Education Programmes/Work

In addition to sponsoring Pears Family School, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has an extensive schools programme. The programme aims to both reduce behavioural and mental health-related blocks to learning and to provide opportunities that will keep pace with the pupil’s budding ability to learn and achieve.


Our therapists run weekly multi-family therapy groups within mainstream schools for troubled children who may be at risk of exclusion. These groups are run in partnership with school staff and with parents who have completed the programme, and use the most up-to-date treatment techniques. In collaboration with the children and their families, the children’s progress against behavioural targets is monitored. The therapists also

  • Observe pupils in lessons and unstructured school events
  • Provide 1:1 mental health and cognitive assessments and treatment
  • Provide family-based interventions and therapy
  • Provide in-school support for teachers individually or in groups
  • Provide in-school support for safeguarding issues
  • Attend multidisciplinary professional meetings in relation to work with pupils and families
  • Provide in-school training

Applying innovation

Recognising the growing importance of new technologies, we are developing a range of tools that can be used in schools to support and foster resilience in children and young people.

Our SmartGym, which was developed in collaboration with a leading sports psychologist, uses biofeedback to show children how stress affects their minds and bodies. It allows them to track their heart rates, breathing rates and skin temperature while they carry out a circuit of tasks. This helps develop pupils’:

  • Communication skills
  • Strategic motivation
  • Concentration
  • Alertness
  • Shared attention
  • Working memory
  • Resilience

What’s Up! is an interactive portal for school pupils aged 11-14 years that allows them to track and learn to manage their own emotions and behaviours. It also provides schools with an opportunity to engage young people with issues around emotional well-being, to communicate ideas about goal setting and action planning, to promote shared decision making, and to facilitate opportunities to support and enhance the effectiveness of pastoral care provision.

Our students can access What’s Up! here.

Training and consultancy

Our team of experts provide training and consultancy services for teachers and staff needing support to deal with disruptive and challenging pupils.

If ignored or poorly managed, the child’s problems can intensify and seriously affect not only their own well-being and chances of academic success, but also those of their friends and classmates.

At the Centre, we offer direct and online training, consultations and forums to support teachers in recognising mental health problems and working with these young people.

We currently offer the following training courses:

  • Mentalization-focused Multi Family Groups in Schools: a practical guide for how to set up and run
  • Multi-Family Groups in Schools – Online Training
  • Talking About Self Harm: Listen, Plan, Act, Feedback. For teachers & frontline school staff

If you are interested in commissioning a training course for your team please contact

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