Aims and Ethos


School Context

Our school caters for young people between the ages of 11 and 18 who are under the care of the linked Ellern Mede Eating Disorder clinic, a Tier 4 CAMHS setting which provides highly specialist, short-term assessment and treatment for young people in the most acute and vulnerable stage of their illness.

Whilst young people at the school have a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder or eating difficulty, most also have mental health or psychological issues such as depression, OCD, anxiety or self-harm, and are often detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. Circumstances or mental health care needs are such that they cannot be supported appropriately in the community or in a general adolescent unit.

Our students come from all areas of the UK and may have already experienced prolonged and significant disruption to their education. They remain under the care of the clinic for as long as their medical needs require. It is not possible to predict the length of admission.

School Ethos

Personalisation is the foundation of our approach; our curriculum is bespoke and programmes are carefully developed to meet the individual needs of our complex students, which demands a totally flexible and adaptable approach to teaching and learning from all involved. Our aims are:

EHCP plan for children at school image
To provide a safe, welcoming, accepting and nurturing environment where learning takes place and where education is interpreted in the context of multi-disciplinary working
To enable children and young people to continue their education and to aid recovery by involving them in educational activities at a level of engagement and challenge appropriate to their changing individual needs
To foster an environment where young people contribute to school and enjoy learning, and develop confidence when interacting with others
To encourage young people to achieve their best and to value learning for life
To provide an appropriate and balanced high-quality curriculum, mirroring where possible their mainstream education
To support the young people in their re-integration with education by facilitating their transition back into mainstream provision or other further education, training or employment where appropriate

Due to working closely as part of a wider multidisciplinary team focused on recovery, we share and actively promote the Ellern Mede Eating Disorder Clinic’s ethos:

  • We never give up
  • Building a life beyond illness
  • Building resilience as part of recovery and academic achievement
  • We work tirelessly to improve the quality of life of the students in our school
  • Manage the most complex and challenging students with significant co-morbidities

School’s Mission

We oversee and provide education during their admission. The school works as part of a multi-disciplinary environment and offers a holistic approach to young peoples’ education forming, along with other professionals, an integral part of medical recovery. It is our mission to provide education, which is relevant, complementary to and consistent with the clinical support provided for young people to address their medical needs.

Our aim is to deliver a personalised, high quality learning experience akin to that which young people are familiar within their current or previous educational setting. No young person will be allowed to feel left behind with their studies or unable to access their chosen subjects because of being in hospital.
Emma Heeley

We work closely with the team at the hospital to provide a holistic programme which meets the needs of every young person. We address any gaps in a young person’s knowledge and help by addressing any educational challenges that they may face.

Fostering resilience, independence and confidence in a young person’s attitude towards their studies is key to our success and all are encouraged to maintain a healthy balance between their studies and well-being.

Where Next?

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