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The power of TLC;Special needs

A research project evaluating Total Learning Challenge has shown significant improvements in children. To assess the programme, 122 pupils aged eight to 12 were divided into two groups, one following curriculum studies group work over a 10-week period, the other using the TLC methodology.

Assessments were made of the children over a three-year period from three pers-pectives: teachers, parents and the children themselves. Each was asked questions about emotional and behav-ioural states experienced before involvement in the programmes and at regular intervals afterwards.

Researcher Rob Johnson found that all children benefited from group work as opposed to the more conven-tional individual work. The TLC group (doing dramatherapy) improved by 24.4 points, the curriculum studies group by 19.7 points.

As an educational charity, TLC receives most of its funding from philanthropic trusts and the NHS. Research funding comes from the NHS Executive. It is waiting to hear from Newcastle and North Tyneside on whether they will buy in TLC's serv-ices across the two authorities.

TLC is setting up an intervention programme in the new Newcastle Education Action Zone over a two-year period, which will be based at Firfield Community School in northwest Newcastle.

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