Tara Gretton of Solution Revolution offers a unique approach to helping students achieve their best hopes
Tara Gretton’s work as a solution focused practitioner with Solution Revolution sees her working with schools and organisations across the Bath region, helping staff and pupils to achieve their hoped-for change. It places people as experts in their own lives, whilst allowing them to build on their existing strengths and capabilities, and achieve their desired outcomes.
Mum of two Tara has been a solution focused practitioner and social worker since 2004, and has a clear belief that no one is defined by their difficulties, we are all experts in our own lives and that change is possible.
Tara describes being a solution focused practitioner as offering a compassionate approach, enabling conversations focused on what’s hoped for and what people can do, not on what they can’t do. This, she explains, makes all the difference to children and young people, as they are able to become agents of their own change and their self-efficacy increases.
Tara works with schools and other organisations across the Bath area, offering weekly workshops to provide therapy, training and group work throughout the year. Among these school connections is an ongoing working relationship with Susie Ingram, the Sixth Form Pastoral Manager and Mental Health Champion at Beechen Cliff School. “After meeting with Susie, it soon became clear that we shared a passion for creating compassionate environments in schools,” recalls Tara. “As a result of our initial meeting, I have now trained Susie to be a solution focused practitioner and I have worked with more than 200 staff, students and parents in the solution focused approach.” Working alongside Susie and the rest of the Mental Wellbeing Team which includes students, Tara aims to embed the solution focused approach across the school.
“I always start from the perspective that we can all have solution focused conversations in our everyday interactions,” said Tara. “This allows me to work within schools to make this approach accessible to all staff and to build on what the school does well already. I have a huge respect for the work that schools do, which allows me to evolve my training so that teachers, staff and students can experience the impact of solution focused learning and have the tools to carry on the training at their fingertips.
“For example, working with Beechen is an absolute joy. Susie Ingram, Polly Netto, James Oldham and Andrew Davies, as well as the students and the rest of the mental wellbeing team’s belief in and care for their school community is palpable. In fact, it’s the involvement of the students at every stage of the work that has been absolutely key in the development of embedding the solution focused approach across the school.”
“Tara’s work at Beechen has been a crucial part of our mental health provision in the last three years,” said James Oldham, Head of Sixth Form and Safeguarding Lead at Beechen Cliff. “Both her direct work with children and the capacity she has added through training staff and shaping our strategy have made a significant impact. The solution focused approach now pervades the school and we are enormously excited about the difference it will continue to make to the wellbeing of our community.”