Witherslack Group Employee Reviews

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1.0
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Just don't work here.
Takeaway Assistant (Former Employee) –  Wakefield, West Yorkshire15 October 2018
Appalling company to work for. The headteacher is rude arrogant and unprofessional. I was forced to resign after many months of attempting to reconcile. I went through the grievance policy but nothing was done and I was put in a very dangerous situation with a child who was attacking me, without radios or support. The management don't help anyone other than their selves , and they often only stay around 3-5 months before they're shipped out.

Do yourself a favour and avoid this company at all costs.
Pros
Leaving.
Cons
Too many to name. But the headteacher mainly.
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1.0
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Stressful working environments.
T.a (Former Employee) –  Lancashire2 October 2018
AVOID AVOID AVOID.
Staff are left in vulnerable situations. And potentially at risk of allegations. When addressing these issues to line managers. They dont take it seriously. Regret working for the company. They dont look after their staff when in the working environment. Expect to be hit and abused by kids. Very stressful work environment. With no support from management. Too busy going to meetings and watching staff in situations rather than guiding them and building confidence of their team.please dont take the risk with this company. They will discipline you for practically nothing and will destroy your good work record.
Pros
Free lunches
Cons
Stressful. No support. Left in vulnerable situations
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Official response from Witherslack Group
10 October 2018

We are incredibly sorry to hear concerns like this expressed about our company as an employer. We pride ourselves on inclusivity, employee (as well as children) safeguarding and providing a supportive working environment that encourages our people to thrive. So please rest assured that we take your feedback with the utmost seriousness. I would like to invite you to contact me directly to give me a greater understanding of the specifics of your experience so that we can potentially investigate it further. My email address is Samantha.hankinson@witherlsackgroup.co.uk

1.0
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Dont do it
Teaching Assistant (Current Employee) –  York, North Yorkshire25 September 2018
Not a good company to work for. Very clicky in management if your face fits your laughing. They look great on paper but dont deliver what they preach. Worst company i have ever worked for. Seen too many people broken then stitched up. Staff over worked and under appreciated. Too much paperwork and not enough time in the day to complete, very long days
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Official response from Witherslack Group
10 October 2018

We are continually working to develop the way we engage with our people as the business grows and your feedback is of real value to us. On behalf of Witherslack, I am sorry that you feel your experience of working here was not what it should have been and I hope we are able to help to address that retrospectively. Please contact me directly on Samantha.hankinson@witherslackgroup.co.uk

5.0
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Great Team of people
SEN's Teaching Assistant (Former Employee) –  Thame9 September 2018
Hard work and mentally taxing, though the support from colleagues helps. the role is challenging but has taught me alot about my self and my ability to adapt to something new.
Pros
free lunches
Cons
no work life balance
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5.0
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Positive outcomes for young people
Team Leader (Former Employee) –  North East - Oakwood view15 June 2018
My experiences of working at WG was positive which I feel was aided by working at Oakwood View, within this home all the young people make significant progress from their starting points. This was achieved by the home operating a nurturing environment in which the staff team hold high aspirations for the young people.

There is a strong and skilled senior management team in place that places significant emphasises around practicing within a child centred approach. The senior management team competently achieve the required balance around meeting the needs of the young people and the staff team in order to achieve the very best outcomes for the home. This approach is reflective of the multiple outstanding ofsted rating the home has achieved.

Three specialist areas (residential, education and therapy) provide a team around the child approach tailored to each young person’s specific needs within an integrated provision, in which all the staff team are fully aware of their responsibilities in working towards the identified objectives.

There are high expectations placed upon the staff team in terms of the required high standards of practice which is inclusive of high volumes of paperwork. These high standards are aligned to achieving positive outcomes for the young people and are overseen by a number of governance procedures to prevent the standards from dropping below the required levels.

