An effective service for a new age...
In May 2013 Richard left the local authority he worked for and founded The Root Of It, a special needs support service for schools.
In his first month, Richard had four hours paid work through The Root Of It, taking part time work elsewhere, however he was busy building the foundations for the team. He devoted hundreds of hours to recruiting the most dynamic, experienced and specialist local professionals to work together in a way that people have only ever dreamed of before. Schools and colleges will be familiar with waiting lists for accessing services for children and increasingly hard to meet referral thresholds for services that were available for children. Richard decided to throw away the rule book and build a team with professionals from all of these different services to help children with special needs, so that there would be no barriers to accessing the support that a challenging or vulnerable child needs.
Richard’s team were proud to achieve 92.7% successful outcomes for children and families they supported in 2013-14 and 98.06% in 2014-15. The Root Of It is a nationally recognised school support provider across the UK. In 2014 The Root Of It also launched the National Special Educational Needs Awards (renamed to the National Special Educational Needs and Disability Awards in 2018), an annual free to enter celebration of good practice in the education system.
Recognising the increasing need for mental health training and support, Richard decided to focus the direction of the team on social, emotional and mental health solutions. In 2015, they launched their first programme, a course for training support staff in primary or secondary schools to assess social and emotional needs and deliver effective interventions to address them.
In 2016, the team's work continued to grow and their mentoring training wing, The Mentoring School, was formally launched. They offer a suite of mentoring courses in various different sectors and finally partnered with OpenAwards in 2019 to make many of them regulated qualifications.
2019 also saw the launch of the Mental Health and Well-being Awards, UK-wide celebration of inspirational stories about mental health individuals, teams, projects and organisations.