As the UK’s leading specialist provider of education, quality and impact are at the heart of what we do.

Every day we improve the lives of our pupils, their families and local communities through a relentless focus on wellbeing and learning. This report is a summary of our impact over the last academic year – read the full report here.

Our Vision

We believe that with a great education, every neurodivergent pupil can thrive and make their way in the world.


Our Mission

Every day we improve the lives of our pupils, their families, and local communities through a relentless focus on wellbeing and learning.

Quality and Compliance

Our Quality and Compliance team is at the heart of our quality commitment, driving standards, monitoring performance and putting change into practice. Our schools and homes are inspected by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, the Care Inspectorate Wales, Care Inspectorate Scotland and Estyn, and we’re proud to say that our high number of ‘Outstanding’ ratings is a reflection of our entire team’s hard work.

But while high ratings are an indication of good work throughout our organisation, it’s outcomes that really count. Again, this is a source of pride for us, as we achieve some of the best in our sector with 91% in good or outstanding (or equivalent) services.


Nothing is more important than keeping the children and young people in our care safe from harm. Our Safeguarding and Quality Committee oversees, monitors, reviews and reports on the quality of the services we provide, and as part of the Outcomes First Group family, we also adhere to the Group’s Safeguarding Pledge.

Our Safeguarding Pledge

We pledge to:
– Keep children, young people and adults safe, and care well for them
– Help children, young people and adults to get a good education (to help them achieve and enjoy their education)
– Help children, young people and adults to be healthy and enjoy their lives
– Support children, young people and adults with their future and next adventure

Our pledge emphasises our minimum expectations for children and young people.

The pledge is our promise to each and every person in our care. We’re focused on making a difference and supporting the delivery of the pledge.

We have a clear approach to improvement based on four questions:

How can we measure if children or young people are better off?

  1. How can we measure if services are doing well?
  2. How are we doing on these measures?
  3. What do we need to do next?

By teaching colleagues and carers across Acorn Education how to observe and stop exploitation of children, as well as what to do in such circumstances, we make sure that everyone associated with us is informed to act effectively in safeguarding the vulnerable young people in our care. This commitment demonstrates how seriously we take this issue, and that we’re steadfastly committed to working together and tackling child sexual exploitation.

Home and School Visits

All our schools and care homes are visited each month by independent teams in line with our legal obligations. Working in partnership with our services, the inspectorates and local authorities, our Group Quality Officers make sure our education and care services consistently exceed the requirements set out in legislation, national minimum standards and statutory guidance relating to the safeguarding of those in our care.

Group Education Support Officer

Our Group Education Support Officer is the contact point for colleagues who need advice or support for a child or young person in any of our schools or homes. They work alongside social workers, residential managers, schools and local authorities in order to intervene appropriately when supporting the continued learning of our children and young people.

Clinical Governance

Guided by research, NICE guidelines and practice evidence, our clinical team supports its work with routine assessments of its progress. The information compiled then helps to guide future interventions and clinical practice.

Group forums are also held regularly. Chaired by the Head of Clinical Services, they bring the entire clinical team together to share learnings and support continuing professional development.


All our services are inspected by regulators who work on behalf of the UK government, with regulatory arrangements varying across the different UK nations.


– Ofsted inspects our care homes and schools 

– The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects our adult homes, usually every two years, although this timeline can vary depending on the previous Ofsted grading awarded

– Services can be judged to be Inadequate, Requires Improvement, Good or Outstanding

– We expect all our services to aim for Outstanding, so as to meet the needs and specialist requirements of the people in our care


– Education Scotland undertakes inspections of schools in Scotland

– Our care homes are inspected by the Care Inspectorate (Scotland)


– We dont currently have any SEN school provision in Wales

Northern Ireland

– There is currently no regulator in Northern Ireland