Open Door and Highgate Wood School

I met with Open Door yesterday – which literally opens its doors to young people in trouble. It is a charity and has to scrabble for funding grants and pots and donations – but delivers the most incredible service to young people who need talking therapies to hold them safe as life’s challenges destabilise them on their passage to adulthood.

This is a centre of excellence in terms of the quality of the staff and a truly professional organisation in an area where there is a need for real professionalism. With so many quasi-professionals offering a variety of counselling in a variety of circumstances with very little oversight or supervision, there has to be a concern about standards, training and outcome.

So when you have an excellent local organisation working in a key area, you would have thought that Haringey Council would welcome Open Door with open arms. And yet, my understanding is that they won’t even agree to meet with them to see how Open Door can be involved and engaged in this area.

Lord knows, I get so much traffic on issues around young people and behaviour – I can only assume that the Council is so big that it doesn’t truly understand how to involve and engage organisations like Open Door. I will write to Sharon Shoesmith – Director of Childrens’ Services – to try and orchestrate a meeting between the Council and Open Door. I have no doubt that this could be a very beneficial engagement – particularly if they can be involved with schools and the well-being of young people. Early intervention in terms of support for those who without such support may go on to a lifetime of troubles seems like a good idea to me!

Then it was straight on to meet the new Headmaster of Highgate Wood School. Patrick Cozier seems a very good thing to me and in the end, it is the enthusiasm and vision of the Head that plays such a large role in inspiring the staff and the pupils and the school. He seemed very clued up as to relations with the local community. Take the recent hoo-haa over flood-lighting for example – where the local papers describe it as a sort of war. In reality he and staff are meeting and working with local residents and local residents’ associations. Schools always bring hazards for those living close by – but a Head who understands and wants to work with the community is half the battle. And the other half is his ambition to inspire the school to improving results in line with other schools in the borough. So – I hope to help wherever I can and look forward to working with Mr Cozier, the staff and the pupils.

And finally – I had an American shadow me the other day and she blogged me! You can read about here experience at

0 thoughts on “Open Door and Highgate Wood School

  1. Pingback: The coalition agreement: public health and schools