Read the latest news from Janette Steel, our school Principal.

As we watched the swallows fly back to England after their long journey from Africa - it was reassuring that the planet was still somehow following a familiar pattern.

However, all seemed completely different - following our 30-year celebration in July 2019 the schools were successful, a new adolescent psychiatric unit, much needed in West London, was up and running and our staff team appeared permanent and committed.

The difference seemed insurmountable - paediatric patients sent home, psychiatric units in lockdown and a pandemic of Covid-19, for which there was no apparent cure, and our community students without a home for the immediate future.

To the rescue came Frederic Irigary, who promptly and efficiently setup all staff, governors and students onto Microsoft Teams, creating a flourishing online school community with a curriculum that enabled all students to carry on with their chosen curriculum, including physics, chemistry, biology, maths, English, IT, philosophy and extraordinarily - on line cooking.

All the staff at the psychiatric units realised the necessity for education to remain part of the experience of an admission to a mental health unit, and after an extremely careful and thorough safety plan they are fully up and running, as are the education programmes for children at home who are immune compromised. Thanks to all staff who have been so generous with their time and ingenuity.

Despite this positive change we were hearing extraordinary stories of bewilderment and grief from our students and families. Following the closure of access to outpatients we needed another space to teach our vulnerable young people and an empty social services building came to our rescue, and a brilliant team of staff, ably let by Nicola Frankcom, became our new school - with more  students attending each day, a tremendous relief as we welcomed them one by one back to school, and with that back to health.

Best wishes
Janette Steel