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Welcome to Woodbourne Hospital School

At Woodbourne Hospital School, we support young people to successfully continue their learning and development during their time in inpatient care for mental ill health at Priory Woodbourne Hospital Birmingham.

Our mission is ‘to nurture confidence within learning so that our students feel more able to engage with their education and are ready for the next stage in their academic journey.’

We aim for our students to:

  • Find out about their strengths, areas for development and about what they enjoy.
  • Gain a better understanding of how they learn and where they want to go next.
  • Feel safe and supported.
  • Learn to take risks and be able to have a say in what they learn and how they learn.

Mental health conditions can have a significant impact on the life chances of our young people. Receiving specialist inpatient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) treatment can be a positive turning point towards management and recovery for many, but the time spent out of school or college can have a detrimental effect on learning and progress.

Our aim is to support our students by providing continuous education; we believe education is an integral part of holistic wellbeing, acting as a springboard to build confidence and success later in life. High-quality, on-site school provision in a mental health setting is an essential part of a young person’s treatment programme. It promotes continuity, enhances emotional wellbeing, and underpins the smoothest reintegration possible to mainstream education.

“This hospital-based school provides a safe, nurturing place for students. They are able to continue with learning while getting the specialist clinical attention they need.” – Ofsted 2022

The school's focus on inclusion and diversity, its commitment to providing a safe and supportive environment and its dedicated staff all contribute to making the school a positive place for its students to learn and grow. We have been recognised as a Centre of Excellence by the Inclusive Quality Mark due to our effective practices and dedication to engage all students regardless of background, special educational needs or ability.

Our curriculum

Here at Woodbourne Hospital School, we have an outstanding track record in supporting young people. All young people are admitted to our school roll, including those who may be NEET on admission or become NEET during their stay. 

We pride ourselves on our bespoke, individualised curriculum that we formulate for every student in collaboration with their home schools, parents and carers, and students’ own views and needs. Our 25-hour weekly timetable encompasses a broad curriculum covering a wide range of subjects including:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education

Our primary focus is on young people maintaining their home-school/college curriculum where appropriate. Contact is made with the home-school/college as soon as a young person is admitted to the ward and the relevant learning plans requested. We expect all young people to make equal if not better progress with their home-school/college learning whilst they are at our school. Simply, it is our duty to prepare our students to re-engage and reach their full potential.

The curriculum for each student is reviewed on a weekly basis. Staff take into consideration how well students have understood content and concepts in the previous week and how well a student is progressing in terms of their readiness to learn. This provides an opportunity to adapt their teaching as necessary.

As an examination host-centre, we support students whilst sitting their examinations along with our offer of completing Functional Skills, AQA Unit Award and ASDAN qualifications during their time with us.

What students say:

‘Thank you for helping me to care again. The excitement to learn and succeed was something that I thought I lost a long time ago.’

‘Thank you for the confidence you have helped me build up.’

‘When I got here, I thought I would not be able to sit my exams but with you guys’ help I managed to do some.’

Our services

Transitioning services
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Therapy services
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Woodbourne Hospital School offers young people a positive and safe place to learn at a difficult time in their life, but it is always a temporary environment.

Many young people are able to go back to school without any problem, but for some the return to school can be daunting. When a young person is ready to return to their own school, we meet with their teachers. We answer their questions and concerns about the medical and psychological issues facing the student and the impact these may have in the classroom. We offer advice and guidance to support transition and alleviate any concerns.

Some young people may be ready to return home on discharge but are unable to return to school. In such situations we link with alternative education services, such as Home Tuition, in the young person’s home area. In this way we assist the tutors who will be teaching the young person to be ready and prepared.

Sometimes a young person may need a new school placement and again we can offer support and guidance to parents/carers regarding liaising with the local authority or schools directly.

  • Parent and Carers
  • Staff profiles
  • Admissions

From point of admission our staff at Woodbourne Hospital School liaise with parents and carers. School information and questionnaires are sent out to ascertain parents and carers’ thoughts and feelings in relation to their child’s current ability, progress and support they feel would benefit them.

Key tutors will also contact parents and carers within a few days of admission to introduce themselves and explain our offer at the school.

Key tutors will update parents and carers on a regular basis and can be contacted at any time for questions or queries related to their child’s education.


What parents say:

“Teacher/student relationships were very positive. Subject tasks were tailored to interest. The STEM and practical activities were very engaging.”

“Keep doing what you're doing.”

“Keep up the great work.”

We have a highly experienced team of qualified teachers with a broad range of specialisms to support students in their educational journey. All staff are expected to teach outside their main area of expertise. They support each other with sharing of knowledge, resources and pedagogical content knowledge. 

Head Teacher, DSL: Christina Darkes
Subject specialism: SENCo

Teacher, Designated teacher for CIC: Oliver Rees
Subject specialism: Art, STEM

Teacher, Deputy DSL: Charlotte Alton
Subject specialism: Maths/ Careers

All of the young people who are inpatients at Woodbourne Priory Hospital during term time are admitted to the school for the duration of their stay.

All young people are expected to take part in education including those who are post-16. This includes those young people currently in work, training or apprenticeships and those who are not placed in an education, employment or training programme.


The school has three safeguarding officers, all school staff undergo top-up Safeguarding training each year as a mandatory requirement.

School information

To contact our school:

Woodbourne Hospital School
21 Woodbourne Road
B17 8BY 
T: 0121 434 6140

To contact the Headteacher:

Christina Darkes
Headteacher, Woodbourne Hospital School
E: ChristinaDarkes@aspriscs.co.uk
T: 0121 4344343

To contact the Heads of CAMHS:

Patricia Wilson
Head of CAMHS
E: PatriciaWilson@aspris.com
T: 07802 876868


John Anderson, Chief Operating Officer
Chair for the Proprietor
Aspris Children's Services Limited
The Forge,
Church Street West,
Surrey, GU21 6HT

Seeking a rewarding career?

By joining our team at Aspris Children’s Services, you will have the opportunity to help change the lives of the children and young people that we support. To explore our current job vacancies, please click here.