Welcome to Ellern Mede Schools

Ellern Mede Schools provide outstanding education for children and young people with a variety of complex needs. We have over two decades of experience supporting children with their education while they are out of mainstream schools or colleges because of hospital inpatient treatment, providing on site schooling at Ellern Mede hospitals. Our schools offer high-quality education in a therapeutic environment, for children and young people aged 8 to 18 years old.


Originally founded in 2002, we have grown from providing education at the Ellern Mede Ridgeway hospital site in Mill Hill, to offsite provision at Ellern Mede Barnet, and in 2020, the founding of a second school at Ellern Mede Moorgate in Rotherham.

Our latest provision, beginning in Late 2021, Ellern Mede Friary Hall in Whetstone, North London extends our experience and expertise to children and young people who are not inpatients at one of the Ellern Mede hospitals but, for various reasons, need a more therapeutic, supportive and sensitive approach to their education. Friary Hall gives children and young people, with complex social, emotional, and mental health needs and other special educational needs, the opportunity to receive an outstanding, personalised education.

Across all our school sites, we take great pride in seeing how our students can continue to flourish with their educational attainment outside of their traditional school settings. Our London school, comprised of the Ridgeway, Barnet and Friary Hall sites, has been rated as “Outstanding” by OFSTED and we work alongside specialist clinicians to ensure our students receive all the necessary care and support they need for specific, tailor-made therapy and education.

Students who are inpatients at one of our hospitals have their education funded by their Local Authority, regardless of whether they attend a state or private school. Students who attend our Friary Hall provision are either funded by their Local Authority through an EHCP or can be privately funded.

"The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is outstanding."

Ofsted 2018 (Click to read report)

We have two Department of Education registered schools serving patients at three hospital sites and a fourth, separate site for other learners who need specialist education.


Ellern Mede School in London serves the needs of young people being treated as inpatients at the eating disorder and hospitals, Ellern Mede Ridgeway and Ellern Mede Barnet. Ellern Mede Moorgate School in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, serves inpatients at Ellern Mede Moorgate hospital, with expansion planned soon at Ellern Mede's newest hospital, Ellern Mede Derby.

Our Friary Hall provision provides a safe, nurturing and caring environment for students who find mainstream schools extremely stressful places for a variety of reasons. Students may have underlying social, emotional and mental health needs; they might find the curriculum and expectations too demanding; they might be missing out on education because of trauma, bullying, school anxiety or stress; they may have difficulty in expressing their worries and concerns and thus they may be at the point of dropping out of education. Every young person’s needs may be manifested in different ways and at Friary Hall we put in place appropriate and individual education plans, enabling students to achieve their potential and to re-engage with successful learning (More information about our Friary Hall provision can be found HERE).

We have an outstanding track record of working with children who are vulnerable due to many complex conditions. We support all our pupils to achieve academic success through our broad and balanced curriculum across KS3, GCSEs, AS and A Levels. Every student is encouraged to work at the pace best suited to their needs.

We employ an excellent, highly qualified teaching team who have specific experience of working with students with special educational needs. Our teachers' skill set and experience helps them to focus on re-engaging students with education. That re-engagement ultimately helps them to take their place back in their community. We help students to build up their self-esteem and confidence.


Ellern Mede Schools' students have access to specialist clinicians. The multidisciplinary team includes family therapists, psychologists, social workers, activity coordinators, occupational therapists as well as specialist doctors and psychiatrists. This is a unique opportunity for many children with complex needs to receive broader support than they would otherwise have access to. Every child's individual needs are supported through specific, tailor-made therapy and education.

As we are an independent schools group, we are able to offer education to both publicly and privately funded students.

We also work successfully with local authorities and families to develop Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) to help secure their funding for education with our schools and beyond that, when they are receiving support in the community in some cases, up to the student reaching age 25.



Over the past seven years more than 60% of the students have attained A or A* (9-7) in their exam grades. You can see some combined results of our students by clicking through to the outcomes page here. These results are remarkable, considering the struggles of these young people, which have caused them to miss significant amounts of time away from school. We are proud that many of our former students have returned to their mainstream school, and gone on to college or university, armed with the tools to cope in society.


The teaching staff at Ellern Mede Schools work with families and the young people to help them regain their trust and love for learning and therefore to re-engage with their education. We have an outreach service which, should it be required, means we can offer the family and the young person an assessment and a tailored plan. We work in partnership with local schools, staying in touch after our students leave us. We make sure that our students are learning in tandem with students from their home school.

Clinical Support

Ellern Mede Schools are formed out of a desire to help students struggling with their education in a mainstream school. The schools’ approach was originally conceived to help children and young people receiving treatment within Ellern Mede Services hospitals. The hospitals are leading providers of inpatient, day patient and outpatient eating disorder services. As a linked organisation, we have access to this specialist advice Our Education and Clinical teams work together, giving  students the best possible chance of recovery.

New Development

Ellern Mede Schools plan to increase the number of students we can support. Our exceptional day schooling should be available to a range of students with SEN needs due to physical and mental difficulties. We will, in the near future, open additional premises or campuses. Our two consecutive “Outstanding” Ofsted reports indicate that we excel in SEN teaching and we believe that demand is high, and that local authorities will welcome additional facilities.

Ellern Mede School Team

Adel Shirbini

Head Teacher

Karen Shirbini

Deputy Head

Marta Watroba

School Administration Manager

Samreen Shah

Assistant Headteacher

What people have said about us

“Hey, thanks for the reply 🙂 Aw, I’m glad you still have my sock on the wall! Haha!

Here are my GCSE results: A* – Philosophy, A* – Spanish, A* – French, A – English Language, A – English Literature, A – Maths, B – Physics, B – Biology, B – Geography, B – Music, C – Chemistry.

I was so happy when I got these results!! But I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to get these results if it wasn’t for the help, support, guidance and gentle, caring encouragement of you and your colleagues. I just want to say thank you so much to all of the teachers at the Ellern Mede school – but especially to you – as my key teacher ;). I’ve now started work on my A-Levels – English Language, English Literature and Psychology and I now appreciate what you’ve done for me even more, after experiencing the education facilities that my other unit has. Thanks so much again – the Ellern Mede school is fab!!”

Student's letter to teacher, Samreen Shah

News & Blogs

Education wins over Covid-19 as Summer begins

20 April and the Summer Term at Ellern Mede Schools is on schedule as usual. It is ON LINE AND with the personalised support of …

It’s AV-Zoom let’s go learn

It’s more zoom than gloom for Ellern Mede Schools as even students who have gone on home leave during the COVID-19 outbreak continue to receive …

School’s out? It’s fun.

EM Group’s ‘Blue Peter’ crew made sure that February 2020 school half term didn’t mean being stuck in hospital with nothing to do. The school …

Second Ellern Mede School gets OFSTED approval

Ellern Mede Moorgate School in Rotherham on the new Ellern Mede Moorgate hospital site achieved OFSTED-registration and opened in January 2020 to provide education to …

Earlier the better to plan hospital education

The earlier we support you in planning for special education the better. We assist you in applying for educational grants and dealing with your home school.

Is SEN funding available for private schools?

Read this advice on applying for SEN funding for independent mainstream schools like Ellern Mede School.

Hospital School pupils Christmas crafts

Every individual pupil has the ability to shine in their own way and in a therapeutic setting they overcome obstacles to find their wings and fly.

International author visits Ellern Mede pupils

US-British author of ten novels, Tracy Chevalier, visited Ellern Mede school pupils on 13th December to speak about the process of writing her novels and …

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