In the RAIS team, we share a vision about how people flourish and the climate that sustains individuals.  We believe in listening, empathizing, encouraging and communicating with all those involved in the care and education of the child.  The basis of our work is inquiry and dialogue.

We see this vision as being epitomized by the concept of ‘Radical Encouragement’ a view that promoted dispositions that support the intellectual and social growth of the individual and benefit the community.

RAIS works with the person, where they are and helps them to construct new learning and understanding in a context of mutual respect.  Our work is also featured in many assessment tests such as GED practice tests (

The quality of the learning experience and constructive relationships are the keys to learning and the consultants for the RAIS project spend time with their clients preparing and delivering training and support.  As the training becomes more deeply embedded there are opportunities to build capacity so that children and adults can become coaches for one another and so we can build a self-sustaining cycle of growth and aspirations.

RAIS maintains a clear identity and prides itself in building networks with other agencies.  Our climate of Radical Encouragement is created by clear lines of communication and sustainable staff development.  Our work takes place in a climate of enjoyment and support where effort is praised and fear of failure is minimized.

All of our courses are designed with sensitivity to present provision, an understanding of the target group, and with reference to outstanding examples in other areas.  Thus parents learn from other parents; professionals in one field learn from professionals in another field, and adults learn from children.


The model of Continuing Professional Development that is offered by RAIS is radical, working at the roots of people’s perceptions and thinking, and challenging to current models.

RAIS continues to be a recognized provider of quality, up to date and relevant training.


RAIS wins Outstanding Achievement Award

In November, RAIS was presented with an award from Northumberland Strategic Partnership in special recognition of the outstanding contribution made to raising the self-esteem and expectations of the children and young people in Northumberland.

Raising aspirations and self-esteem is about changing attitudes and, as the government knows, changing attitudes is a long-term process that requires vision, dedication, and support. It took almost 40 years for the government to change the attitudes of people into wearing seatbelts, and if the expensive advertisements are anything to go by, it is taking a similar effort to change people’s attitude to drink-driving. So, at RAIS we are delighted that a shift in attitude is already detected in many areas in Northumberland.

We want the very best for our children and young people, but we know that this is not enough; the young people themselves need to believe that they have a fighting chance of achieving their
avoid riskaspirations – a belief that is lacking in many of our local youngsters. So, our project is about firstly helping our youth to raise their expectations and aspirations and then to support them in the development of skills and abilities needed to achieve those goals. In the six years that we have been working to this end, we have had many high-points and receiving this award is one of them.

Read more about the concept of ‘Radical Encouragement’  and the RAIS project here.