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Alternative provision

"If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn" - Ignacio Estrada

If you're looking for a neurodivergence affirming & trauma informed alternative provision which includes your childs love of animals AND which can be accessed from home, then please read on - we might just be what you've been looking for!

Our unique, canine centred virtual alternative provision provides a tailored educational package for young people who are not educated at school full time due to additional & alternative needs or disabilities.  We are able to offer 1 hour of 1:1 bespoke provision per week for 36 weeks (split into 3 terms of 12) , usually via zoom. 

Why Pawsitive Squad?

  • Program provided by a well qualified & experienced professional with Post graduate micro credential in Online teaching: Accessibility and inclusive learning,  BSc (Hons) Open degree, DIPHE Equine Psychology & Sport Science, Level 5 Dog practitioner diploma as well as 9 years experience as a professional dog trainer, assistance dog owner & disabled parent to two home educated disabled children. 
  • Virtual alternative provision suitable for young people who struggle to leave the home - there's no need for young people to come on camera or verbally communicate. 
  • Option to include full assistance dog training & membership within the alternative provision.
  • Neurodiversity affirming, trauma informed organisation ran by disabled people for disabled people. 
  • ASDAN register centred so the alternative provision, if the young person wishes, can include ASDAN short courses & life skills. Can also offer tutoring through RQF level 2/3 dog qualifications. 

Structure & Goals

We have three stages of learning outcomes. To move onto the next stage we must have met the outcomes of the previous stage, as follows:

Stage 1: Building a working relationship

This includes the young person feeling able to say no and trusting that I will respect this (unless their is a health & safety reason but knowing that I will always explain why), and for the young person to feel safe to express their preferences. As the learning facilitator at this stage we need to develop a clear understanding of what matters to the young person - their hobbies, aspirations, their needs and barriers to learning and what they want to get out of our service. 

Stage 2: Supporting mental health, sensory integration, emotional regulation, self advocacy skills & communication

In stage 2 we use canine assisted activities (such as training the dog & young person to communicate via signing or AAC), assistive tasks and mentoring to explore & support their needs.

This can include teaching them how to teach their dog assistive tasks to promote inepdendence and emotional regulation, such as:

  • deep pressure therapy
  • teaching their dog to interrupt self harm
  • find a support grown up 
  • alert to increasing anxiety
  • fetch assistive items 

We will sometimes be using or building on strategies implemented by health services (including private OT's) or other educational facilities i (for example strategies being implemented by Equine facilitated learning centres) as long as the young person finds these approaches helpful and they're not ABA/PBS or other strategies which are likely to prove harmful. Our aims are never behaviourist or compliance centred.  

For some young people stage 2 will be very short if they already have the support & tools in place to meet their needs and are now able to re-engage with an educational service which supports their way of learning. 

Stage 3: Developing relevant life, academic & employability skills as appropriate

At stage 3, the young person will start working towards relevant life skills, academic and/or employability skills. We tailor this stage to the learning style of the young person. Our learners who are wonderful self directed learners can completely decide for themselves what they want to learn and we take the role of facilitator, equally for learners who do best with parallel learning, we can both complete the same activity alongside one another or we can make suggestions and offer choices of topics and activities. It really is completely tailored to what is right for that learner. 

 At this stage, if appropriate for the young person we encourage them to begin to create a learning record in a format that works for them (e.g. learning log, photo diary etc).

Equipment required

The equipment required will differ hugely depending on what the young person would like to be doing in our sessions, but a minimum require:
  • A dog
  • Dog treats, lead & harness
  • A computer or tablet/IPAD than can be used to access zoom with webcam & microphone
  • A termly budget of ¬£30 for equipment you might need for creative projects, ingredients for baking etc. 


Our sessions currently run on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Morning. 

Application process

Step 1: Please download the proposal and quote to submit to your school or local authority. 

Proposal and quotation for 1 1 bespoke alternative provision with Pawsitive Squad CIC.pdf

Step 2: LA/ school to complete due diligence checks. Once a commissioner agrees in principle to fund us they will usually require checks off DBS, insurance etc. Luckily we have a file ready to send across with copies of everything they should need so this stage should go quickly from our end. 

Step 3: Once provision has been agreed and is ready to be funded, let us know via email at enquiries@pawsitivesquad.co.uk, at this point we will either give you a start date or add you to the waiting list depending on space. 

©copyright 2018-2022 Pawsitive Squad CIC.

All rights Reserved.

Pawsitive Squad is a registered community interest company (non profit organisation) number 1145 1119 (England and Wales)


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