Report finds Bury school is instrumental to mental health recovery

A school for young people with mental health problems has been praised for the progress made by pupils in their education and recovery.

Pennine HousePennine House School, located on the grounds of Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, was awarded a good rating during a recent Ofsted inspection.

The school, run by Priory Education and Children’s Services, is for 13 to 18 year olds who are receiving treatment at the Hope Unit and Horizon Unit. These are child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) hospital units for young people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

Prior to being admitted to the unit, some young people may have failed to progress with their education, due to mental health or other issues. 

Following their admission, school and health professionals work together to make sure the young people can continue with their education and are support to reach their full potential.

The inspection found that pupils feel the support, structure and care provided by the school is instrumental in helping them to recover, keeping up with their studies and getting back on track.

This is supported by the strong progress pupils make during their time at the school. Many achieve well in GCSE and A-level exams and go on to re-join their previous school, or move onto further study, employment or apprenticeships.

Inspectors also commented on the excellent behaviour of pupils; due in part to the structure that the school provides and the strong relationships between pupils and staff.

The good rating awarded by Ofsted was based on the following areas:

  • The effectiveness of leadership and management
  • The quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • Outcomes for pupils
  • Sixth-form provision

Headteacher Caren Hayes said: “We’re delighted to have been rated good by Ofsted.  We aim to provide the support needed for young people to complete their education, prepare for the future and fulfil their potential.

“We work closely with health care staff and each pupil’s previous school to make sure the teaching is appropriate for their individual attainment, aspirations and health needs.

“Once they are ready to be discharged, they are able to return to their original school, college or employer, or to pursue their future goals.”

Becky*, who is currently a pupil at the school, said: “Miracles do happen; education helped me get through my GCSEs at a really difficult time"

Tony*, another pupil, added: "The teachers are really good. It gets me out of bed in the morning"

More information about Pennine Care’s CAMHS inpatient units is available at: www.penninecare.nhs.uk/camhsinpatient

*Names have been changed following a request for anonymity