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Our Vision and Ethos

The Family School is a centre of high-quality and innovative alternative education provision for children, families and schools across London.

INTRODUCTION

Combining the highest quality teaching methodologies with elements from the most up-to-date CAMHS practice, the Family School eases behavioural and mental health-related blocks to learning, and provides learning opportunities that keep pace with the pupil’s ability to learn and achieve.

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Considerable evidence has been gathered to show that helping a child to change problematic behaviours through family and multi-family based treatment is sustainably effective.  Delivering such interventions in a specialist classroom or school context is also highly effective, with the additional advantage of being more accessible and acceptable to the many families who are unwilling to take up the more usual clinic-based offers.

Many of these children have tremendous latent potential that an innovative school will nurture and release for the benefit of the wider society

A DIFFERENT TYPE OF SCHOOL

The Family School is a unique educational asset in London: a different type of school that provides opportunities for young people who currently present as unsuited or unable to meet the demands of mainstream school provision.  It is our conviction that many of these children have tremendous latent potential that an innovative school will nurture and release for the benefit of the wider society.  These children need early and sustained intervention to ensure that in the first instance they are not permanently excluded from school or, where they have already been excluded, to ensure their return to full time appropriate provision is rapid and sustained.

The Family School enables its pupils to:

  • progress academically;
  • improve their challenging behaviours;
  • recover their psychological and emotional well-being;
  • and gain resilience

so that they can continue with full-time education and return successfully to their mainstream school.

The Family School has been developed through a new collaboration between the Anna Freud Centre and the former heads of a family education centre in Westminster, Neil Dawson and Brenda McHugh.

Our fundamental belief is that all children have a right to high-quality education

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An innovative aspect of the current programme is that it requires a parent or significant adult family member to participate in the classroom with their child. Twelve children, each with their parent or carer, attend at any one time, creating what is known as a multi-family group in the classroom. The focus is on families helping themselves and each other to create the conditions and changes necessary so that their children can resolve their problems and be better equipped to return to school as functioning learners. Therapeutic techniques are embedded in all aspects of the teaching and learning programme.

Our fundamental belief is that all children have a right to high-quality education, even when they are psychologically or emotionally unwell, or when their behaviour is preventing them making progress in mainstream schools, and that their learning and education should continue during their treatment and recovery.

Our Vision and Ethos in Summary: We aim to provide our pupils with the confidence, educational progress and ambition necessary for a successful reintegration into mainstream school. This includes cultivating a productive lifestyle, personal resilience and the values required to become responsible members of society.”

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