisations are having a profound impact on the lives of others, and I applaud them for their dedication to each specific cause. Congratulations to all of our shortlisted nominees, it is a privilege to recognise your bravery, resilience and courage and I am honoured to share this with the nation. I look forward to congratulating you in person in September”.

To view a full list of nominees please visit