Homewood College and the Pupil Referral Units

Who we are

The Local Authority's Social, Emotional and Mental Health provision comprises a special school (Homewood College) for children with severe social, emotional and mental health needs (some pupils have additional needs such as cognition and learning difficulties or autism), together with the Brighton and Hove Pupil Referral Unit (primary and secondary), and The Connected Hub (Year 11 Pupil Referral Unit).

The SEMH Hub has a holistic, therapeutic approach, where every day is a fresh start, and pupils are treated as individuals.  We have high expectations of pupils, and encourage them to be reflective, build their self-esteem, and do their best.  We are ‘attachment aware’ and aim to help students deal with their issues and difficulties so that they can lead happy and fulfilled lives.

All of our provisions work closely with parents/carers as well as with our multi-agency partners and professionals to ensure the needs of pupils are met both academically and pastorally.

Homewood College

Homewood College provides for students aged 11-16 who have an EHC plan with SEMH as their primary need. The school aims to provide a safe, structured and stimulating environment where pupils are supported to overcome their barriers to learning. Pupils have access to the National Curriculum and a range of GCSE subjects as well as Functional Skills, AQA unit awards and vocational qualifications.  The formal curriculum is well supported by additional activities planned around an individual’s interests, especially vocational courses. Building emotional resilience, through relationship building and therapeutic input, is key to pupil success.  

Some students have short “off-site” programs to help them over current issues; other students have longer term arrangements. The type of programme depends upon the individual needs of the learner.

Breakfast clubs and after-school clubs give opportunities to try new activities and learn new skills.

Therapeutic interventions are available to help those pupils with complex and challenging emotional and social needs as a result of their life experiences.

Brighton and Hove Pupil Referral Unit

Brighton and Hove Pupil Referral Unit teaches pupils across the primary and secondary phases who are having difficulties in accessing education in their school. Pupils often have special needs such as speech and language difficulties, learning difficulties, autistic spectrum condition, ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome, oppositional defiant disorder, or occasionally hearing, visual or medical issues. Students often have had periods of fixed-term exclusion or have been at risk of permanent exclusion. Eight of the places in the primary phase of the PRU are for children with Education, Health and Care plans (SEMH).

Pupils attend the school for 12-week programmes with a review at week 8. The aim is always to ‘reintegrate’ children and young people back into mainstream schools where possible. However, some primary school aged children or young people at key stage 4 are ‘long-stay’ pupils. Pupils are taught in small groups and may get one-to-one support for some specific area of work as well as therapeutic input.

Pupils have many opportunities for personal and social development as well as access to a wide range of GCSE subjects, functional skills qualifications, AQA unit awards and vocational experiences.

The Connected Hub educates students who are referred by their mainstream schools and the LA at the end of Year 10. The Hub is specifically for those students who are struggling to engage in mainstream provision for a wide variety of reasons and are at risk of becoming ‘not in education, employment or training’ (NEET). The focus is on ‘a different kind of learning’ where students take GCSEs alongside vocational qualifications, functional skills and AQA unit awards. Each student spends a day a week either at college or on work experience and there is a strong focus on being prepared for the next steps to college, employment or training. There is a ‘college’ atmosphere, and an unconditional positive regard for students. All students have a key worker and many have mentoring and in some cases therapeutic input.

The SEMH provision will develop to offer additional support for students aged 16 to 19 years of age, to enable them to further access local college courses or pathways to employment with the right specialist help. We will also work with partners to develop further opportunities for students post 16.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

  • Speech and Language
  • Educational Psychology
  • Literacy Support Service
  • art therapy
  • sensory needs

What training and experience have the staff supporting children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities had or having?

Staff are experienced in assessing the learning needs of every pupil and designing bespoke personalised learning programmes to remove barriers to learning they may have experienced prior to admission. Individual tutors are allocated to pupils and families to monitor and develop pupil's social and emotional welfare. A 'Child and Adolescent' therapist is available to provide individual and family therapy on a referral basis and the college hosts a termly 'Team Around the School' meeting and CAMHs clinic to support particularly vulnerable pupils. Staff are experienced and have been training in the following specialised areas:

  • Attachment
  • Complex needs toolkits
  • Spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development  and equality
  • Team-Teach / positive behaviour management
  • Growth mindsets
  • WiSE training for working with young people who have been or who are at risk of being sexual exploited
  • RISE – charity for victims of domestic violence
  • Restorative justice


  • Ramp

More information on how we meet the needs of children/young people with SEND at our school


 Louise Cook


  01273 604472



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