The Anna Freud Centre
A home for children's mental health
Our London location, the award-winning Anna Freud Centre, was opened in May 2019 by our Patron, HRH The Princess of Wales
Our Anna Freud Centre has been purpose built to support new ways of working so that we can transform mental health provision in the UK by improving the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of treatment.
The Anna Freud Centre's Northern Hub, based in Manchester, was established in 2015 as part of a long term commitment to collaboration and investment in the region.
On average, it takes 17 years to translate research into practice. Our aim with the Anna Freud Centre is to deliver the transformation we want to see in child and family mental health by bringing together leaders in neuroscience, mental health, social care and education to improve understanding and practice and to reduce this 17-year gap.
Children and young people are at the heart of the Anna Freud Centre, both symbolically and in actuality. At the centre of the campus is Pears Family School, a school for children who have been excluded, or who are at risk of exclusion, from mainstream education.
We want the impact of this building to be felt far beyond our organisation, through the influence we can have on policy and practice nationally and internationally, and via the mental health professionals we train and inspire. It embodies our aspiration to transform mental health support by putting children and families at the heart of all we do.
Pears Family School
Pears Family School is a unique alternative provision (AP) school for children with serious emotional and behavioural problems who have been excluded, or are at risk of exclusion, from mainstream or other AP schools.
It provides opportunities for children and young people aged 5–14 to develop skills related to their social, emotional and mental health, skills they require in order to make progress in mainstream education. The school works closely with the children’s families, who are invited to attend classes and whose strengths are key to delivering and sustaining the changes in their children’s lives.
Pears Family School focuses on pupils’ academic achievement as well as behavioural change to release the latent potential we see in them. The school aims to help them recover their psychological and emotional wellbeing and to gain resilience so that they can return to mainstream school.
Two thirds of children return to their former school within four terms and 92% sustain their placements over time.
An Ofsted report in 2022 has once again recognised the school with its highest grade 'Outstanding, after its previous ‘Outstanding’ rating in 2017.
“This is a truly unique school which makes a significant difference to pupils’ lives. Before coming to this school, pupils have been through a wide range of challenges. For all sorts of reasons, their experiences of education have often not been positive. But this school helps them to turn things around.” Ofsted