About Us

Phoenix Bay

Our Story

School Proprietors’ Vision – Ross Banks

Phoenix Bay School is a trauma-informed independent school providing therapeutic education to support students to develop increasingly independent lives, leading to them thrive in adulthood. The school provides a specialised, small, nurturing environment for traumatised students who have been unable to manage in larger class settings or mainstream education. The students attending the Phoenix Bay School will have often been excluded or unable to manage both ordinary schools and other specialist educational provisions.

Phoenix Bay staff believe that every child is a competent learner from birth, who can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured. The students who come to Phoenix Bay are often functioning emotionally and developmentally below their chronological age, but at Phoenix Bay, all students can learn to be strong and independent from a base of secure relationships with staff and others. We recognise that students develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected. At all times we keep at heart, both the developmental age of the student and their readiness for learning.

Formal education and larger group working is likely to have invoked anxiety and corresponding disruptive and destructive behaviour or withdrawal. Through small groups and individually tailored education packages, the education team provide sensitive, creative and empathetic approaches to learning. This enables the students to begin to engage in education properly, perhaps for the first time. Readiness for learning comes from the combination of being able to be on task and to trust those supporting them to engage.

Curriculum content and strong relationships can then provide the hook for further enjoyment of learning. The Education Team work closely with the students’ carers/parents. This enables an integrated approach that puts the students’s emotional trauma and corresponding impediments to learning at the centre of their detailed curriculum planning. Support with peer relationships and associated conflict resolution enables Phoenix students eventually to manage larger group learning and potentially to be integrated into more mainstream educational settings and/or employment.


Safety, Independence, Empathy, Person-Centred


Opportunities, Collaboration, Maximise Outcomes, Fulfilment


Self-Belief, Transform, Discover, Flourish

What We Do


We believe in a tailored approach to education, that recognises and celebrates every students’ passions and interests. Small class sizes and a high staff-to-student ratio ensures that individuality is at the heart of everything we do. Students are encouraged to take ownership of their education with guidance to identify and develop their talents and skills.

Phoenix Bay school offers exciting and engaging pathways with an alternative educational approach based on the young person’s needs, together with vocational routes to ensure our student’s feel inspired and motivated to invest in their individual futures.

We want to give students a sense of autonomy which allows them to have a voice, to feel safe and to thrive within their educational setting. Working with dedicated and specially trained members of staff teachers, mentors and pastoral support, encourages students to form differing and healthy relationships, helping guide our students through to the end of and beyond their educational journey.