TCES Group Latest News & Events

18 Nov 2020

Event: ‘The Curious Case of ADHD and ASD’

15 December 2020, 12 – 1.15pm

TCES are excited to announce a seminar and Q&A session delving into the world of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autistic spectrum disorder, and the overlap between them, to be led by author, consultant, and lecturer Fintan O’Regan.

ADHD and ASD describe specific symptoms generally associated with a range of learning, social, emotional and behavioural difficulties; however, this event will explore how individuals affected by ADHD and ASD often have several overlapping issues.

Areas to be discussed in this talk include:

  • ADHD and ASD demystified in terms of key traits and not labels
  • Girls and boys and traits of ADHD and ASD
  • Introduction of the SF3R learning, behaviour and socialisation support and management model
  • Structure and Flexibility in Learning and Behaviour and Socialisation issues
  • Rapport, Relationships and Resilience in supporting effective communication
  • Partnership with parents and carers of children with ADHD and ASD

Following the talk will be a Q&A session with Fintan O’Regan led by Thomas Keaney and David Coulter.

This event is expected to last 1 hour and 15 minutes.


Fintan O’Regan, BSc, PGCE, MA

Fin O’Regan was the Head teacher of the Centre Academy from 1996 -2002, the first specialist school in the UK for students between the ages of 7-19, specialising in issues related to ADHD, ASD and ODD.  

He is an associate lecturer for Leicester University, the National Association of Special Needs, the Institute of Education, the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre and the former Vice Chairman of the UK ADHD Network and of the European ADHD Alliance.

He has written a number of books and published articles on the subject of ADHD, ODD and a range of Learning, Behaviour and Socialisation issues.

Fin now works as trainer and consultant both nationally and internationally with regards to supporting schools, children and families with SEND and behaviour issues.

Thomas Keaney

TCES’ Founder and Chief Executive Thomas Keaney is a Qualified Social Worker with a Post Graduate Diploma in Therapeutic Child Care. He has 30 years of management experience in adults and children’s services, both in the public and private sector in London and New York.

Thomas has managed TCES from its inception in November 1999 as a Social Care company, to its transition into the niche market of therapeutic education for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs and/or an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). The company has evolved in its focus over the past 20 years from an initial provider of alternative education services to one of the larger providers of Independent Schools’ education in London.

Thomas says: “TCES has inclusion at its heart through a number of unique focuses: Therapeutic education, Group process, Pupil leadership and L.I.F.E programme, the Arts, Pupil and Parent voice and participation and all delivered within the context of clear community values. The TCES Way is to deliver these focuses in the most forensic and dedicated way possible to ensure the best outcomes for children and young people. Future focuses will include our Integrated, Systemic, Milieu Therapy (ISMT), our Step-down programme, our Home Learning division, our pupil entrants to employees programme, an intensive focus on family support and a focus on Care Experienced pupils.”

Thomas was shortlisted for the ‘Lifetime Achiever’ National Diversity Award in September 2019 and In October 2019, Thomas was awarded the ‘SEND Leader of the Year’ by nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs).

David Coulter

As Therapy Lead and Senior Occupational Therapist for TCES, David’s focus is on supporting the organisation’s integral therapeutic provision of SALTS, OTS and Creative Art Therapies across all four schools and services. Throughout his career he has been passionate about working closely with children and adults with different needs, in order to impact their lives in a meaningful way.

His vast experience includes working with individuals with a wide range of Neurodevelopment, Social and Mental Health needs within a wide range of settings, including schools, colleges, independent living, community and in-patient hospitals. David is very enthusiastic about working within schools with young people and the adults who support them, in particular supporting the sensory needs of pupils. His aim is to support each TCES pupil on their journey to achieving their full potential, using integrated systemic practice to create a therapeutic milieu that has real impact and meaning in the young person’s day to day life.

David’s key focus is on developing services that reflect best practice guidelines, whilst holding people at the centre. He believes that the systems that support service users are a key component in an effective therapy service.

26 Nov 2020

TCES North West London teacher wins Silver Pearson National Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education

Out of thousands of nominations, Paul Morris, Art Teacher at TCES North West London has been crowned with the Silver Pearson National Teaching Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education.

With the announcements being made on the BBC’s The One Show throughout the week, news of Paul’s achievement was shared on Thursday evening, to the joy of his colleagues across the organisation.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Paul Morris is one of just 76 Pearson National Teaching Awards Silver Award winners across the country, recognised for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day.

