Welcome to our school

Thank you for taking the time to visit our website, we hope it is a useful introduction to our wonderful School and co-located residential care.

Our education, health, therapy and care teams work collaboratively with high ambition, strong commitment and a shared value base. Together, we have a ‘whole system response’ to deliver high quality support for children with special educational needs, placing their quality of life at the centre of what we do.

By working in partnership with parents and carers, we promote each child’s intellectual, physical, emotional and social development, both during the school day and beyond. We deliver a personalised curriculum in an integrated, holistic and age-respectful way to support each child to achieve their full potential in meaningful ways.

Our heads of education, therapy and care

Samantha Newton

Director of Education

Initially a mainstream teacher, Sam then moved into the field of Special Educational Needs in 1998...

Launa Randles

Head of School

Following qualification Launa held teaching positions for  twelve years in mainstream education...

Melanie Burrough

Head of School Therapy

Melanie previously held a team leader post, managing allied health professionals and nurses to support children with complex health needs in Camden...

Claire Shiels

Head of Nursing & Care

Claire has worked in a variety of settings as a Registered Nurse for Learning Disabilities...

Jayne Cooper

Director of Clinical Services

Jayne has been a registered children’s nurse since 1996. She was previously Chief Executive of Woking and Sam Beare Hospices...

Professor Gareth Morgan

Medical Director

Gareth is an experienced clinician and medical manager. He joined The Children’s Trust from the Medical School at Swansea University where, as Dean, he helped...

Melissa Farnham

Trustee and Chair of the Educational Governance Committee

Melissa has over 20 years of education experience within the SEND sector across the UK...

Samantha Newton

Director of Education

Initially a mainstream teacher, Sam then moved into the field of Special Educational Needs in 1998. She has since held a variety of leadership posts across both primary and secondary settings for pupils with a range of needs but most specifically for those Multi Disabled Visually Impaired, Deaf / Blind and with Complex Education, Health and Care Needs. Sam has 20 years’ leadership and management experience with experience in both school education and residential settings.

Launa Randles

Head of School

Following qualification Launa held teaching positions for  twelve years in mainstream education.

She taught classes across primary and specialised in  early years being a lead teacher for the London Borough of Kingston and subsequently lecturing in this field.

Following an MA in early years education she moved into special educational needs and further qualified as a teacher of visually impaired where she spent the next 10 years teaching across both primary and secondary ages and across an increasing complexity of need .   

In 2016 Launa moved to the Children’s Trust School in role as Deputy Head , undertook further study to complete a National Qualification in Middle Leadership and in 2019 as Head of School and safeguarding lead. 

During her time at The Children’s Trust she has comments on the ‘privilege to work daily with children, young people, families and external professionals to support the journey of learning for all.’  

Melanie Burrough

Head of School Therapy

Melanie previously held a team leader post, managing allied health professionals and nurses to support children with complex health needs in Camden. She has also held clinical and leadership positions internationally and in different NHS community paediatric settings. Melanie moved to the Children's Trust in 2016 as Occupational Therapy Professional Lead managing services across neurorehabilitation and the Children's Trust School.

Melanie was later awarded an MSc in occupational therapy professional development and took up post as Head of Therapy School. Melanie was awarded outstanding occupational therapist award in 2015 for a quality improvement service re-design in Camden mainstream schools. She is chair for RCOT-CYPFSS school based occupational therapy clinical forum.  

Claire Shiels

Head of Nursing & Care

Claire has worked in a variety of settings as a Registered Nurse for Learning Disabilities. She has an MSc in Learning Disability and Mental Health. Her most recent post before joining The Children’s Trust was as Head of Children’s Nursing Services, leading a number of services including short breaks, looked after children and special needs school nursing. Her role at The Children’s Trust encompasses Head of Nursing and Registered Manager for Ofsted Care and the Care Quality Commission.

Jayne Cooper

Director of Clinical Services

Jayne has been a registered children’s nurse since 1996. She was previously Chief Executive of Woking and Sam Beare Hospices, having initially joined them as Director of Nursing. She has also held the roles of Associate Chief Nurse for Integrated Medicine at Buckinghamshire NHS Trust and Head of Nursing for Neurosciences Clinical Unit at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. She was awarded the Florence Nightingale Foundation Children and Young People Leadership Scholarship in 2011.

Professor Gareth Morgan

Medical Director

Gareth is an experienced clinician and medical manager. He joined The Children’s Trust from the Medical School at Swansea University where, as Dean, he helped establish the school which is currently ranked 3rd in the UK. He has also been clinical director of an NHS immunology laboratory and at Great Ormond Street Hospital. As head of a Medical Research Council field station in The Gambia he was responsible for a rural primary health facility. Gareth continues his clinical practice in paediatrics and paediatric immunology and is a Fellow of three Royal Colleges - Paediatrics and Child Health, Physicians and Pathologists.

Melissa Farnham

Trustee and Chair of the Educational Governance Committee

Melissa has over 20 years of education experience within the SEND sector across the UK and is passionate about ensuring the SEND landscape meets the needs for all young people and their families whose lives are impacted by disability.  Melissa is currently CEO for COINS Educational Services Social Enterprise, who help to achieve excellent access to Education for young people who are currently forgotten or misplaced by disabilities. She is also Vice Chair of Trustees of the National Association of Independent Schools & Non-Maintained Special Schools (NASS).

The intent of our curriculum is to teach each child to acquire skills in communication and to learn sense of agency i.e. control over their actions. We have a range of specialist facilities and plan enrichment activities that respond to individual needs and preferences.

We are immensely proud to lead and work with a team of people who have a wealth of experience and who embrace and share the School’s ethos, and aims and objectives of our residential accommodation. We provide a safe, caring, organised and happy environment in which the needs of all the children we support can be met.

Our curriculum

Children attending our School follow the ImPACTS curriculum. The curriculum is at the heart of everything we do. Since 2008 ImPACTS key skills approach to assessment, curriculum and monitoring has been developing.

Our facilities

The physical environment of The Children’s Trust School is appropriate and responsive to meet the needs of the children attending our School. This includes relevant equipment such as that for hoisting and changing, including height adjustable and visually adaptable equipment.

The way we work

Our multidisciplinary team works across our school and residential accommodation to ensure that the child’s plans and programmes are designed holistically with strategies to optimise their accessibility to learn, participate and thrive.

Contact us

If you would like to visit and enjoy a tour of our school, associated residential accommodation and on-site facilities, please do get in touch. Members of our team will be delighted to show you around. We look forward to meeting you.

Get in touch

Ofsted Good provider