innovative seamless sector-leading We are


Our teachers and therapists 'work as one'. We are specialists in education and therapy for pupils who have suffered adverse childhood experiences. These are known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on physical and emotional health and well-being.ACEs, and include trauma and Children experience toxic stress as a result of strong, frequent, and/or repeated suffering without adequate support from an adult.toxic stress. We work with pupils aged 5 to 16 who benefit from a therapeutic curriculum focused on meeting their social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.

  • Pupils' safety always comes first.
  • Our teachers and therapists 'work as one' to provide an innovative therapeutic curriculum.
  • Our 'always positive' and 'structured but flexible' approaches improve pupils' behaviour and attitudes over time.
  • We are committed to equality for all.
  • Our exceptional leaders are held to account by our expert independent governors. 


          Mr Foster is our executive headteacher

Our curriculum is broad and ambitious. It is carefully designed to give pupils the knowledge and 'cultural capital' they need to succeed in modern British society. As well as getting the therapy they need, pupils study a wide range of subjects. The curriculum, complemented by an enriching extra-curricular programme, focuses sharply on developing our pupils socially, emotionally and academically.


  • To say that staff know the pupils well, have high aspirations for them and are highly committed, is to understate the quality of the schools' work.
  • The curriculum is well-thought-through and central to the success of teaching and learning over time.
  • Pupils thrive in response to what is on offer, often achieving skills and qualifications that had not been thought possible.
  •  A calm and purposeful environment is evident on each site.
  • Pupils trust and respect staff, and talk openly about their worries and successes.




        Emily Barlow is our therapy & trauma specialist

Our seamless approach to therapy means that therapists and teachers 'work as one' to support pupils' social, emotional, behavioural and educational development.

We hold therapy and a therapeutic approach at the heart of everything we do, understanding that if pupils feel emotionally and mentally well, they are able to play and learn with interest and enthusiasm.

We are proud to provide the following range of therapies...

  • Art


    April offers art therapy across our schools. She provides child-centred, creative therapy using art as a tool for connection and understanding of the pupils' inner world, their feelings and experiences. Art therapy is used to improve self awareness, self esteem, promote insights and develop emotional regulation.

  • Canine

    Canine Therapy

    We have three therapy dogs: Mabel, Maurice and Paddy. Mabel is a young puppy and is the newest addition to our therapy team. Our therapy dogs spend quality time with our pupils. Pupils read to the dogs, cuddle them, tell them how they are feeling and take turns in looking after them. Maurice especially likes cuddles and listening to pupils read!

  • drama


    Louisa is a drama therapist and is the lead therapist at our Vauxhall site. Dramatherapy uses creativity and the imagination to support feelings. It can help pupils to understand different emotions and to build confidence. In these sessions pupils can share their thoughts and experiences in a safe way using role-play, storytelling, sand-play, lots of different objects, art materials, poetry and creative writing.



    Aysun is our educational psychologist. She provides assessments to further support our pupils in accessing the learning environment. Aysun works alongside both therapists and teachers in order to assess our pupils' needs and to develop strategies to help them. She will also meet with families to discuss what they see at home and to offer additional support where needed. 

  • Family Support

    Family Support

    Our lead therapists (Louisa at Vauxhall; Celine at Walworth; Ben at Kennington; Charlotte at Great Baddow) provide our families with therapeutic support, tailored to meet the needs of the individual family - whether flexible and ad-hoc or weekly, online or face-to-face, individually or with their child. We work in an integrated way, using a variety of therapeutic tools that support families for meaningful and transformative change.

  • Integrative


    Integrative therapy is flexible, child-led and adapted to meet pupils' complex needs. Pupils can choose different ways to share their thoughts and feelings. These may include play, drama, music or art. Our therapists work with pupils in the classroom as well as offering therapy sessions in the therapy room. 

  • Music

    Music Therapy

    Ben is our music therapist and lead therapist at our Kennington site. Ben uses music and song writing to help pupils share their feelings and experiences. Aims of therapy include relieving stress,                problem solving, understanding emotions, increasing levels of self-confidence and improving relationships. In music therapy pupils can play a range of instruments, make recordings and share music by their favourite artists.



    Lenez and Martha are our occupational therapists. Occupational therapy can help pupils with various needs including the need tomove around or difficulty sitting still. This, in turn, can help to build confidence, self-esteem and improve access to learning. Lenez and Martha create plans to support the development of key skills needed for pupils to learn and complete everyday tasks. They work with pupils both in the classroom and in specialist therapy spaces.

  • PLAY


    Celine is our play therapist. She is also our lead therapist at Walworth. Play therapy uses different ways of playing to help pupils develop confidence in talking to others.

    Play therapy sessions may include using sand, arts and crafts and a range of toys. Play therapy is a place where you can think about how you are feeling and share different experiences in a safe way.



    Marie and Bethan are our speech and language therapists. They offer assessments with pupils to help us understand whether there are additional speech and language needs that we can better supported in school. If additional needs have been identified a pupil may then be offered group therapy, one-to-one speech and language therapy and indirect therapeutic support, both in the classroom or in the therapy room. 


 Joanne Evans is our designated safeguarding lead 

Pupils' safety always comes first, and is everybody's responsibility. Joanne Evans leads on keeping everybody safe. She is responsible for all aspects of safeguarding, child protection and health & safety.

We pay regard to statutory guidance, including the latest versions of these three key documents:

Our Schools

To refer a pupil with an EHC plan for their SEMH needs, please email 

Please note that our schools do not cater for pupils with a primary need of autism; and that we do not facilitate visits to our schools without a formal consultation from a prospective pupil's local authority.

For any other help, please email

Please note that we do not accommodate student/trainee placements or make use of volunteers.

  • Octavia House School Vauxhall, London

    Key Stages 1 & 2
    Vauxhall Street, London SE11 5LG
    020 3651 4396 (option 1)

    Deputy headteacher
    Mark Ward

  • Octavia House School Walworth, London

    Key Stage 3
    Larcom Street, London SE17 1RT
    020 3651 4396 (option 2)

    Assistant headteacher
    Ryan Dickens

  • Octavia House School Kennington, London

    Key Stage 4
    214b Kennington Road, London SE11 6AU
    020 3651 4396 (option 3)

    Assistant headteacher
    Lauren Knight

  • OCTAVIA HOUSE SCHOOLGreat Baddow, Essex

    Key Stages 1 & 2
    High Street, Great Baddow CM2 7HH
    020 3651 4396 (option 4)

    Assistant headteacher
    Hannah Aboukhshem

The executive headteacher is Patrik Foster.

The CEO is James Waite. 

The proprietor body for both Octavia House Schools, London and Octavia House Schools, Essex is Octavia House Schools Limited (08047473), registered at 37 Warren Street, London W1T 6AD.

Richard Leonard, who chairs the proprietor and governing bodies of both schools, is contactable in writing at the Kennington address above or by telephone via the main switchboard.

The governing body comprises an expert group of highly experienced leaders and inspectors.  They are: Lesley Cox, Karen Matthews, Barney Payne and John Seal.