CEO & Schools’ Proprietor Thomas Keaney said: “Paul is well-deserving of his Silver award, and will always be a Gold winner in our hearts and minds. It’s an incredible achievement for him and his fellow shortlisters. Paul’s success has opened many exciting opportunities for him, and we are excited to see where his talents will take him as he continues transforming students’ lives.

“The incredible exam results that Paul has helped children to achieve, as well as growing their sense of pride and purpose shows what is possible when you embed a philosophy of never giving up on a single child, when you offer a person-centred curriculum with high expectations and let children know that they belong and they are valued.”

The nomination and subsequent award came as a result of Paul’s high effective work as Head of Art, Graphics, and Design with some uniquely complex and vulnerable pupils. He creates an atmosphere of calm and interest in a classroom where all students can experience themselves as artists.

Most recently, Paul has been the driving force in setting up a new Faculty of Creative Arts to embed the Arts even further into the pupils’ experiences, including helping them gain life-long skills that will serve them right through their adulthood. He has also achieved the Platinum Artsmark Award for the school, and is working to get the accreditation for other TCES schools and services.

At a special award ceremony held on 16 September, Paul was surprised with a congratulations from TCES patron Dame Esther Rantzen as well as from colleagues and pupils who spoke movingly about the difference Paul has made to their lives, enabling them to gain experiences and qualifications they never thought possible.

Paul Morris said: “I’m so proud to receive this award today. I’ve had children sit under a table in my Art room for months before they pluck up the courage to join in…whatever their starting points when they’re in my classroom the only label I allow to be applied to them is ‘artist’. I am grateful to be working within an organisation that supports this approach and sees Art as both an enabling subject for children with SEND, as well as a high-status subject in its own right, which has the potential to set our students on great pathways into further study and employment.”

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with. This year marks its 22nd year of celebrating, award-winning teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers and lecturers across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said:  “Over the past year, we have, all of us, come to appreciate and respect the value of teachers. They have so often been taken for granted. Not any more. Parents know now what it takes to teach, and teach well, and how much commitment, dedication and enthusiasm and knowledge and understanding, yes – and patience.

“Children know it too, if they didn’t before. So many missed their teachers as well as their friends. We all honour them today. Let’s now praise them, wish them well and above all, thank them.”

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said:  “Congratulations to all of our Silver Award winners for their commitment, dedication and passion for their work. Despite the incredible challenges they have faced over the past few months, school staff have risen to the occasion time and again.

“It is so important to recognise and celebrate teachers, teaching assistants and lecturers for the impact they have on our young people every year, and that is why Pearson is delighted to support these Awards.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “My warmest congratulations go to all this year’s silver award winners. They should be proud to receive this recognition of their commitment to the profession, and the outstanding education and guidance they provide for their students.

“Teachers and school staff up and down the country consistently go above and beyond for their students, and this is especially true over the past few months. It is down to their hard work that schools have been able to open their gates to all pupils again for the start of the new term, and I cannot say thank you enough for everything they have done.”

Paul with CEO and Schools’ Proprietor Thomas Keaney

Karen Esson, Interim Head of School, TCES North West London congratulating Paul 2020 style

TCES’ Patron, Dame Esther Rantzen congratulated Paul via Zoom, as did his pupils from TCES North West London

Max Tavinor-Kearney from Pearsons came to congratulate Paul on his Silver Award

08 Oct 2020

CEO Thomas Keaney answers MPs call for evidence on lessons from lockdown

This week we answered the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Education Technology’s call for evidence ‘Lessons from Lockdown: what was most effective in remote learning?’

Read about our phased approach to remote blended learning, which included on-demand and live lessons, here.

Our key lessons learnt include:

  • A blended approach is vital – for some students a hard copy pack of work was an essential, tangible link to the familiarity of school,
  • Therapy delivered remotely provides new opportunities to engage – some students who had felt unable to engage in a face to face therapy session engaged with the screen based offer
  • Don’t forget the extra-curricular offer – our Lockdown The Art of the Possible art competition (and accompanying virtual exhibition) provided creative focus for our students at a time of high anxiety
  • Find out from families what works – we surveyed families twice during lockdown and made adaptations accordingly. The overall satisfaction level with our remote blended learning was 90%.

Our new TCES Home Learning service has been developed out of our lockdown experience to deliver one-to-one distance or home/community learning for children and young people aged from 5-19 who are without school-based SEN provision. Parents and Local Authorities can find out more by visiting the website here.

11 Sep 2020

TCES celebrates the start of its third decade by rebranding to ‘The Complete Education Solution’

We are delighted to announce that from September 2020 TCES has an exciting and fresh new name and look. We will now be known as The Complete Education Solution (TCES).

