Criteria for Admission

  • Children/young people with a full statement of Special Educational Needs or EHCP.
  • Children/young people with severe learning/physical disability, requiring high levels of staffing support.
  • Children/young people that may benefit from an extended MOVE programme to support a more independent adult life.
  • Children/young people with medical needs who require intervention from an appropriately trained nursing health worker, to meet their daily activities of living and to access their education.
  • Children/young people requiring use of equipment to support their daily activities of living, i.e. Bi-pap, suction, gastro feeding, wheelchair, walking aids and positioning aids.
  • Children/young people at risk of deterioration of their condition or abilities.
  • Children/young people with social communication and other complex needs.


Please visit Mulberry Tree House’s page for more information

Ofsted | Mulberry Tree House | 2021

  • Mulberry Tree House Contact Details
    School Office: 020 8249 6844
    Mulberry Tree House Mobile: 07805 703 622
    Mulberry Tree House Office: ext 254
  • Charlton Park Academy website:
  • Mulberry Tree House,
    Head of Care
    Charlton Park Road, London, SE7 8HX
  • CPA Email:
    Skype: CPARainbowHouse
    Twitter: @Charltonsch

Statement of Purpose

Charlton Park Academy
Mulberry Tree House (MTH) Statement of Purpose Sept 2022

Mulberry Tree House is part of Charlton Park Academy, a large and successful specialist secondary SEND school in South East London.

In May 2021, MTH moved into a new purpose-built facility that was provided by the replacement building programme, which was funded by the Department of Education.

Over time, our core purpose has evolved from being a weekly boarding school for PD pupils to a more SEND/social and health care ‘short breaks’ centre for a wider range of young people and their families with EHC Plans. Places are funded from a number of sources, including children’s services, direct payments, parental purchasing and continuing health care.

MTH is Ofsted registered as a residential special academy with social care – registration number SC044128 – and is annually inspected in line with good or better outcomes.

Most students have complex needs with associated communication problems and can have high care and medical conditions, which require monitoring and support. These include PMLD, SLD and ASD young people.

MTH can accommodate up to 11 bed places overnight, but is currently commissioned for three places by Royal Borough of Greenwich on average per night due to a reduction in perceived needs locally.

All aspects of the work at Mulberry Tree House are driven by the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools to positively impact upon the young person outcomes and life chances.


Our Mission Statement

  • Providing opportunities within which the child/young person feels confident and able to express their views on the service.
  • Offering encouragement and praise, developing positive self-esteem, emotional well-being and confidence.


For each child/young person to develop their individual potential by;

  • Setting targets which are appropriate and further develops existing skills.
  • Supporting extended learning including opportunities to develop and extend social networks and participation in the local community.
  • Developing their social and life skills by promoting independent choice and decision making. Learning table manners and understanding turn-taking.


For each child/young person to feel happy and have a sense of well-being by;

  • Encouraging and developing friendships.
  • Celebrating birthdays and other significant festivals.
  • Creating an atmosphere of belonging; staff interest and empathy. Staff listening and responding appropriately.
  • Creating a relaxed atmosphere of both routines and unstructured times to enable the children/young people to develop self-responsibility and consider the needs of others.
  • Encouraging each child/young person to personalise his/her own room.


For each child/young person to develop socially acceptable behaviour by;

  • Being aware of appropriate greetings and developing social interaction skills. Encouraging behaviour which would ensure their safety.
  • Developing a sense of personal hygiene.
  • Gaining an understanding of appropriate clothing in different social situations.
  • For each child/young person to feel secure in a safe environment by; ensuring each child/young person knows the routine and should this change for any reason, explanations are given beforehand.

Staff have appropriate training to ensure young people and staff are safe. We follow strict procedures for the checking and monitoring of all prospective staff. Child Safeguarding is an essential facet of our training and all new staff receive training as a part of their initial Induction and Foundation programme from DSL team and thereafter, all staff receive regular as well as our annual refresher sessions. All staff have regular training in Health and Safety, Fire Evacuation Procedures, First Aid and Safeguarding/Child Protection.

