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TCES Create Learning

Create Learning is our high needs, high risk service offering very small group and 1:1 personalised therapeutic education for our most complex and vulnerable pupils aged 7 to 19. These pupils have significant gaps in their education, have on average three exclusions from previous schools and are currently unable to be educated in mainstream or alternative provision. Create Learning is widely used by Local Authorities as an alternative to out of county placements and as part of a family or community re-engagement process for pupils who reside in in-patient CAMHS, NHS Acute Units or in Secure Accommodation. 


Our dedicated Primary and Secondary Create Learning sites (Primary is opening in April 2021) ensure that all pupils are in an environment that best supports their development. As they are based on specialist sites of our TCES East London school, all Create Learning pupils benefit from the school’s broad and balanced curriculum, while receiving the more intensive, often 1:1 therapeutic and educational support they need to thrive. 


We proactively work towards stepping down as many pupils as possible through continuous monitoring and reporting using a combination of professional assessments and tools, including Rising Stars, Boxall Profile (developed by Nurtureuk) and BKSB. Ninety per cent of Create Learning Secondary pupils step down into mainstream college, vocational training courses or employment after leaving TCES. We anticipate that 50 per cent of our Create Learning Primary pupils will be ready to step down to TCES East London after at least three terms with us, with 50 per cent staying within Create to benefit from the intensive support offered.

Our TCES Principles of Therapeutic Education are embedded within Create Learning, and are:
  1. We understand neurodiversity
  2. We understand attachment
  3. We use relationships for recovery
  4. We are consistent and predictable (expectations, rewards and consequences)
  5. We view behaviour as communication (emotional, sensory and physical needs)
  6. We have unconditional positive regard for pupils
  7. We co-regulate and role model for pupils
  8. We demonstrate inclusive, strength-based practice
  9. We develop emotional literacy
  10. We develop leadership and life skills

Our highly specialised Create Learning staff team are trained in how to implement these Principles of Therapeutic Education, as well as being fully qualified in their educational and therapeutic specialisms. Staff also receive targeted training in nurturing approaches from Nutureuk.

We invest heavily in our learning environments to ensure that they meet pupils’ sensory needs, as well as providing opportunities for pupils to grow, prepare and serve food, care for animals and develop through play, exploration and the creation of art and music.

Pupils aged 7 to 11 attend our dedicated Create Learning Primary site in Barking, which offers a nurturing environment in which the Six Principles of Nurture are embedded throughout the school day.

Our Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils are initially supported in their family or children’s homes, in the community or they attend our Secondary site in Custom House. Our secondary site features nurturing classrooms and specialist facilities such as an art studio and therapeutic suite, as well as our state-of-the-art sensory room designed to support ASC and SEMH children with diagnosed and undiagnosed sensory needs.

We offer a wide range of therapy including onsite Art Psychotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy, which is provided through 1:1 sessions, group therapy and classroom based strategies. The therapeutic milieu encourages daily advice and support from our therapists to our educators to ensure therapeutic techniques are being used daily.

Beyond this extensive internal therapeutic offer, pupils at Create have access to a much wider range of assessments from psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and educational) as well as psychotherapists and consultant paediatricians. These expert external assessments provide our internal Team Around the Child with clear recommendations and treatment plans that can be utilised by our therapeutically informed and trained staff.

Our specialism

Every TCES school specialises in Leadership and the Arts

Leadership is a key focus of the TCES curriculum - find out more by visiting our Leadership and Careers page.

interested in making a Referral?

If you would like to discuss the needs of a particular child, or have any questions about the referrals process, you can contact our referrals team on  0208 543 7878, or via the email address below:

Key contacts



Phone / Email

Thomas Keaney CEO & Schools' Proprietor 020 8543 7878
Adele Stedman Executive Head 01708 393 150
Deirdre McCoy School Business Manager
Louise Roberts SENCO

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