The name change and rebrand, introduced during our 21st year, is designed to more accurately represent the unique operations of TCES today, reflecting that we are truly an inclusive and innovative 21st century organisation, which transforms lives through the delivery of sector-leading therapeutic education and a pupil leadership curriculum.

Alongside the corporate changes, the names and logos of our schools and services have been updated to TCES East London, TCES North West London, TCES Create Learning and, our new service TCES Home Learning – bringing inclusiveness and consistency to the look and feel of the entire organisation.

The new logos are crisp, fresh and modern.  Each school and service has their own version, differentiated by colour. Within the logo the ‘E’ represents an adult and child/pupil and reflects the care and attention we put into every individual’s education, as well as the strong relationships built between staff, pupils, parents/carers and our local communities.

At the same time, the new name encompasses our innovative ‘step down’ programme of therapeutic education solutions. These provide the most complex and vulnerable children and young people aged 5-19 years, diagnosed with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs or an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) with effective and bespoke journeys for life and learning.

CEO and Schools’ Proprietor, Thomas Keaney says: “We were aware that it was time to look at rebranding. Having originally started as a social care company back in 1999, we have now transitioned into one of the larger providers of independent education for pupils with co-morbid SEMH needs or ASC. Over the past 20 years, we have supported over 3,000 pupils with our unique therapeutic education and I’m proud to say that this has been without a single permanent exclusion.

“The original name clearly no longer reflected who we are today and what we do. Not wanting to move away from the well-regarded ‘TCES’, we explored what else this might stand for and settled on The Complete Education Solution.

“Our new name and branding is a clear indication that TCES offers a full range of educational pathways, tailored to each pupil. This might start with TCES Home Learning, which educates those children who are unable to physically attend school for a variety of reasons, including severe anxiety and school phobia. Others might join TCES Create Learning that runs parallel to our schools, supporting pupils who are not yet ready to engage with and succeed in formal small group learning environments. Our ultimate goal is to prepare all our pupils, at whatever point they join us, for life beyond TCES, whether that be mainstream school, college or work.”

Along with this change will come a brand new website, suitable for all devices, with a layout which will make it much easier for everyone to access the information they need. More details on the new website will come soon.

To mark the occasion, in addition to our new branding we are relaunching an independent report that was the result of an extensive piece of research by Goldsmiths University of London during our 20th year. The research concludes that TCES has transformed the lives of the UK’s most complex and vulnerable pupils ‘educationally, emotionally and socially’. A powerful blueprint of school practice, to avoid the need to permanently exclude, was provided by TCES alongside the report and can be found here.

To discuss placing a child or young person with us please contact

01 Sep 2020

Record set of GCSE results for pupils across TCES

We’re delighted to announce a record set of results for TCES pupils across the group, including a number of GCSE subjects introduced for the first time during this academic year. This is despite some pupils having to defer taking exams this year due to the COVID 19 restrictions.

• TCES pupils were awarded GCSEs in a broader range of subjects than ever before (9 subjects)

• Highest number of pupils passing both Maths and English GCSE (7 pupils)

• First Engineering GCSE ever (taken within one year)

• First History GCSEs ever, one with a grade 5 (taken within one year)

• First year that pupils have gained double Science GCSE (4 pupils)

These are amazing accomplishments for our pupils, especially taking into account their educational journeys prior to joining TCES. On arrival, pupils will have already – on average – experienced three permanent exclusions, been out of full-time education for up to 18 months and recognised to be substantially at risk of being unemployed, developing severe mental health problems and involvement with the criminal justice system later in life.

Continuing the trend for the past two years, pupils at our TCES North West London school where Creative Arts are a specialism, achieved high grades in Art and Photography. This is especially remarkable as these exam successes included pupils in Y9 and Y10.

We’d like to congratulate all of our GCSE pupils – and thank all of our amazing staff who helped them during a very turbulent year!

Jalal was over the moon when he came into school to collect his results. Now he can go off to college to pursue his dream of becoming a Michelin star chef.

Y10 Bailey was delighted with his grade 7 in GCSE Photography.  He’s now looking forward to starting a Graphic Communication GCSE which he will take next Summer.

30 Jul 2020

Lockdown art wows legends of stage and screen

It’s not every day you get to have your dancing judged by ballroom icon Len Goodman or have Bond actor Colin Salmon comment on your skill at creating powerful characters, but that’s exactly what’s happened for TCES pupils.

Pupils have wowed a team of celebrity judges with their incredible works of art created during lockdown.

