Phoenix Learning Centre


The Phoenix Centre is a Tier 4 inpatient unit providing specialist treatment for young people aged 13-18 with complex eating disorders.

At the Phoenix Learning Centre we understand the important role school plays in ensuring that young people are able to achieve their educational potential and keep a future ahead of them.

Our dedicated and enthusiastic team of teachers provide the young people admitted to The Phoenix Centre access to high quality education, ensuring that they are prepared for the next stage of their learning journey. We aim to put the young person at the centre of all we do, starting by building a trusting and nurturing relationship with each individual. We will then set out a personalised programme of study which will encourage and inspire the young people in our school to do their best and feel confident to return to their home schools, colleges or placements.

We also acknowledge that our young people are undergoing complex and invasive medical treatment alongside their education and their time in school may be interrupted by appointments and therapy sessions. Our staff understand how eating disorders significantly impact a young person’s capacity to learn and we are skilled in offering appropriate support to mitigate these effects.


Phoenix Learning Centre curriculum intent: “To promote normality through education - minimizing the impact of illness on achievement, progress and well-being.”

Attending the Phoenix Learning Centreis an integrated part of treatment for the young people on the unit. As far as possible, we aim to support each student to keep up with their home-school curriculum so they will feel prepared to return once they are discharged.

On admission, the Teacher-in-Charge will meet with each new student to get a picture of the young person’s prior school experiences, personal interests and aspirations. The Teacher-in-Charge will then liaise with the home-school or college and together decide how best to support the student, taking into account a student’s strengths and any SEND need he/she may have. An Individual Learning Plan is drawn up to reflect this and work is requested from the home-school to ensure that, where appropriate, the young person is following the same curriculum as his/her peers as a starting point. As we get to know our students better we can adapt and supplement this work to ensure that it offers appropriate breadth and challenge. The Teacher-in-Charge will also liaise with parents/carers and any other professionals supporting the young person’s learning.

Not all of our young people will be well enough to follow their home-school curriculum or they may not have a home school. In this case, our staff will create bespoke and engaging programmes of study designed to re-engage young people with their learning and offer new challenges and opportunities to explore new interests.

We are a registered exam centre and students can sit their GCSE, ‘A’ Level, BTEC and Functional Skills exams with us. We offer the Bronze and Silver Arts Award in Art, Music and Drama, AQA Unit awards and Cambridge Technical qualifications. In addition, we offer careers advice and guidance, as required, and opportunities to engage in discussions and workshops based on PSHE / SRE topics. We provide an enrichment programme with visits off the unit (as appropriate) and welcome visitors who share their experiences or skills with our students. For example, we have worked with members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and with local poets and film-makers in partnership with the Cambridge Junction outreach programme and we regularly take students to the theatres, galleries, colleges and museums in Cambridge.

The Teacher-in-Charge regularly attends the Care Programme Approach (CPA) reviews and works closely with the young person, families, home schools and the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to support a planned discharge and help with returning to school or college. This will usually require a phased and supported re-integration programme, which the Teacher-in-Charge will help plan.


Our teaching team consists of a full time Teacher in Charge (MFL and English) and a Teaching Assistant. We also have three Lead Subject Specialist Teachers (English, Maths and Science) who support our curriculum delivery on rotation. We are lucky to have a great team of friendly, patient, skilled, experienced and inclusive teachers.

We have a small teaching space (2 rooms) attached to the main ward, offering a safe and stimulating environment for our students. Learning takes place one to one or in pairs or small groups. Students are also encouraged to work independently and we actively teach study skills to support this. We aim to promote resilience and we follow a growth mindset philosophy in our school.

Our school day runs from 9.45am-12pm in the morning and from 2pm-3.15pm in the afternoons from Monday to Thursday and from 9.45am-12pm every Friday. The school rooms are available for private study on Friday afternoons.