Lioncare School

The Lioncare School is a specialist educational setting linked to The Lioncare Group’s residential provision, but equally able to accept children living elsewhere.

Designed for children with complex social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, it offers individualised programmes of education tailored to the individual needs of each child. These needs will have emerged from the experience of abuse or rejection from their families, disruption caused through moving home and/or school placements, self-injurious activities and related behaviours that challenge adult and institutional boundaries. Most children will have a Statement of Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan that identifies additional learning disabilities and/or difficulties. Our aim is to assist students in coming to terms with difficult areas of their lives, consolidate areas in which they function well, begin to view education as a positive and rewarding experience, and where possible enable the achievement of qualifications and promote their successful return to a mainstream school or on to work experience and college placements.

The Lioncare School Pic for website

While we recognise that achievement entails much more than simply meeting academic milestones we also know that strong functional skills, a knowledge of the how the world works and a capacity to engage and enjoy are the among the strongest indicators of healthy adulthood.

Our curriculum has three equal strands:

1. Making Good Progress

Each young person has an Accreditation Pathway mapped out for them that can encompass ASDAN awards, NCEF Functional Skills certificates and GCSES via Cambridge. We have an expectation of four national curriculum progress over  three terms ( two sublevels) in both Maths and English and use specialist support staff to intervene as necessary.

We report on progress every term and are well support by a School Partnership Advisor and a Consultant Educational Psychologist in this area of work.

The broader curriculum is supported by three whole school projects focused on the arts, sciences and humanities. There is twice weekly PE as well as informal activities and visits.

Recent Projects:

  • World War One
  • Where on Earth?
  • The Islamic World
  • Going Green
  • World War Two

Current/Upcoming PE:

  • Bouldering
  • Horse Riding
  • Trampolining
  • Table Tennis
  • Football
  • Gym sessions

2. Being Involved

Building relationships, participating in groups, supporting routines and rituals, celebrating public successes and contributing positively to the environment are big challenges for some young people. Targets are set and monitored termly and peer learning is hugely important to recognising and celebrating success. Key Stage Four Young People are supported to undertake work experience and college placements. Awareness of and engagement in our wider community are central to our activity days. There is no exclusion.

3. Personal Development

Home, school work with the young person to set and review targets for communication, confidence and self-regulation. A range of tools such as Boxall profiles and Psychological Assessments of Emotional Need support this and set out appropriate ways of working for each young person. The Lioncare School works with a large range of partners to ensure progress in this area is evident; this will include individual therapists, CAMHS, SALT, Educational Psychologists, Virtual Schools, Social Care teams and families.

Recent Placements for Years 10 and 11

  • Plumpton College
  • City College
  • Central Sussex YMCA
  • DV8

Recent Work Experience Opportunities

  • Foot Steps Nursery
  • Hove Lagoon
  • Poi Passion Circus Skills

Recent Destinations for Leavers

  • City College Brighton and Hove
  • Sussex Downs College
  • Further work experience/apprenticeships in Retail and Food Service


The Lioncare School Prospectus 2016-17 (v6r)


Head Teacher Sara Fletcher B.A.  Cert.Ed. Level 4 Managers into Leaders
Executive Director Matt Vince B.Sc. PGDip. M.A.
Founding Director Beverley Collins Cert Ed. Dip MS. Cert TCC
Service Manager Jane Rayner NNEB. PGDip. CMI level 4. M.A.
 Student Capacity  Up to 15 children of both genders
Age Range 7-16 years on admission
Qualification of Staff B.A. (hons), P.G.C.A.D.E., B.A. Social Sciences, B.Sc. Geography, P.G.C.E., M.A. Creative Writing, HND Jewellery & Metal Work, Paediatric 1st Aid, Counselling Skills, Dip Maternal & Child Welfare, B.A. Childhood Studies.
Staffing Ratio & composition Head Teacher, 2 Full-Time Qualified Senior Teachers,  3 Full-Time Qualified Special Needs Teachers, 0.8 FTE Qualified Special Needs Cover Teacher, Activity Co-Ordinator, Senior Learning Support Assistant, 3 Full-Time Learning Support Assistants, Senior School Administrator, Junior School Administrator, 4 Adults-in-School (Classroom Support), Maintenance Team, Cleaner.
Professional Guidance In addition to regular direct oversight, guidance, and support by the Executive Director and Service Managers, The Lioncare School has regular access to an independent professional consultant trained and experienced in education, childcare, and social work. They assist the Head Teacher through regular meetings with the team of adults, consultation for the Leadership Group, and monitoring visits to the school.  Involvement of specialist services is sought as and when required for individual cases.
Additional Services Individualised programmes of gradual and successful reintegration to local mainstream schools or colleges with packages of ongoing support offered.  Registered AEB examination centre.  Recognised programmes of assessment for academic ability and social skills and competency.
Cornerstones Independent School was opened in 1995 and renamed The Lioncare School in January 2011. Registered in 1997 with the Department for Education and Skills:Mowden Hall, Staindrop Road, Darlington DL3 9BGInvestors in people DfES number – 845/6043

Latest News

After 26 years of continuous operation, the decision has been taken to close Seafields Therapeutic Children's Home; the home closed on 16th June 2017 and officially ceased to be registered or operate as a Children's Home on 30th June 2017.

We offer our sincerest thanks and appreciation to all those that gave their time, energy, commitment and devotion to Seafields over the past 26 years, and to all the Children over the years that trusted us enough to care for them and to call Seafields their Home.

Throughout 2017 we will continue supporting Trewan Sands Children's Trust, a charity that helps families with terminally ill children to have one last holiday together, with sponsored events and other fundraising ideas.

Further information on Trewan Sands Children's Trust can be found on their website:

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