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Caldecott Foundation School
Smeeth, TN25 6SP, UK Ashford
+44 (0)1233 503645

The Caldecott

Caldecott - Child playing


For almost a century, The Caldecott Foundation has been caring for children who have suffered extremes of abuse and neglect.

Based in tranquil countryside at Smeeth, near Ashford, Kent, Caldecott provides 52-week residential care for children aged 5 to 16 in warm and welcoming homes, with primary and secondary education in the Foundation’s own school, and therapies to maximise each individual’s life chances.

Our charitable objectives are to provide children referred to us with the care and education most suited to their individual needs in the most appropriate setting.

This website provides an online resource for Social Services, an insight into the important work being done every day to care for the most vulnerable children in our society, and information for volunteers and donors who would like to help.



Caldecott - Child reading


Caring for some of Britain’s most damaged and vulnerable children demands special people with special qualities in a special environment.

The Caldecott Foundation provides an effective package for youngsters, all on one site, including an assessment centre, therapeutic care, well-equipped and welcoming homes, and newly-built primary and secondary schools.

Caldecott ensures that its service is in line with social policy so that it not only delivers new opportunities, and enhances the life chances, of the children in our care, but also meets the professional goals and aspirations of local authority social workers and education departments.



Caldecott - Child reading

High expectations.
Achieving potential.

Our Mission Statement
“To enable young people to achieve their true potential through positive learning experiences within a safe, friendly and stimulating environment of high expectations.”

Education is a priority at The Caldecott Foundation, which has invested heavily in new, well-equipped classrooms to provide their children and young people with an outstanding environment in which to learn, grow and develop.

Completed in 2005 at a cost approaching £6 million, the new Caldecott School is purpose-designed for children, some of whom may have had little or no formal schooling, most with challenging behavioural patterns, and all with a need for success and self-affirmation.

The Caldecott School offers young people, both within Caldecott care and as day pupils, the opportunity to acquire the foundation skills for their future role in society. The uniqueness of each young person is confirmed by ensuring an equal opportunity to achieve regardless of familial circumstances, race, culture, religion or place of origin.

Class sizes are small (maximum eight) and pupil/adult ratios are accordingly high. Children are expected to adhere to classroom codes of conduct, and to treat their peers and teachers with respect.

The school maximises achievement with a progression matching pupils’ social development needs to their vital educational requirement. All students follow the National Curriculum and nationally recognised certification courses.

Nurture The admission phase, where children are given special support to build self-esteem and confidence, and for early developmental learning. Here they are taught the essential behavioural skills for learning. The majority of children spend time in the nurture class, which is divided into areas for formal teaching, quiet reading, play and a ‘homely corner’.

Junior Based on mainstream primary education in structured classrooms, but also covering deficits in each child’s learning while stretching more able pupils. Children are increasingly encouraged to work co-operatively.

Middle For children who have reached secondary school age, but may require additional coaching and attention, before moving on to…..

Secondary Formally timetabled education with specialist subjects taught in dedicated classrooms. The school encourages each young person to achieve to their highest potential and all students will be able to achieve a minimum of one GCSE and have access to a range of nationally recognised qualifications across the curriculum. The continual assessment and base line setting will allow our SEN team to give extra support in this aim.

Special Educational Needs Baseline assessments, identifying educational deficits, weaknesses and strengths are undertaken for every child. This enables individual programmes with relevant targets to be planned for every pupil. SEN staff work on a 1:1 and class basis to help overcome educational deficits and maximise potential.

Learning and Work A successful bid to achieve recognition in a national environmental learning scheme has led to the creation of practical classes in land-based studies and design technology. This enables older pupils to bridge classroom learning with workplace skills, and work-related learning is further enhanced by extensive use of the National Skills Profile.

Sport and extra curricular activities The high-quality new sports hall, partly funded by DfES, facilitates PE lessons, school theatre productions and concerts. Other sports activities are arranged regularly, from coaching at a nearby national-standard athletics stadium to joining local cricket, netball and hockey clubs and inter-school matches. An outdoor education and activities programme has also been established which helps develop life skills of teamwork and co-operation.

Celebrating success and promoting self-worth is at the heart of Caldecott’s educational and care philosophy, and supports the mission outlined by the government that ……"Children in public care are our children. We hold their future in our hands, and education is the key to their future".

It is also designed to meet the objectives of Every Child Matters – of being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, and achieving independence and economic well-being.



Caldecott - Pine Asessment Centre

the issues.
Solving the



Pine Lodge is Caldecott’s specialist unit for the assessment of children and young people in urgent need of care, often with the most challenging behavioural patterns and the rawest of emotions.

Set in a welcoming four-storey house located in its own secluded grounds, Pine Lodge cares for up to eight youngsters. Many of them will have experienced multiple placement breakdowns or are unable to cope with family living.

Pine Lodge is run by 19 qualified and full-time residential staff trained in providing a secure base, firm boundaries, a nurturing environment and a sense of fun and achievement.

Typically, youngsters will be admitted to Pine Lodge for an agreed three- or six-month period. During that time, the team will observe and report on each individual’s daily life – their needs and desires, ambitions and abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

Psychological, psychometric and intelligence tests are undertaken shortly after admission, providing the basis for each care package.

Education is provided in Pine Lodge’s own classrooms by Caldecott’s qualified teaching staff, and each child is allocated a Throughcare social worker to liaise with the local authority’s own social workers, ensuring that placement aims are monitored and satisfied. Assessments are based on Looked After Children dimensions and the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families.

Practicality is allied to sensitivity. Each child is given a ‘Hello Book’ on admission, with pictures and personal messages from staff and other young residents, and have their own bedroom in the main house. There is also a separate flat for those who might temporarily benefit from the safety and containment of a smaller environment.

The outcome of each child’s assessment at Pine Lodge enables the right decision to be made on the most appropriate placement following their stay. The ethos of Pine Lodge is wholly child-centred, so that by the time children leave, advances will have been made in their social and educational skills, resilience and self-awareness, enabling them to fulfil their potential with a positive perspective and hope.



Caldecott - Child reading

to care

Caldecott offers a wide range of therapeutic interventions, central to the care and individual needs of young people.

These include:

Art psychotherapy

Adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy

Drama and movement therapy (Sesame)
System psychotherapy
Play therapy, and
Group therapy.

In addition, child and adolescent psychotherapy and an outreach service are being developed.
While these interventions may not be appropriate for all young people, the therapy team is involved in the weekly clinical review and focus meeting for each child, which includes representatives from all the care disciplines – houses, school, psychology and Caldecott’s own social workers.

Therapists consult with key workers and the local authority to ensure a co-ordinated approach in the best interests of each young person, and work alongside care staff to promote an informed understanding of childcare practice through training and reflective work.

The service is continually evolving, and is enhanced with training placements in partnership with the University of Kent at Canterbury, Goldsmiths College, University of London, the Central School of Speech and Drama and (in development) the Tavistock Clinic, London.

primary schools in Ashford, secondary schools in Ashford, schools in Ashford

Editorial office:
tel. + 48 (094)