The ‘Art of the Possible’ competition was created by TCES Head of Arts Faculty Paul Morris, currently in the running for a National Pearson Teaching Award for his work with SEND children, as a way for children to manage their anxiety and feel a sense of creative calm during lockdown and COVID-19 uncertainty.

Musical theatre legend Elaine Paige, who judged the craft category, says: “Judging the incredible work that TCES pupils have produced during lockdown has been a real honour. It’s clear from the detail, the careful planning and the quite extraordinary use of texture and colour that creating these pieces has been utterly absorbing for the pupils, and it   seems to be that it allowed them to tune out from the anxieties of the last few months.”

Elaine was joined on the judging panel by ballroom icon Len Goodman, Bond actor Colin Salmon, illustrator Fiona Hawthorne and TCES Patron Dame Esther Rantzen.  


The Art of the Possible attracted entries from TCES pupils in a broad range of categories from dance to photography, animation to illustration.  Each entry has been included in a professional virtual art gallery for all to enjoy.

CEO and Schools’ Proprietor Thomas Keaney says: “We recognised the need to pull out all the stops to engage our exceptional pupils with SEND during lockdown. Our children’s experiences mean they often struggle to have a strengths-based perception of themselves at the best of times. This competition was us saying to our pupils that their art is a talent that defies labels, it deserves to be seen, and it deserves to be judged by incredible individuals who have all excelled in their chosen art form.”

Y7 pupil Lee from TCES North West London, who won ‘Judge’s Choice’  in the Art category for his piece entitled Black and White Angel, says: “I enjoyed entering and seeing my work in a virtual exhibition. It was fun to work with fabric paints.”

Y9 pupil Bly from TCES North West London says: “I really liked that my work was reviewed by professional artists.”

TCES’ Patron Dame Esther Rantzen says: “With this competition TCES has shown once again that they can create brilliant projects to support and empower some of our most vulnerable children. The teachers managed to take the time to create this wonderful opportunity for pupils to showcase their art, while at the same time dealing with all the other challenges of COVID and that is testament to their extraordinary commitment. I congratulate all the artists for their stunning pieces, and the staff for their creativity and thoughtfulness.”

Artist Fiona Hawthorne and her actor husband Colin Salmon say: “Thank you for allowing us the privilege of being part of this art competition – we commend the students and teachers for working together to make art, and for giving it a platform for audiences to see.”

Competition categories, judges and recipients of Judge’s Special Prize in each category as follows:

Judge’s Special Prize for craft, judged by Elaine Paige: 


Judge’s Special Prize for photography, judged by Dame Esther Rantzen: Aadam

Judges’ Special Prize for art, judged by Colin Salmon and Fiona Hawthorne: Lee

Judges’ Special Prize for digital art, judged by Colin Salmon and Fiona Hawthorne: Diaz

Judge’s Special Prize for performing arts, judged by Len Goodman: Samim

20 Jul 2020

Parent satisfaction shows the positive impact of TCES Distance Learning

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a huge impact on the education sector – specifically for TCES Group, it has resulted in the creation of an entirely new method of lesson delivery and new bespoke packages for ASC and SEMH pupils.

We have launched our TCES Home Learning service, and pupils have adapted to working at home with the help of our Distance Learning Portal

To ensure we are delivering the highest standard of education from a remote distance, we surveyed our parents back in April to see how our pupils and their parents/carers are getting on, and if we could make any changes to better suit their needs. 

Following this, we have recently surveyed our parents and carers again – and the results have shown that satisfaction has increased, and that TCES Group has adapted superbly to the challenge brought on by the pandemic.

Curriculum satisfaction has increased from an already impressive 88% to 95%, and pupil engagement has also improved from our previous survey conducted in April. Confidence in teachers has risen from 82% to 88%, and fewer parents and carers feel the need for support in assisting the home learning environment. All parents and carers have received regular contact in helping to deliver distance learning.

Helen, a parent at East London Independent School, sent her thank you to “all the staff who are working very hard to pull home schooling resources and lessons together.”

Similarly, Carly, whose son attends Essex Fresh Start, admired “they have always made my son’s learning very personalised, and continued to be mindful of his specific needs throughout.”

