Pro-active pastoral care underpins all of our activities: pupil wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do

Ellern Mede Orange Tree (Friary Hall) offers a hugely supportive, caring environment focused around the individual needs of each student. We do this through small class sizes, remarkable academic and pastoral staff, and collaborations within a broader multi-disciplinary team and other agencies such as Local Authorities.


We are committed to providing a holistic programme of education with health for all our students and see our academic and pastoral pursuits as deeply interrelated. We believe that, alongside pursuing their academic potential, our students should also develop life skills and experiences that enable them to thrive and flourish within and outside of the classroom, and in their time beyond Ellern Mede.

Being a setting for the provision of specialist education to children and young people with a variety of complex, multi-faceted needs, we are aware of the nuances and complexities that their needs might entail. Our approach to education and wellbeing is led by dedicated and trained specialists who understand how to deliver appropriate support.

Every child is assigned a key teacher upon admission to the school and will continue to have a key teacher throughout the complete duration of their time with us. This key teacher has the direct and daily responsibility for monitoring their key child’s overall experience and wellbeing at the school.

The key teacher takes on many roles for the key child while they are at the school. These include:

  • Regularly and effectively liasing with the young person’s parents, and the Special Needs Educational Co-ordinator.
  • Establishing a relationship with their young person that is supportive and motivational.
  • Ensuring that the progress, attainment and motivation of the young person is represented through the Multi-Disciplinary Team Meetings and the Care Plan Approach.
  • Regularly assessing and reviewing student’s Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Creating a personalized programme of study that is consistent with their learning at a mainstream school

Key Teachers are at the heart of a child’s experience at Ellern Mede and they help to ensure that student voices are heard, that their needs are met, and that there is an ongoing dialogue between all of the specialist professionals who play a role in the child’s education and health care provisions.

Key Teachers

The Multi-Disciplinary Team

At Ellern Mede Orange Tree (Friary Hall), education and health are inseparable. The school and the hospital take a collaborative approach to a young person’s care with clinical and educational professional working together as part of a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). On the clinical side, the team includes Occupational Therapists, Family Therapists, Clinical Psychologists, Dieticians, Social Workers, Health Care Assistants, and others if required.  

Through this partnership, that also involves voices from parents and children themselves, a robust approach is agreed upon and carried out. We have found that this holistic approach to wellbeing, that considers the totality of a young person’s educational, mental, and physical needs, produces far more long-lasting and sustainable outcomes.

An Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) is a powerful methodology that brings a child or young person’s education, health and social care needs into a single, legal document. Having an EHCP in place can enable children and young people to access a more intensive level of specialist help, that goes beyond what is available through SEN support. This means that young people can have a support plan, up to the age of 25, that is considered and reviewed through a holistic and structure overview of their needs.

We know that navigating through the EHCP process can sometimes be a complex and difficult process. However, our depth of skills and knowledge will help parents and young people through the whole EHCP process. Ellern Mede has an excellent track record of successfully applying for EHCPs and working in close partnership with local authorities to ensure that children and young people feel fully supported through, and beyond, traumatic periods in their life.

Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs)


Ellern Mede School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. Our objective is to provide a safe environment for all young people to learn and reach their full potential. A copy of our Safeguarding Policy is available HERE.

If you have any safeguarding concerns, you can contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Ellern Mede Orange Tree (Friary Hall) as follows:

Zoe Ramshaw, Assistant Headteacher (Teaching and Learning) and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)


Telephone: 020 3971 4717

Supporting the DSL at Ellern Mede Orange Tree (Friary Hall) is the following member of staff acting as Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL):

Karen Shirbini, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)


Telephone: 020 3971 4717

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