Not school

‘Don’t think of Notschool as the last place think of it as a stepping stone to greater heights and better things’

From 2005 to 2015 the Inclusion Trust team reached in excess of 10,000 marginalised young people, providing a safe and stimulating virtual place for them to learn, grow and achieve through Not School. In 2007, Notschool was recognised by the OECD as a new model of learning.

Our learners ranged in age from 11 to 18 years. Our target group included KS3 and KS4 learners with SEN, EAL, BESD and those categorised as LAC. We worked with (and still do) marginalised young people, including those with physical or mental health concerns and learning barriers, those from traveler and migrant communities, and those from troubled families.

We continue to recognise that our learners face distinct challenges that prevent them from accessing physical learning settings for a proportion or all of their full time provision entitlement. For this reason Notschool model actively removed the restrictions of timetabled lessons. Instead we offered a truly bespoke learning provision accessible through a secure virtual community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. As such, young people learn at any time of the day best suited to their needs. The online community and technology is adaptable to suit a range of learning disabilities.

From September 2015 we changed the centralised model of Notschool and invested in adapting the HERO Educational platform developed by the WAY Educatonal programme from Michigan USA.  The WAY team had originally visited the UK and built HERO from the UK experience.  The Not-School model is also changed in that Inclusion Trust now seeks to support individual Alternative Provision schools recruit their own online experts and tutors and manage the local interaction with students but within the context of a physical school setting.  For more information on this model see ITrust Learning

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1) Harnessing effective tools.

Bespoke and deep learning is enabled and greatly accelerated by innovations in digital technology. It can be used to break physical and learning barriers; to re-imagine learning, rather than digitizing traditional education practices within a virtual space.

We use an internet-based collaborative network that provides a high level of safeguarding because it is a closed, managed community that can only be controlled by our staff administrator. It also allows us to monitor all activity and link all content to the user from whom it was originally published.

Learning happens through communication, collaboration and interaction, rather than passive observation and, as such, our learning platform offers:

  • Conferences General purpose shared spaces for group collaboration on a wide range of learning topics.
  • Wikis and social networksshared spaces for group communication, collaboration and sharing with teachers and with peers
  • Instant Messaging – to share thoughts, graphics, files, and voice communications.
  • Blogging, Podcasting and Media presentations To publish personal or topic-based blogs and create podcasts, all from within our secure social network.
  • Simulations or animations – to make sense of and create new thinking

2) Reporting of progress in real time

We insist on maintaining a regular dialogue and exchange of information to ensure our collective duty to safeguard and provide the right learning and pastoral support. Every learner is assigned a mentor (qualified teacher) who plays a significant role responding to learning and pastoral queries, offering guidance and advice, and using effective feedback to guide learning and personal development.

Trustees and directors of Inclusion Trust take their safeguarding and child protection duties very seriously. As such, robust policies related to safeguarding and child protection are in place. We operate rigorous quality assurance, and all staff have regular safeguarding and child protection training. We implement a rigorous Safer Recruitment process, carefully vetting all adults working for the charity. We also maintain a single Central Record (SCR) of recruitment and vetting checks covering all staff including those on supplier contracts, temporary internships and others identified as having regular contact with young people.

3) Providing meaningful appropriate qualifications

GCSE – offered in conjunction with referrers:

  • English, Maths, Business Studies, MFL (French, German and Italian), Art and Photography. We are able to support additional GCSEs if required, please enquire for more information.

BTEC – offered in conjunction with referrers:

  • Applied Sciences Level 1 and 2 (Edexcel-Pearson)
  • Computing Level 1 and 2 (Edexcel-Pearson)

Additional Qualifications; from Entry Level to Level 2: 

  • English: Entry Level Certificate in Literacy; Functional Skills; and ESOL
  • Maths: Entry Level Certificate in Numeracy; and Functional Skills
  • ICT: Certificate and Award in IT User Skills; Award in Podcasting; and Award in Music Technology
  • The Arts: Animation; Creative Craft; Art and Design; and Performance Skills
  • Economic, Business and Employment Skills: Employability skills, Travel and Tourism; and Personal Money Management
  • Personal and Social Skills: Effective Thinking Skills; Learning to Learn; Personal and Social Development; Caring for a Child/Children; Childcare and Education; Alcohol Awareness; Sexual Health Awareness; Substance Misuse Awareness; Improving Personal Exercise; Health and Nutrition; Equality and Diversity; Sustainable Development; and Interpersonal Skills


An important publication by @IPPR on state of school exclusions which @InclusionTrust funded as part of its #Legacy

@InclusionTrust closes with a positive message re legacy and lessons learnt in closure #end

In which countries is it hardest for young people to find work in 2016? 35% in some countries. #Youth #hardship