31 Dec New Year’s Honour for Mark Escott
Students and staff at School for Inspiring Talents are celebrating the start of 2023 with the news that our proprietor, Mark Escott, has been recognised in the King’s first New Year’s Honours list.
Mark founded School for Inspiring Talents in 2014, alongside Judith Johnson and Dave Strudwick. Mark has been awarded the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for his commitment to education in the South West.
Mark Escott is also the best-selling author of ‘One More Life Chance’, which details how his own troubled childhood gave him a unique insight into childhood trauma and inspired him to enable better life chances for young people. Despite this turbulent start in life, he went on to carve out an impressive career as a child and adolescent behaviour specialist, working therapeutically with young people and families within the Social Care, Health and Education sectors.
In 2014 he set up School for Inspiring Talents, an independent day school where specialist educational, therapeutic and support staff work together to create a nurturing environment, working with young people and families who have experienced trauma. Our core values are to ‘care, nurture and inspire’ with a therapeutic approach to education that enables children to overcome their barriers to learning. We were the first school in the UK to be awarded the Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools Award and in 2022 SfIT were shortlisted for the prestigious TES Awards as Specialist Provision of the year. The school now has sites in Newton Abbot and Ashburton, supporting nearly 70 children who travel from areas across South Devon to attend our specialist provision, including Plymouth, Ivybridge, Exeter, Torbay and Dartmoor.
The Life Chance Group continues to expand its education, training, and outreach services to transform the life chances of children and young people in our communities. Life Chance Training provides best-practice for other education and care professionals, Life Chance Care offers assessments to help families and schools support children with SEMH needs, and the new charity, Life Chance Trust, supports 16-25 year olds with mentoring and life-skills, to be the best they can be.
Mark Escott says: “I feel quite humbled by this news – it’s already been a huge journey for me, from being a troubled teenager and school drop-out to being the co-founder of a school that actively supports children who have experienced trauma and gives them chances to thrive. I’m looking forward to sharing this with my own children, but also with the students at the School; to show them you really can achieve more than you ever thought possible.”
Life Chance Group’s CEO, Hannah Moon says: “Everyone here at Life Chance and School for Inspiring Talents will be delighted by this news; it is well-deserved recognition for Mark, who has dedicated so much time and enthusiasm to creating a nurturing school environment that enables children to get the very best support and opportunities, helping young people who, like Mark, were in danger of slipping through the net of mainstream education.”