Who We Are

In a Nutshell:



Forest House Education Centre is a hospital school for 13-18 year old students, attached to the Forest House Adolescent Unit, a Tier 4 CAMHS in-patient facility on the Kingsley Green hospital site. The Centre provides education for the patients occupying the Adolescent Unit's sixteen beds, while additionally being the sole educator for a small number of 'day pupils' who are referred to us by ESMA (the LA's tutorial service for young people who are out of mainstream education for medical reasons). Since all of our pupils have issues affecting their mental health, supporting them towards better mental health functioning within education (cultivating good communication skills, working to overcome barriers presented by illness, increasing motivation, encouraging hope for the future) is central to our work.

Nonetheless, the Education Centre aims to emulate the core characteristics of a mainstream school (excellent quality educational provision, high aspirations, structure, variety) in a context that is nurturing, stimulating, and small enough to be meet the individual needs of our students.

Students up to GCSE level are taught the 'core' subjects of maths, English and science in small classes, while post-16 students follow individual learning programmes (supported by any home school or college with which they are working). All students also follow an 'enrichment' curriculum composed of a combination of: art, PE, drama, work-related learning, citizenship, general studies and humanities. As an exam centre, we are able to meet the accreditation needs of our day pupils, and provide a venue for hospital patients whose exams need to be transferred to us for medical reasons.

Twice a year, in the weeks leading up to the Christmas and summer holidays, the Centre follows an 'enrichment' timetable in order to conduct an enterprise project and produce a play. These projects form part of a larger programme of activities intended to boost our students' confidence, self-esteem and communication skills.

What Happens Here and, What Next?


While your child is an in-patient in Forest House Adolescent Unit, he or she will receive the support of the Education Centre. When young people are well enough to attend school (normally after a period of assessment on the Adolescent Unit), we will meet with them in order to discuss how we can support their learning. We will also contact mainstream schools in order to liaise regarding individual educational needs of new students, and update the clinical team on their educational progress at weekly ward round meetings.

If your child is in Year 11 or below, he or she will normally join one of our small classes (which are taught up to GCSE level) for the core subjects of English, maths and science. Young people of compulsory school age also join in larger group or whole-school 'enrichment' lessons in subjects such as humanities, drama, PE, art, music, work-related learning, and citizenship. If specific work from mainstream schools needs to be completed, we endeavour to make this possible, although there are occasions when the need to provide feedback and observations to clinical colleagues, or the social and emotional needs of the child, mean that independent work is not in a student's best interests. Should your child be in hospital during exam time, we are able (as a registered exam centre) to have most exams transferred to our premises. Finally, when the time comes for your child to be discharged from hospital, we work closely with mainstream schools to provide a smooth reintegration into their original setting.

If your child has completed their compulsory education, usually having completed their GCSE (or equivalent) exams, our role is slightly different. Young people who are continuing in education (either at college or sixth form) will be given supervised independent study time to keep up with their school or college work, with one-to-one tutorial support in the subject areas in which we have relevant staff expertise. Young people who have left formal education are also invited to use the Education Centre's facilities, either as a means of re-accessing education in future (though project work, the supported pursuit of appropriate interests, careers guidance, school or college liaison, and and so on) or developing skills relevant to the workplace. All post-16 students, in addition to pursuing their individual study plans, join with our younger students in 'whole school' activities (such as PE and work-related learning).

All in-patients on the Adolescent Unit have a dedicated liaison teacher within the Education Centre. If you would like to email or speak to your child's liaison teacher, please feel free to contact the Centre on 01923 633241 or admin@foresthouse.herts.sch.uk.

Parents are also welcome to visit the Centre by appointment.

Information For Parents And Carers Of Day Pupils
'Day pupil' places at the Education Centre (either as part of the 'HERT' or 'Year 11' schemes) are offered only to young people who have been referred to us by our colleagues in ESTMA (the LEA's home tuition service for young people whose medical needs prevent them from attending school). Prior to joining us at the Centre, young people who are assessed as being suitable for one of our 'day pupil' schemes will visit us with their parents for initial meetings, and thereafter for regular reviews. Day pupil placements are most successful when parents and carers remain in close liaison with the Centre regarding the health and well-being of children (both in and out of school), and are encouraged to contact the Centre to keep us appraised of any changes which might be affecting them educationally, emotionally, socially or behaviourally.