As there was a very strong and experienced senior management team in place which on a personal level prevented any promotional opportunities above the level I was employed at, resulting
  more... in leaving the organisation to pursue my career with another organisation, otherwise I would not have considered leaving Oakwood View.  less
Pros
Excellent staff salary and benefits, Good support networks, strong senior management in post
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2.0
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No leadership, no time
Support Worker (Former Employee) –  Heighington26 May 2018
Copious amounts of paper work with no time to complete as you are constantly sent out with the children to make other staff lives easy.
Huge blame culture with clicks. Management expecting you to stay up when on sleeps to bring files up to date.
Furthest thing from a team lots of individuals and back biting.
Cons
Long shifts, all of above.
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Official response from Witherslack Group
18 June 2018

We are sorry to hear your felt this was your experience working with us. Witherslack Group is committed to creating environments where the our teams and young people can thrive. Our Residential Support Worker roles do have an administrative element, to comply for regulatory and policy requirements. We believe in strong team work and staff development, which also creates environments for young people to achieve the best possible outcomes. This is echoed in our recent staff surveys in the North East. We actively encourage our staff to raise concerns with our management team to allow us to address any points raised.

3.0
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Its ok for the right person
Residential Support Worker (Current Employee) –  Lancashire18 April 2018
The job was great to start with but now you defantly get the impression that it only cares about money and not to much about making sure the young people succeed in life.
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Official response from Witherslack Group
27 April 2018

We are very sorry to hear you feel like this. At Witherslack Group we pride ourselves on creating the best possible outcomes for our young people. All profit made by the Group is reinvested to ensure we provide top quality services and can open new establishments, with our young people at the centre. This is evident in young people's happiness and levels of engagement in placement, along with our "best in the sector" Ofsted ratings.

4.0
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Challenging yet rewarding
Special Support Assistant (Former Employee) –  Lancashire14 January 2018
Working here provides toy with a rewarding experience that will help you acquire new skills. Certain aspects could be better but you will have figure that out for yourself.
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5.0
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Supportive Management
School Driver (Current Employee) –  Liverpool14 August 2017
All staff support each other 100%, the work is non stop but rewarding, and an extremely approachable and supportive management help with the difficult tasks undertaken in school.
Pros
Good teamwork ethos
Cons
Long split shift hours
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4.0
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A good company initially very personabale however changed as develoepd.
Deputy M (Former Employee) –  Carn7 July 2017
I worked for the group for a number of years, a lead in the industry with very developed practices & approaches. Initially a very personable company however as time progressed & there were developments this disappeared & they became more focused on profit than outcomes.
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5.0
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Best company I have ever worked for.
Manager (Current Employee) –  Kendal, Cumbria22 June 2017
Fantastic team of people who are truly dedicated to the work they do. The induction and then ongoing development opportunities are great and there is a high level of support. The benefits that the Group offer are amongst the best in the sector. The level of committment that colleagues show to making a difference to the life opportunities of every child and young person is amazing and whilst the work is challenging, the rewards that come from the intercation with children and young people is what it is all about.
Pros
Fantastic colleagues and great benefits. Opportunity to make a real difference.
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1.0
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Not what was expected
Teacher of Science (Former Employee) –  Oxfordshire19 May 2017
Having gone to Witherslack Group from mainstream education, I expected specialist training and resources. However the only thing concerning the management seemed to be an "outstanding" rating so that they could compete with other similar providers in the locality for the large income streams these students generated. So they were taught mainstream GCSE subjects, the only difference being that they had burly gentlemen that could hold the students still when they became frustrated, in a manner that they would be not able to in mainstream education. I would encourage people to err on the side of caution and before applying, really check out how these places operate and speak to a few different teachers/TAs. Saying that, many of the stressed out teachers and TAs did a fantastic job in extremely difficult circumstances, some going in on Sundays to meet ridiculous workloads. I was disappointed to discover that the bottom line was financial and resigned after two terms to return to mainstream teaching.
Pros
Some great kids
Cons
Management expect the Earth with little input from them.
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1.0
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Who you know - NOT what you know
Office staff (Current Employee) –  Cumbria22 March 2017
The quality of care that I originally respected and was proud of in the company no longer seems to be there - the emphasis is on finance and how much money they can bring in. The quality of care and work standards seem to be the least significant aspect now of the role and staff morale is low with many staff becoming disillusioned with their working environment.

