On Thursday 4 March 2010, The School & Family Works was launched at 11 Downing Street at an event hosted by Mrs Maggie Darling.
“What a remarkably unconventional company launch at No 10! Mark Griffiths engaged his audience with interactive game playing and had us all quickly and acutely aware of the power and difficulty of achieving effective interpersonal communication. He conveyed very well how his progressive approach to family group therapy produces lasting and positive change in the parent as well as the child, and it was great to see the children and mothers from some of his family groups at the launch. It gave the day a very warm and real edge. A very inspiring and memorable company launch.”
Baz and Ruth van Cranenburgh.
Children and families, local authority representatives and school staff were joined by George Hosking of The WAVE Trust, Ken Livingstone, representatives from The Department for Children Schools and Families, Institute of Education, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Department of Health, New Scotland Yard, Mark Johnson (‘Wasted’, User Voice), Dr Heather Geddes (‘Attachment in the Classroom’), OPM, The Nowhere Foundation, The Place2Be, The Marlborough Family Service, journalists from The Guardian, The Big Issue and Channel 4 News and many other guests. All those who attended share a belief in the need to break patterns of social exclusion and promote early intervention.
"It was a real pleasure to meet your Feltham families - they were incredibly brave to come and join the party. I do wish you and The School & Family Works well. It is, I think, a pioneer in what needs to be done.
“Thank you so much for a lovely afternoon – I very much look forward to seeing how it all grows. Wonderful stuff!”
Fundraising Executive - The Place2Be
“I felt very moved by the openness and frankness and the ability to be really reflective that I saw in the film. It made me feel even more hopeful about the work in my school. Thank you again and I really hope that our family group grows into something as insightful - developing real reflective capacity - as the one we witnessed on your film! I am sure it will!”
Headteacher - Ambler School and Children's Centre
“Best of luck and I am hopeful that funding will allow us to work together with families again.”
Headteacher - Feltham Community College
“Hi Mark. You did a fantastic job and I was so proud of our parents and the children - and of you too! Thank you so much.”
Forge Lane Primary School
“What a success! A fantastic day. The children, parents and I are still reeling. You combined the whole glorious affair with lots of learning and wisdom – as always food for thought. I was struck afresh as I watched the children and the parents by just how far they have all come - and it is thanks to the work you have done with them.”
Head Teacher - Oriel Primary School
“Thank you for inviting us to such a moving and inspirational event. You provided such an all round experience that people cannot fail to be impressed. Meeting the families was so exciting for us, not to mention the teachers that work with you. Hearty congratulations and I hope our partnership continues.”
Consultant - Systemic Psychotherapist, Head of Marlborough Family Education Centre
“I talked to several children and parents during the afternoon and it is clear that your approach has worked for them in ways that others have not. Supporting them to work together with other families to understand where and how to make changes in their behaviours and, in the process, gaining in confidence, resilience and understanding is extremely important work especially when done with young children before their difficulties become entrenched.”
Commissioning Support Programme Director – Office for Public Management
“I thought your planning of the events with the activities and families was a stroke of genius. Your presentation really touched the crowd.”
Systemic Family Therapist and Board Member
“From the illustrations of your Marlborough group, it did seem to me that this was a dramatic example of how the therapist, the parent and the teacher could work together to achieve real change in the lives of all those involved. This is important work. Thank you for the privilege of being part of the launch day - I am convinced.”
Visiting Fellow, Bristol University Graduate School of Education and Fellow of the Centre for Social Policy at Dartington.
"The launch at 11 Downing Street gave me an opportunity to find out more about the work of The School & Family Works and speak to those whose lives had been changed through engagement with them. What I found was exciting and innovative, and supports the Every Child Matters agenda of supporting early intervention with children and young people - and it is learning that I will take back to the Metropolitan Police Service."
Deputy Head Crime Prevention - New Scotland Yard
“Thank you for inviting me to experience such an inspiring example of witnessing still further the possibilities of promoting the potential of such vital partnership as that between school and family. The experience certainly further enriched both my own personal as my professional awareness of how much more can - and has got to - be achieved by and for both 'sides' to meet the growing and learning needs specially of vulnerable children, as, of course, of all others of those working and living with them.”