  • External doors to be secured except when used.
  • Adequate and flexible levels of staff ensure that children/young people are safe and supervised.
  • By developing in each child/young person a sense of autonomy


Desired outcomes for all students who take part in the Short Breaks service are;

  • Young person happy whilst in our care and families happy with care provided.
  • Child/young person demonstrates that they are able to participate in social situations in an appropriate manner.
  • Child/young person develop safe relationships both in and outside of the school context.
  • Child/young person demonstrates an awareness of how to keep themselves safe within the school environment and the wider community.
  • Child/young person is able to make informed choices or decisions.
  • Child/young person feels confident to communicate their needs and aspirations.
  • Child/young person demonstrates an awareness and respect of both self and others traditions, beliefs and opinions.
  • Child/young person develops safe and appropriate social, life and independence skills over time and communication skills.


Mulberry Tree House is a well organised educational community in which all young people are of equal importance and are valued for the individuals they are, regardless of race, culture or background.

  • MTH aim to provide these ideals in our relationships within our community.
  • MTH provide an educational community that is holistic as well as formal by involving parents, Governors and the local community.
  • MTH give all young people, irrespective of the number of short break nights they are allocated, the opportunity for educational development.
  • MTH aim to develop each individual’s talents, abilities, skills and understanding, in order that they may live life to the full. We seek to do this:
  1. By creating a well organised environment in which each member of the Mulberry Tree House community is valued as a unique, regardless of race, culture and background and opportunity is provided in the curriculum to raise the academic achievement, together with the development of each student’s talents, abilities, skills and understanding. We aim to help students with learning difficulties to develop their full potential through our policy of encouraging equal opportunities for all.
  2. By developing respectful tolerance towards all religions, races and ways of life.
  3. By establishing a community where self-discipline, respect for others, forgiveness and generosity of spirit are practiced.


Our aims have equal importance in providing students at Mulberry Tree House with a breadth of curriculum opportunities, which meets the educational needs of each student within a supportive and structured environment with a high staff ratio and professional support.

Mulberry Tree House intends to achieve and maintain these stated aims by having a high regard and respect for every human being:

  • for each student at Mulberry Tree House, regardless of his/her challenges.
  • for each member of staff working at Mulberry Tree House regardless of the nature of their contribution to the work.
  • for each service user to Mulberry Tree House regardless of the purpose of their stay.


Such regard leads to a sense of responsibility for our relationships and to an understanding of the need to care for our shared environment.


Referral, Admission & Review Process

Referrals and admissions occur throughout the year. Parents may request informal visits or the child/young person’s local authority may make referrals about placements.

Admission to Mulberry Tree House is dependent on the facility being able to meet the needs as set out in the child/young person’s Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) and by assessing any additional needs which may not be explicit in the EHCP to ensure that the child/young person’s health and welfare needs can be appropriately met.

A vital element of the admission process is also to ensure that both the needs of the child/young person concerned and the likely effects of his/her admission on the safety and well-being of the existing groups of students are taken into considered.

As a caring organisation will wherever possible try to make reasonable adjustments. However, where those children/young people whose special needs are characterised by severely challenging behaviour and who pose a significant or high risk to other students which is documented or will run off or present significant self-injurious behaviour or behaviour that puts self at serious risk or others at serious risk then these young people will not be accepted or considered for placement. Young people requiring significant physical intervention to keep safe are also not able to be considered at MTH.

Senior management staff from Mulberry Tree House will meet the child/young person and their parents/carers as well as any familiar staff who may be accompanying them on their assessment.

The child/young person will spend time at the Centre for assessment during the day. Children and young people’s views and wishes are encouraged during this process. The Leadership Team, with other MDT Team inform the final decision to offer a place to the family directly.

