Welcome to Ellern Mede School

Founded in 2002, Ellern Mede School has been rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted consecutively in 2014 and 2018.  The school offers high-quality education in a therapeutic environment, for children and young people aged 8 to 18 years, who have self-excluded from mainstream school for a variety of reasons. 

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

Ofsted 2018

We have an outstanding track record of working with children who may be missing out on their education because of trauma, bullying, school anxiety or stress in their lives. We support them to achieve academic success through our broad and balanced curriculum. The school offers a choice of 17 GCSEs, AS and A Levels with every student working at a pace to suit their needs. When they are ready, we support students to reintegrate back into their local community or the next stage of their educational journey: back to school, on to college, or on to training. The teaching team, with their skill set and experience, focus on re-engaging students with education, and ultimately society, by building self-esteem and confidence.

Ellern Mede School students and their families have access to clinicians from within Ellern Mede specialist children’s hospitals which include family therapists, psychologists, social workers, activity coordinators, occupational therapists as well as specialist doctors and psychiatrists. Specific and tailor-made therapy and support packages are available as options to support individual needs. As an independent school, students may enrol with us on a private basis. We also work successfully with local authorities and families to develop Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) to help secure funding for education across the UK.



Over the past seven years more than 60% of the students have attained A or A* in their exam grades. You can see the combined results of our students from 2011 to 2017 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. With the right support, they are ready for working life as well as self-expression as an adult.


The staff at Ellern Mede School 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. For example, the early days of school can happen in a care home or any other setting, to gradually re-introduce the young person to learning. 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 School was formed out of a desire to help students struggling with their education in a mainstream school. The school was originally conceived to help children and young people receiving treatment within Ellern Mede Services, one of the leading providers of inpatient, day patient and outpatient services in the UK. As a linked organisation, we have access to an outstanding clinical team. Every student has the option to access this clinical support should they require it. Education and Clinical teams work together, giving recovering students the best possible chance of reintegration back in to the community.

New Development

Since 2018, Ellern Mede School decided to increase the number of students we can support. We look forward to launching this expansion in 2019. This will make our exceptional schooling available to students not only with physical and mental difficulties but those with special educational needs of other types. We plan to open a new facility, an extension of our current school, with the same high standards. Our two consecutive “Outstanding” Ofsted reports as wells as requests from existing parents, suggest this is needed. We look forward to keeping parents and local authorities up to date with our developments.

Ellern Mede School Team

Adel Shirbini

Head Teacher

Marta Watroba

School Secretary & PA

Phillip Evans

Curriculum Manager for Art and Design, Textiles, and Design Technology

Marianne Marino

Special Educational Needs Consultant

What people have said about us

“After 5 years I thought I’d write to you. I was admitted to Ellern Mede hospital when I was 17. I was in the midst of my A-levels. I’m now 22. I just really wanted to thank you for the support you have given me with my studies. I ended up with an A* at A-level. I’m attending Winchester School of Art and I’m finally learning to deal with the things I spent so long trying to escape. Onwards and upwards, maybe? Without the support I received from yourself and the teaching staff at the time I don’t think I would have kept up with my studies.”

Student's letter to teacher, Philip Evans

News & Blogs

Save children lost in the system

Children treated for mental health issues too often find their recovery is over as soon as they reach young adulthood back in their normal environment.

Social Media and Mental Health – the debate

The Centre for Mental Health has joined the debate on social media and mental health in its Briefing number 53 which you can download here.

Success against the odds

We are delighted this former scholar wants to share this news and give her our heartfelt congratulations. Read what this young woman said.

World Mental Health Day 2018

10th October 2018 is World Mental Health Day, and UK media and MPs have responded with a high degree of attention. 

Ellern Mede School launches new special needs consultancy

Ellern Mede School has launched a new Special Educational Needs (SEN) consultancy. As an independent school, students may enrol on a private basis.

New School Year News

UK schools commence the new year with appointed mental health leads; a really good thing for young people at risk of eating disorders.

Sarah Lechmere, former patient, celebrates her first published book

Sarah Lechmere, former patient of Ellern Mede has published her first book. The book is entitled Kitty’s Letters and combines a collection of story lines …

Supporting young people to get an Education, Health & Care Plan

At Ellern Mede, we believe a mental health condition should not be a barrier for a child to access learning to reach their potential.

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