If you are a parent or carer of a TCES Group pupil, or have worked alongside TCES Group during this time, we are still open to feedback on our Home Learning and Distance Learning packages, and would gratefully receive any positive thoughts on what has helped you via

01 Jul 2020

Essex Fresh Start pupil Liam says ‘Goodbye’

As the last term of the academic year draws to a close, Essex Fresh Start Independent School pupil Liam – who is leaving the school after completing his final year – has penned the following letter to his teachers and other TCES Group staff:

When I first started EFS…
I had been to nine other schools before this one but this school was different to the others because they accepted me for who I was. I didn’t suddenly become the model student, far from it! In the past three and a half years I have become someone who I am now proud of. I have achieved nationally recognised qualifications and through other people believing in me and my abilities I have also learned to be more confident in myself. I feel I am more ready to move forward to college. It’s strange to think that as I leave Essex Fresh Start, the school will be closing and all of the staff will be leaving at the same time as me. I feel, pupils and staff alike, have been on this journey together and we have all reached our destination and I think we will miss each other a great deal. A positive atmosphere and community spirit constantly sang throughout the school. Our success was because of these things and I feel sorry for all of the children who should’ve been coming here in the future. They will never know what they have missed.


The staff I will miss…
I will miss most of the staff. But there are a few that I will miss a bit more than others.

I will miss Francisco also known as ‘Old Granddad’ because he always wore shoes that looked like something my grandad would wear. He hasn’t worn them much since I gave him his new name! I will miss him but I won’t miss his science lessons!

I will miss ‘Not so Super Sue’ but I won’t miss her singing! and other things as well!! I do wish I had her as my teacher from the start because since she has been my teacher, I have got an amazing education. If I didn’t have Sue, I don’t know what kind of education I would’ve got!

I will miss Ann cause I won’t get her amazing food which is the best school food I have ever had.

I will miss Lisa also known as T Rex because she always hiccups like a T Rex. She is always laughing… and she has such an annoying laugh! I always hide her water bottle which is fun… well for me of course maybe not for her! She always helps me with my work. She always makes me laugh and has always believed in me. She gave me confidence. She did one of her T Rex hiccups when I was doing cooking and scared the hell out of me! We laughed for ages about this!

I remember a time in Aldi when I was with Lisa and Sue. We’d been doing place value and money in maths and Sue asked me where the decimal point goes on a price. Unfortunately, this was about the hundredth time so I told her right where the Sun don’t shine! At which point both Sue and Lisa fell about laughing so badly we all had to leave the shop.

I will miss Sadie, also known as ‘John’ because I will always remember the time when I first started Essex Fresh Start and absconded from school I was charging up the A133 determined to get home back to Ipswich before dinner when a long came Sadie in her Batmobile and drew up alongside me and told me to get in the car now! She brought me back to school, and there was ‘Not so Super Sue’ standing at the front gate, arms folded and a cross look on her face but also with a look of relief when I got out of Sadie’s Batmobile. It’s funny looking back on that, but I realise now how frightening it was for everyone else it just goes to show how hard everyone works in our school community.

My main man Jim, also known as the PE Guru, also known as ‘God’ of football! And ‘God’ of the” guess what!!” Jims whole philosophy is based on “guess what”;

“Guess what…if you do this then that will happen and guess what? … If you do that then that will happen… and guess what? Think about your next move or I will tell you all about yourself!!”

What can I say about Amy also known as ‘John’. We cooked some amazing dishes together. I will never forget the homemade fudge and nor will my family. Or the Caribbean chicken, which my family will also never forget. She helped me with my work and was always on my side. She put up with me and my silly ways and I put up with hers. I will miss her greatly.

I want to talk about what I have learnt…
I have learnt that I can sit in a classroom and learn along with everyone else. I have learnt that I am not that bad at maths after all! I have learnt to form solid relationships with class peers. I have learnt so much that I now help others. I have learnt that I am not that bad after all and people like me, and like having me around mainly Sue because she always needs help when she gets bullied!! I have learnt that I can lead a successful life along with the best of them… Just try and stop me!

I am looking forward to college and beginning the next part off my journey where I will meet new friends and more staff to annoy.

What I will miss…
I will miss having a good relationship with the staff

I will miss every time Lisa has an apple and after 5 minutes she will say sorry just had an Apple cause she always burps and sounds like a T Rex.

I will miss all the sayings we had such as “Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin”. We had the whole class singing it in the end. One of our other sayings was “I’m joking, choking? don’t choke!” Plus I will also miss taking Lisa’s bottle.

I will miss beating Francisco at FIFA every time. I know why he always loses, it’s because of the team he plays with which is Arsenal… he picks a bad team.

I will miss every time Sue goes out of the classroom and I lock her out. When she comes back she always walks into the door, which is funny… well maybe for us but maybe not so funny for ‘Not so Super Sue’.

I will also miss taking Sue’s keys and her cup. I’ll miss the jokes we had and I will definitely miss making her laugh every single day (I will definitely not miss her singing or her karate moves!). I will always remember that I will always be Sue’s favourite student she has ever had!

Year 11
Essex Fresh Start