reducing barriers to better lives

The Adolescent Unit School

Centre Welcome

As the Head of the Medical College, I warmly welcome you to our small hospital school at Marlborough House.


Coming into hospital can be daunting and often young people are worried about missing out on their education. Our aim is to support all the young people on the unit to continue their education in a calm environment.


We work very closely with the whole team at Marlborough House and also with home school/colleges. We strive to make sure all of the young people that pass through our hospital still gain access to as many educational opportunities as possible - Jean Robson

"The progress [this student] has made is phenomenal.  It was a pleasure to talk to him and listen to his views" -Education Welfare Officer.

The Service

The Adolescent Unit School provides education for young people aged 12-18 years who are patients at The Adolescent Unit, Marlborough House, Swindon. Marlborough House is part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and is a tier 4 hospital service. The Unit has 12 beds and spaces for day patients on step down from being residential.

The young people cannot be referred to the Adolescent Unit School, as they can only access this service when they are inpatients at Marlborough House Adolescent Unit.  Admissions to this unit are via Oxford Health NHS.

The Team

The education staff work as part of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) at The Adolescent Unit, Marlborough House. This team consists of a large number of staff including nurses, therapists and consultants. They provide a high level of care for young people with severe emotional, psychological and psychiatric problems and support for their families. Referrals to The Adolescent Unit are from CAMHS outpatient teams in Swindon, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, BANES and through NHS England national commissioning policy, anywhere in the country.

The School

The aim of The Adolescent Unit School is to provide continuity of education for young people who are patients in The Adolescent Unit. The school has six teachers, all of whom are subject specialists and two Teaching Assistants and an Administrator.


The school provides part-time education for up to fourteen young people. All academic work is completed in the mornings and there are therapeutic sessions in the afternoon. We aim to cover as many subjects as possible and follow the young person’s mainstream school/college curriculum. The education staff liaise closely with the young people’s schools/colleges to ensure continuity. Each young person has an individual timetable and are either taught in small groups or on a 1:1 basis. The school is a registered examination Centre, and therefore, where necessary, young people may sit their external exams here.

The education staff are involved in afternoon therapy activities including Environmental Group, Resilience Group and a Sports Group.

The Unit School offer other activities including Life Skills, First Aid Careers, Cooking and Charity work

Parents are kept informed of their child’s progress at six weekly review meetings on the Unit and school reports are sent at the end of each term. They are always welcome to look around the school or contact the education manager.


The school is a purpose built unit comprising of four classrooms, an office and a staffroom. It is a modern and bright environment with a range of facilities including a suite of computers, science provision, and a small wet area for Art projects.

What Next?

When it is time for a young person to be making plans for discharge, he/she is helped to return or move on to a suitable educational placement if possible.  Support is available, and integration is planned with the young person, parents/carers, mainstream school/college and the MDT on The Unit.

The education team works closely with outside agencies to develop other opportunities for young people, such as work visits, volunteer work, or short college courses in the holidays.


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