About Headlands


Thank-you for taking the time to find out more about our school and residential homes.  I’m sure that if you are considering our school either as a parent, carer or local authority, you are seeking a school and or home where your child can learn, be happy and feel settled.  Choosing the right school is important, so to help I’ve outlined the key things which inform our practice.

At Headlands we believe that every child can be understood in the context of their life experiences. We are mindful of the disruption, trauma and adversity many of our young people have experienced prior to their arrival here. Consequently we aim to create safety and security for each child as a primary goal.  We strive to provide a nurturing environment, whilst also respecting each child’s existing family network. We aim to provide high quality education and nurturing care to every child and young person, regardless of the nature or length of their placement.

Relationships are at the heart of everything we do, both for staff, children and young people, and the other professionals we engage with in our work for young people. We believe in relationships as the most powerful agent of change and the value we place on genuine connected relationships can be seen at every level, from day to day interactions in the classroom and home, to our policy documents and formal review processes.

We believe that in order for us to do this well we need to know each child and what their life experiences have been. This enables us to have a shared understanding of what their needs are likely to be.

We believe it is vital to hold the child’s wishes and hopes at the centre of all of the conversations that happen with them and about them during their time here and one of our key values is to respect and accommodate each child’s individual culture, beliefs and heritage.

We have made a conscious choice to hold a position of acceptance of where the child is at the point they come to Headlands, and a belief that all behaviour makes sense in the context of their experience and to support them to develop healthy behaviours and relationships during their time at Headlands. This sometimes creates a tension between acceptance and challenge but this is a dilemma that we engage with and reflect on regularly.

Headlands provides high quality education and care. The leadership, training and ethos across the home and school settings is consistent, resulting in a shared language across home and school. We believe that as we are an Action for Children organisation we can engage with children, their families and other agencies in a flexible and responsive way. We invest in and nurture our staff resulting in a very stable long term staff group with a high skill level. This is key in being able to develop meaningful long term relationships with our children and young people.


Matthew Burns





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