Re-engagement Unit - information for schools

What is the Re-engagement Unit?

The Re-engagement Unit (REU) is a school support service that provides a rapid response to all maintained primary schools in Hackney. It undertakes a systemic approach to delivering support to children at risk of exclusion, through building a partnership with the school, family and child to create a framework to support change.

The REU is made up of multi-skilled education professionals with a wide range of experience in developing and implementing practical strategies for inclusion.

Why would we use it?

  • You may have a high level of concern around the behaviour and wellbeing of a child
  • A child may have previously been issued with one or more fixed term exclusions
  • Other interventions may have been tried with little impact
  • There may have been a sudden change in a child's behaviour or engagement with learning

How does it work?

The REU supports schools with their most complex cases. A school can expect prompt, skilled support in developing personalised, consistent approaches to support the inclusion of at-risk children. Schools should provide evidence of intervention previously applied consistently and tracked over time in order for the REU to assess areas of strength and difficulty. This is commonly in the form of two reviews of a Pastoral Support Plan.

Each child and school will have a unique pathway depending upon their needs. Following a referral, the school will need to complete a screening conversation over the phone. Following this the case will be allocated to an REU worker, who will complete observations of the child and learning environment. The school will then agree a scope of work together with the REU worker in the contracting meeting. The school will decide where the plan around the child will be held. The REU recommends use of PSPs.

The REU will be an active participant in the planning and reviewing process of a plan around the child. The REU worker will also take on action points to support change. This may involve personalising some classroom or school practices and systems. Once initiated, the REU worker will be involved for a period of 8 weeks. Following this the REU worker will withdraw, and the school will be expected to continue the reviewing and implementation process of the plan.

The REU has an outstanding track record in delivering positive, sustainable outcomes for the child, school and family. Where appropriate, the REU will draw on and access a broad range of partnership services. This could include working with the school educational psychologist, Young Hackney, CSC or CAMHS. The REU’s key focus will always be on supporting the school and engagement with learning in the classroom.

REU referral process 2022/23

1. Child identified 

School identify a child who is either at risk of exclusion of they have seen a chance in behaviour of presentation. 

School could then decide that a referral to the REU could be useful. This identification would ideally be part of your multi agency planning meeting (MAP), however referrals can happen outside of this process. 

2. Screening call 

School would then call the REU on 07717 581 394 for a screening call, or send an email to

If you send an email, either the REU manager or a cluster lead will call you to discuss the case within 24 hours of the email being received.

3. Referral form 

Once a screening call was completed, the REU business support officer (BSO) will email a referral form. This can be completed by anyone in school and sent back to the BSO.

School will also need to gain verbal consent from the family and record it on the referral form. 

4. Case starts

Within 24 hours of the screening call, if the case if taken on by the REU, the cluster lead will allocate a worker. They will then organise initial observations alongside any other actions outlines in the screening call. 

How to find out more

If you would like to discuss suitability of a case, set up an initial meeting or observation, please contact:


Joe Metcalf-McQueeney, Re-engagement Unit Manager

020 8820 7133