Jo Slifi - Creating Impact by Finding Ways to Delight and Engage Our Most Vulnerable Students

About the Session

My first job as a school-leaver was in the hospitality industry, I trained as a Barista at Costa Coffee. It was actually quite scary. During the final training session I had to make a cappuccino in a glass cup for a stern Italian stakeholder with just the right ratio of froth-to-milk in order to pass. Staff at Costa Coffee were relentlessly encouraged to find ways to ‘delight’ their customers and this is an attitude I snuck back into education with me years later. Over the past decade or so I have made it my mission to find ways to ‘delight’ our students and I’ve been surprised at how successful this has been in supporting re-engagement and cultivating a culture of belonging.

About Jo

Jo Slifi has worked in secondary education and AP for the last 10 years and currently leads the Orchard House provision at Aspire AP. Orchard House is a short-term, specialist provision for secondary students unable to access their mainstream education due to mental health difficulties.  Jo was a ‘hard to reach’ student herself and an early school leaver. Jo sampled several career paths before following her heart back into further education and, eventually, school again. Luckily there were some lessons to be learned from industry that translated well into the classroom. Jo is passionate about re-engaging school refusers and those who have had a hard time experiencing success in the UK school system.

Follow @johannahslifi on Twitter.

Jo Slifi

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