Skip to content
  • General news
  • Learning network
  • Media coverage
  • Research

BBC focus on The Family School

On Tuesday BBC1 broadcasted their feature documentary Back to School with Mum and Dad which focused on the work and experiences of the ground-breaking Family School in North London.

The Family School is a unique school set up and sponsored by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families for children who have been excluded from mainstream and other alternative provision schools. It’s unique because parents are involved at every stage and because it offers professional therapeutic support for children and their families.

This approach has proved to be highly successful. In less than 3 years of operating, over 60% of children have been reintegrated to their mainstream education and of those 95% have remained there.

The BBC gave six talented film-makers each the opportunity to conceive and direct a film on a topic of their choice.  Rachel Lob-Levyt, an in-house documentarian who has previously worked with Panorama and Louis Theroux, chose the Family School saying, “the school is a unique and inspiring place, I hope we can do it justice.”

The Family School received its first Ofsted inspection in June 2017 and received “outstanding” in every single category. It has attracted national and international attention and we want to see this model replicated around the country particularly in light of the recent Government review into Alternative Provision which also focused on the Family School.

The decision to go ahead with the film was only taken after receiving the parents’ full backing. All families gave their consent to go ahead and a contract was drawn up between the BBC and the Family School to ensure that safeguarding would not be compromised.


We are delighted that the children, parents and staff at The Family School have been given this chance to show their incredible work and amazing results to a national audience.  As one family school pupil said, “I can’t wait to see it on my tv.”

For more information on our work with Schools you can join our free Schools in Mind network and receive free evidence based resources and expert advice.


Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is delighted to sponsor The Family School. With our support the School is able to deliver its innovative mental health provision for children and their families to improve educational outcomes. To continue supporting the inspirational work of The Family School, evaluate the model and achieve our joint ambition to improve the lives of more children and families across the country in this way, we rely on the generosity of donors.