Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Collaboration and partnership are going to be crucial if we are to succeed in delivering the step change in children’s mental health that we urgently need. Pears Foundation is a great example of a progressive partner who shares our values and passion for improving the lives of children, and I think the Family School will become an inspiration for many years to come for those seeking new ways to improve children’s mental health.
Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
We are proud to be working with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and a ground-breaking facility like the centre of excellence and the school which will lie at its heart. This partnership will help us to understand the challenges children face today and how they can best be supported.
Sir Trevor Pears CMG

Pears Foundation is committed to supporting organisations that promote children’s social and emotional wellbeing and contribute to better understanding of the challenges that they and their families face.

Children today face numerous pressures as they navigate a complex and rapidly changing world, from family breakdown to bullying to body image and sexual pressure and the challenges of twenty-four hour social networking. Over 850,000 children aged 5 to 16 - three in every classroom - struggle with a mental health issue.

Founded by Anna Freud herself over sixty years ago, The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families works to improve the lives of thousands of children and young people with mental health problems. The charity provides specialist help and services for young people and their families as well as providing services and training for the professionals who support them.

The charity is creating a new Centre of Excellence in King’s Cross, London which will integrate  mental health, education, social care, policy and scientific research under one roof with the Anna Freud Centre’s Family School at its heart.

Pears Foundation has committed £2.5million to relocate the Family School and expand its capacity from 25 to 48 places.

The Family School provides a specialist alternative provision for children with serious emotional and behavioural issues who have been excluded from mainstream schools. Its vision is to provide pupils with the confidence, educational progress, and ambition to take the next steps towards a successful re-integration into mainstream school and the personal resilience to become responsible members of society.

The School is unique in the way that it integrates high quality education and mental health provision and involves parents and families in order to improve the long-term outcomes for their children.  

A parent or significant adult family member is required to participate in the classroom with their child, creating what is known as a multi-family group in the classroom. Therapeutic techniques are embedded in all aspects of the teaching and learning programme and the focus is on families helping themselves so that their children can resolve their problems and be better equipped to return to school as functioning learners and fulfil their potential as active members of society.