EHCP is reviewed annually (and a LAC review, if required) is arranged to enable as many professionals as possible to meet with parents, particularly at times of transition.

All boarding places at Mulberry Tree House are respite/short break placements for young people with EHCP and on roll with CPA.


Facilities and Services

The school stands within Charlton House Park area which was an extensive deer park. Charlton Village is a short 5-minute walk and Greenwich town centre is easily accessible by bus. We are also within easy travelling distance of Central London via 486 bus from school to North Greenwich Station part of the Jubilee Line which connects to Canary Wharf and the Elizabeth Line.

Mulberry Tree House offers a range of facilities on site including sensory rooms, a soft playroom, modulation rooms, hydrotherapy Pool and Multihall. Scouts and activity programmes are on offer to all students. They are also helped to access appropriate community-based leisure facilities such as shopping (including Bluewater), cinema, bowling and the theatre. Some students may attend community based seasonal events. The school grounds also have an all-weather MUGA court and activity playground and are accessible for disabilities and secure, not open to the public.


Education Staffing levels are appropriate and learning is promoted an Individual Education Plan and Individual Care Plan. A link meeting take place regularly between care and teaching staff where learning objectives are set and reviewed on a termly basis to ensure staff are consistent in their use of support strategies. This facilitates the achievement of individual targets. Annual Review Reports are sent to all parents once a year. All students at Mulberry Tree House, who are also Pupils at Charlton Park Academy, are registered with ASDAN My Independence.


Therapies Mulberry Tree House has access to a Speech and Language therapists, an Occupational therapist and a consultant Music therapist supporting student’s educational programmes. Therapists provide ongoing training to all staff to ensure the needs of all students continue to be met.


Child Protection / Safeguarding

Safeguarding is our highest priority. It underpins all aspects of school and residential activities. At Mulberry Tree House we are committed to promote and safeguard the welfare of each young person. We aim to provide a safe environment in which children/young people’s individual needs are met, and to protect them from exposure to harm also enabling them to keep themselves safe.

We believe it is vital that everyone involved in the care of children and young people is alert to the possibility of abuse. Our policy and procedures recognise this possibility and aim to promote an environment in which abuse is unlikely to occur.

Mulberry Tree House has a comprehensive policy and guidelines that set out the course of action for members of staff, children/young people and parents, volunteers and friends if abuse is alleged, suspected or observed. Mulberry Tree House provides Safeguarding training to all staff during their induction period. Training is delivered in a variety of ways either by independent providers or by our own in-house qualified and experienced trainer.

Mulberry Tree House’s training and Safeguarding Policy and procedures reflect both national and local area guidelines. We encourage our young people and their families to let us know of any concerns or anxieties through our concerns raised verbally and if not remediated then by using the complaints procedure.

Accommodation Mulberry Tree House is a purpose-built construction. It is self-contained on the 1st floor with classrooms and specialist rooms on the ground floor. There are 11 bedrooms with ‘Jack and Jill bathroom suites.’ The staff sleeping in rooms are separate from the students rooms. MTH has its own large kitchen/dining room, computer room with internet access, as well as an office, medical room, laundry and accessible toilets. All students are encouraged and supported to personalise their own rooms for the duration of their stay. In agreement with the family certain objects may be stored between visits. The fittings and furnishings in the shared areas of the house reflect the needs of the group as a whole.


Supervision, Training and development of staff

All staff receive regular supervision and annual appraisals. There is in-depth induction training and staff receive regular refresher training as well as job specific training. Training is either online and face to face. All staff should have achieved QCF Diploma at level 3 in Health and Social Care for Children and Young People and this is provided through an in-house service.


Care Staff

Mulberry Tree House has its own dedicated team of care staff this may be augmented by Academy staff who know the students well. Mulberry Tree staff (Sept 2021) consists of Consultant Head of Care, Senior Care Worker, Care Workers, night staff and domestic staff, and day school staff that know individual young people well.

