New Alternative Provision Free School - 1st site Misterton

Closed 21 May 2024

Opened 8 Apr 2024


Horizons Therapeutic Education Trust has been invited by the Department for Education (DfE) to operate a new Alternative Provision Free School in Somerset.

Horizons Therapeutic Education Trust has been formed as part of a Strategic Partnership between The Shaw Trust Charity, Somerset Foundation Trust (NHS) and Somerset Council to support young people at risk of needing inpatient hospital support from CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) or children in the care of Somerset Council who are at significant risk of being homed out of county due to insufficient appropriate provision in Somerset. The partnership has already opened 5 small therapeutically informed homes in Somerset (with 3 more opening in later 2024), alongside a specialised fostering service.

Please review the information below about the proposed new Alternative Provision Free School and provide your feedback in the form provided. The consultation ends on May 21st, 2024.


The new Alternative Provision free school proposal

The new Horizons Therapeutic Education Trust Alternative Provision School will provide 30 places for children of both sexes aged 11-18 who have: experienced significant trauma and have mental health needs, who have previously struggled to engage successfully with education, and/or are Children Looked After by Somerset Council and are at risk of being placed out of Somerset because of insufficient provision in Somerset to meet their needs.

The school will be based in Misterton, Somerset. The school is due to open in September 2024 and will initially provide approximately 10-15 places for children of both sexes in the age range 11-18. In 2025 a second site will open in Wellington, providing a further 15 places for children.

Horizons Therapeutic Education Trust propose to offer children across 2 education key stages the opportunity to re-engage with education. A CAMHS-led mental health team will work alongside educationalists to plan and support learning and provide therapeutic interventions. Children engaging with the new School will discover their talents within an individualised and rich curriculum, with learning focus around developing their strengths. Children will be taught in small groups or in individual sessions.

For a child to be admitted, the child must be a ‘Child Looked After’ by Somerset Council or at significant risk of entering an inpatient CAMHS mental health hospital ward. The school will aim to support children back into local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) schools or local mainstream schools and will work closely with schools local to a child to support these transitions.

Both school sites are for a small number of students, and both the school in Misterton and in Wellington will utilise previous infant and primary schools.