Case Study
· UK · Alternative Provision

Barton Moss Secure Children's Home

Barton Moss

Since the Autumn of 2023, Lexonik has been working with staff and young people at the Barton Moss Secure Care Centre in Salford.

Here, Head of Learning Heidi Vause talks more about that powerful relationship and the superb results being seen with young programme participants.

Tell us about Barton Moss. Who does it cater for, and what makes it so special in terms of its requirement for education support?

We’re a 27-bed secure unit, run by Salford City Council Children’s Services.

The beds are contracted to the Youth Custody Service, which means we see boys placed with us who have been remanded or sentenced by the criminal courts.

What age group of young people will find themselves staying within your facility and for how long?

They could be anywhere between 11 and 18, so clearly, from a teaching perspective, that’s quite a breadth to consider.

Their duration of stay might be as brief as a few months, or it could be as long as five years.

Given there’s clearly an obligation and moral imperative to ensure these young people have the chance to learn and to develop core skills, your task is obviously to present classes or programmes which will achieve positive outcomes – in whatever timeframe you have.

Was this a feature of what led you to explore Lexonik?

Yes. I had heard great things about Lexonik via a colleague and was really keen to understand whether it was something we could deploy within our environment.

It had become increasingly evident to me that so many of our boys had gaps in their phonic ability and generally low literacy.

The chance to use their time with us to help support reading and improve their life chances – well, it’s just too good an opportunity for us not to seek a way of making that happen.

What were you seeking in particular?

A programme which had age-appropriate materials and wouldn’t be considered by our 18-year-olds to be ‘patronising’. It would also need to be easy to implement, not least because we have a small team and a limited timetable.

What were your first steps to investigating the options?

We invited Sarah Ledger (Lexonik CEO) into Barton Moss to tell us about the various Lexonik programmes and to help us understand what might be possible by way of delivering impactful programmes.

It was important to us that we had the chance to share with her a true picture about the level of need and some of the issues which might present themselves in terms of delivery of a structured programme.

Were you conscious of any potential complexities or nuances specific to your setting which might have affected the delivery of Lexonik programmes?


Barton Moss sees a broad age range, so the issue around age-appropriate material is key, but equally, we’re always aware that someone might be with us on remand, return to court, and then get released.

For that reason, it means we’re conscious of never being completely sure the duration for which a young person can be committed to seeing the programme through.

How easy was it to implement Lexonik into Barton Moss and your timetable once you had made the decision?

It was all straightforward, and, in fact, that was one of the aspects which impressed me – that it was so easy to do the onboarding for us.

Kate Jones (Lexonik Quality Assurance & Delivery Senior Manager) came into Barton Moss and delivered training for myself and my staff, and we started implementing just after Christmas.

We selected children who had a standardised score below 85.

Can you tell us more about the training?

It was just brilliant. It encouraged us to go through some uncomfortable experiences and insights around seeing how the child would be feeling.

A lot of us are not phonics trained, so it was brilliant at helping us gain that knowledge.

In what form are you operating Lexonik programmes at the current time?

We have nine young people engaged in the programme, using Lexonik Leap. They’re aged between 14 and 17.

They get three 20-minute sessions a week built into their timetable, and they’re really seeing the benefits.

Are you able to dig into the data yet, to know just how significant the impact has been?

It’s a little too early, however we’ve had one lad pass before he left us, and we’re able to access the Cloud and see for ourselves that everyone is making progress.

What’s next?

We’ve just started using the induction system with the diagnostic assessment, and we’ve made the decision to purchase Flex.

Ultimately, I want to embed it into the school even further. The dream is to get even our residential staff trained in it too. I want them to be part of the journey we’re having with our young people.

You clearly feel this is such an important commitment to those who come to Barton Moss?

I absolutely do.

I want people to be a Beacon, where people learn from us and the way we’re doing things.

I’m completely convinced that reading is a key for so many things in life, and that if we can get young people successfully through this programme, it will be an aid in them having a better life when they leave. It will be one more thing which just might give them a chance to make healthy progress in the world, and not reoffend.

Anything else you want to add about the programme or about Lexonik?

I just want to say to anyone who is considering Lexonik, that they really should give it a look.

There are a lot of programmes out there, but the results with this are rapid, and it makes for positive outcomes for the young people, and for your teachers too. Everyone wins.

And over and above that, I just want to praise the Lexonik team. They’re great. They’re always so responsive and very much treat you as a unique case. They want you to be successful.

If your from a school, college, alternate provision or secure home and feel like your learners could benefit from Lexonik programmes get in touch here.