The number of staff on duty is dependent on the number of children/young people staying and their assessed needs. Some may have additional funding through LA for extra staffing hours where needed. The minimum staffing ratio is 1 staff to two young people. In MTH there are always a minimum of 2 staff on any shift, these include 2 waking staff overnight.

The Care Team consists of a minimum of the senior house parent worker, teacher in charge and four full-time care staff. The aim of our team is to provide a high level of physical, environmental and emotional care, in comfortable and stimulating surroundings.

There is a written ‘hand over’ meeting between school and MTH and vice-versa to pass on information from the Academy to Mulberry Tree House.

Leadership Team are on call throughout the night and responds to any emergencies by assisting night staff in the house. This ensures further management back up, advice and support is available to the front line staff on duty in the event of significant emergency that they may wish additional support with.

The house has a telephone where students can make and receive calls in private. If appropriate they will be assisted to do this.

The care team fosters a good relationship with parents/carers and welcomes contact at any time, thus enabling a consistent approach to students.

There are a variety of evening activities, these are dependent upon each students interests and preferences.

The care team help the students to take personal responsibility for their clothing and personal hygiene thus encouraging social awareness and promoting their independence.

The emotional welfare of the students at Mulberry Tree House is fundamental to the holistic wellbeing of each person. We have supportive, caring and highly trained staff who can offer individual help to the students. The atmosphere and stability of MTH contributes greatly to the students’ sense of security, which is of vital importance to their emotional development.

All students are encouraged to take an active part in decision making and in the day to day running of the MTLH. As breakfast and suppers are provided in the dining room, the students are encouraged to select a menu of their choice, with health guidelines being offered by the care staff. All students follow an internal residential skills programme which can be accredited under the My Independence courses which they are working towards at school.

The Care Team have an active role in the staff structure at Mulberry Tree House, providing daily reports to school staff, link meetings, providing reports for annual reviews, planning individual programmes and working alongside teaching and medical staff for the welfare and development of each student. The iCare system in used by staff to support medication management.


Outcomes for Learners

At Mulberry Tree House we are committed to our young people maximising their potential and developing both educationally and socially within a nurturing environment. Charlton Park Academy employs a multi-disciplinary team of Education, Care and Therapy staff to work with the young person, their family and professionals to achieve outcomes.

Our home school link leader also ensures that families can have consistency at home in areas such as behaviour, independence skills, therapeutic interventions and learning techniques.

Charlton Park Academy aims to find the potential of every young person and maximise the outcomes for him or her. This involves working well with each other and sharing information internally as appropriate, but also working with external stakeholders such as CAMHS, Social Care, Educational Psychologists and others. Therapists work across the waking day to ensure skills are transferable from class to residential to community. There is effective communication to ensure learning is enhanced and information is shared to ensure consistency across the whole school for learners.


Health Care

Charlton Park Academy and Mulberry Tree House liaise closely with parents, specialists and students own GP. All staff who administer medication have undergone appropriate training and regularly receive refresher courses by a registered provider. The giving of medication is recorded electronically using the iCare system.


Recruitment & Training

Mulberry Tree House via Charlton Park Academy follows safer recruitment advice and guidance. Applicants must also disclose any criminal offences and consent to an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check.

Mulberry Tree House places great importance on Continuing Professional Development for employees. We recognise the value of in-service training. We have qualified assessors and care staff, depending on their position, who have already obtained or are registered for National Vocational Qualifications Levels 3, 4 and 5.

Mulberry Tree House also recognises the need for CPD of staff working with students with severe learning disabilities and Autism: specific training courses at different levels in Augmentative Communication (such as Mayer Johnson and Signalong), Behaviour Management, PBS, Approach and Child Protection are compulsory training for all staff.

All staff have an annual performance and development review meeting. This process includes setting targets and agreeing training priorities for the coming year.