Staff who work above and beyond their grade are ignored when it comes to advancement in the company and its 'who you know' that is deemed more important with those people being put into more senior management positions or promoted without the relevant experience or qualifications.

Overall NOT a company I would recommend to anyone as an employer.
Pros
Colleagues
Cons
Too many to list
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2.0
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Tough and draining environment
Resdiential Support Worker (Current Employee) –  Lancaster16 December 2016
A job I enjoy that is at times very difficult, with a number of children who have complex issues. However, the feeling when a young person who has trust issues says thanks or looks happy makes the job worthwhile
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5.0
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Best company I have worked for
Marketing Manager (Current Employee) –  Cumbria19 August 2016
I have worked for the Witherslack Group for nearly 3 years. My experience in that time is a completely positive one and I look back now and think the decision I made to join the Group was one of the best I have ever made. They encourage development, support you to do your best work and provide you with the resources to not only do your job but try new things and learn new skills.

If you're someone who wants to work hard, deliver to high standards and work as part of a strong team I would recommend you considering Witherslack Group.

I cannot think of a negative aspect to my time in role.
Pros
Great leadership, continual expansion and development, fantastic ethos, brilliant fun.
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5.0
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A forward thinking child care & education, which provide child centred care
Manager (Current Employee) –  Lupton16 August 2016
Being new to the organisation I have experienced an exceptional welcome and induction process.
I was attracted to the organisation due to the fact they don't shy away from complex and difficult cases, if they feel they can really make a difference to that child fulfilling their maximum potential.
The office environment, the schools and homes are all warm and welcoming environments, I am pleased to have started my career with Witherslack Group.
Pros
Working Environment, co-workers
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5.0
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Great atmosphere great management
Residential Support Worker (Former Employee) –  Chorley2 July 2016
I enjoyed working here at witherslack , it was like having a big family.Great encouragement from the company to exceed and grow,Great benefits.
Pros
Great incentives
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4.0
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Rewarding and fulfilling position
Residential Support Worker (Former Employee) –  Lancashire2 January 2016
Working as part of a small team allowed me to develop positively when working with children. The requirements of this post included working effectively one to one and in small groups, being a positive role model and remaining calm and resilience in during intense periods.
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1.0
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Proceed with caution, this may not be for you.
Former employee (Former Employee) –  Grange, Durham13 December 2015
Unpredictable dangerous working environment with children who have complex mental health issues. Staff are not equipped to address children's needs which limits their life choices when they leave. Poor decision making based on profit rather than outcomes for children. Expect limited support for all aspects of job role. Most staff friendly, difficult to get another job as reference policy only provides details about your name and start / finish date. No information provided about your competacy or ability in job role. Poor working environment, limited resources, and serious issues with IT make the job hard. A performance management system is designed to prevent financial gain for the employee. Also a sickness policy prevents a pay increase if you are absent for 3 days. Proceed with caution.
Pros
Being able to develop additional skills whilst covering for colleagues who left
Cons
Now on my CV and being associated with the company
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2.0
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Terrible management
Former employee (Former Employee) –  Grange14 September 2015
The children are seen as nothing more than a money making vehicle. Children that should not be accomadated due to their specialist mental health requirments are housed and looked after by staff without the correct qualifications and adequate training. Staf are continually placed in compromising positions and hung out to dry if things go wrong. Senior positions awarded to individuals regardless if they meet the qualifying criteria on the job spec or not, the only criteria they need to meet is that of "the managers friend". For example, a deputy manager being appointed without having an NVQ level 3 in Health & Social Care which was stated as "essential" on the application form.
Pros
Generous holidays
Cons
As below
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Overall rating

3.0
Based on 24 reviews
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