Fairmead Group



What is The Fairmead Group?

The Fairmead Group is our small group provision of Home Education for pupils in KS3 and 4 (Years 7 -11) who are medically unfit to attend their own schools due to anxiety–related reasons – but who are fit to work outside of their homes.

Teaching sessions take place at Thorneywood Education Base and pupils attend full time (9.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m.) if they are medically able to do so.

Pupils are taught in small groups in a safe, friendly environment by a small team of specialist teachers and Teaching Assistants. They receive excellent pastoral support from skilled practitioners.

Unlike being on 1:1 Home Education, pupils are able to socialise and meet other young people in the group. They can make friends and not become isolated at home.

We will ensure that each Fairmead Group pupil:

  • feels safe and secure in the group so that they can learn.
  • learns how to learn
  • builds their self confidence, self esteem and resilience
  • receives a broad and enriched curriculum delivered in a sensitive and caring manner
  • follows a balanced programme of academic subjects and a programme of life leading to recognised qualifications
  • will be prepared for next steps in education
  • gets the best possible outcome for them!

How are lessons organised?

Pupils receive specialist teaching in English, Maths and Science as well as having the opportunity to study some additional foundation subjects, SMSC (including PSHE), ICT, e-safety and sport.

Pupils working towards GCSEs may take their examinations on site. We also offer alternative accreditation such as AIM Awards, Functional Skills, Bronze Arts Award and Food Hygiene certificates. Each pupil has an individual programme of work, tailored to their needs. Travel training is an important element of our curriculum, combined with off-site visits, which are part of our curriculum enrichment programme. A range of visits takes place over the year including to the theatre, art galleries, the local Community Orchard and tasters to local colleges.

There are opportunities for pupils to socialise, practise basketball shooting and football skills and play badminton and table tennis outside at breaktimes. We also support a healthy lifestyle by providing fruit, fruit juice and water.

How long do pupils stay in the group?

Pupils remain on roll at their own school and Fairmead Group staff maintain contact with subject teachers at the school.

Review meetings are held each half term for each pupil, which involve the parents/carers, home school, other agencies /services involved and of course, the pupil themselves.  Detailed written reports are provided by Fairmead Group staff, and next steps for each pupil are carefully considered.

Pupils at KS3 are supported to return to their own school, or other appropriate provision, if, and when they are ready. KS4 pupils remain with us until they leave school and focus on gaining qualifications and preparing for life post 16. This includes having individual support from a Futures adviser to make a post 16 plan and apply for a college place etc.  All Year 11s leave with a plan in place for their next step in life.

How will pupils get to and from the Fairmead Group?

Pupils may

  • walk or travel by bus
  • be transported by parents
  • travel by taxi – providing there is written medical support.

Travel training is an important element of our curriculum, developing an essential lifeskill for the future.


Pupils can bring their own food and store it in the kitchen in cupboards, or in the fridge.  They can heat it up if they wish.  They can also bring in a packed lunch if they prefer.


Can I see for myself?

Prior to starting at The Fairmead Group, pupils, parents/carers are invited for an informal visit to the Base to meet staff and pupils. 


Referrals to The Fairmead Group

All pupils in the Fairmead Group are initially referred for Home Education by their home school, who contribute to the costs. In order to accept the referral, we also require a letter from a specialist/consultant or community paediatrician supporting the referral for Home Education.

In order to attend the Fairmead Group, pupils must receive ongoing support from an appropriate medical professional.

The Home Education Teacher will support the integration of the pupil into the Fairmead Group, if this is the appropriate provision for the pupil.


To discuss a possible referral, or to request a referral form, please ring the Head of School on 0115 9153862 or email


Hospital and Home Education Learning Centre
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