Each of the care staff receives supervision time and there are also house meetings weekly and group supervision which takes place at least once each half term. Discussion and decisions from all of these meetings are recorded. In addition to these meetings, the care

staff also meets with the Care Manager to discuss in detail particular students and how they can be best helped.

Complaints Mulberry Tree House Complaints Policy is set out in separate documents. This is given to all parents and placing authorities and details how to ensure worries or concerns are brought to our attention. It also sets out the procedures for making a formal complaint.


Contact with families/ family services

Contact with families is encouraged. Daily communication between school and families/carers is facilitated through the school communication books or email. MTH has a direct telephone line for parents and is available for students to develop the skills of using the telephone.

Mulberry Tree House has a family focussed model of delivery that aims to meet the needs of the whole family and maintain positive relationships with all family members. Our Parents Forum provides support and advice on any issues relevant to student’s current needs and their future welfare.

Contact arrangements of family members are reviewed regularly as part of the Placement and LAC Review. Families are consulted through the review process and by questionnaire.


Positive Behaviour Support

Mulberry Tree House staff are trained in the principles of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) which guides the framework for teaching and learning.

Our approach is person-centred and is aimed at developing the whole person, developing skills for learning and life. This includes proactive support and active support. Mulberry Tree House bases its work on a positive behaviour support framework and aims to understand the behaviour and put coping strategies in place for times children/young people may have trouble.

Approach is the positive support programme which provides the framework for ‘Strategies for Crisis Intervention and Prevention’ to support its work in understanding difficulties children/young people may have and the resulting demonstrations of behaviours. It enables staff to support children/young people who are distressed with a range of non-aversive, non-confrontational and non-judgmental interventions.

Staff receive regular detailed training in these approaches and the individual behaviour guidelines ensure each child/young person receives the care and support needed to help in times of crisis, ensuring a safe environment and promoting a calm atmosphere.

The proactive approach ensures that the school and short breaks facility is working towards enabling and supporting the child/ young person rather than simply containing the behaviour. The most important work of Mulberry Tree House is to consider the needs of

the children/young people and ensure they learn new ways to have demands met rather than through inappropriate methods.

Each child/young person has a plan to support inclusion, some have a PBS Plan which takes into account any environmental factors and communicative functions which may be possible triggers for demonstration of behaviours of concern. This plan is agreed with parents and external professionals where relevant and reviewed at regular intervals. Any sanction or physical intervention used is recorded as part of the incident reporting process. The records are monitored by senior leaders, and they are also available to parents.


Charter of Children / Young People’s Rights

  • All children/young people with a learning disability have the same human rights and values as any other person.
  • All children/young people with a learning disability are individuals with their own individual needs – physical, emotional, social, spiritual, cultural and sexual.
  • Each child/young person is to be protected from abuse in all forms – physical, sexual, neglect or emotional.
  • Each child/young person and/or their representative have the right to complain. Furthermore, these complaints should be treated with respect, listened to and resolved. Each child/young person will be encouraged to be as independent as possible and to exercise choice.
  • A child/young person’s choices, views and wishes should be respected.
  • Each child/young person is to be treated with dignity and respect and addressed by their own name. They should never be talked about as if they were not there.
  • Each child/young person’s privacy should be always respected and in all places. The only exception would be when a child/young person is placed in danger by this principle.
  • All information about a child/young person should be treated confidentially, kept secure and only shared with people who need to know.
  • Every child/young person is always entitled to the best care.
  • Every child/young person should, as far as possible, be involved in decisions that affect them.
  • Parents and those with parental responsibility will be consulted in all aspects of care planning for a child/young person.
  • Each child/young person does have access to a telephone on request, on line material and computer access and be aware of other sources of help and advice e.g. ChildLine.

‘In May 2021 we have moved to a new site that has just been completed as part of a replacement building programme funded by the Department of Education’

‘promoting independent choice and decision making’

‘MTH aim to develop each individual’s talents, abilities, skills and understanding, in order that they may live life to the full.’