Our Values and Ethos

Welcome to Community-Ed Academy, where we champion a unique and vibrant learning environment tailored for young individuals aged between 11 and 16 years old. As an independent specialist school, we're dedicated to nurturing growth, encouraging curiosity, and creating a supportive atmosphere for our students and their families.

We look to work with our young people in a different way, such as understanding that traditional uniforms can be a barrier to learning for many students so we’ve chosen not to have a school uniform. This decision reflects our commitment to removing obstacles that may hinder a child’s educational journey, ensuring a more comfortable and inclusive environment for all.

We invite you to explore our website and explore all of information it offers. Discover our core values, educational philosophy, and the detailed policies we've put in place to support both parents and students. You'll also learn about our school day and what we offer on a day to day basis. The students school day is scheduled from 9:30am to 2:30pm, designed to optimise our students learning and wellbeing.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss further what Community-Ed Academy can offer, please feel free to reach out. Our contact details, including the school's phone number and email address, can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Code of Conduct

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Parents Support

School Counselling

At Community Ed Academy we recognise that a student that is struggling with their emotional wellbeing, may not be able to apply them selves fully academically. We offer a 1:1 therapeutic space for all students through our on-site counsellor. This is a safe space for our students to be able to talk and explore any issues or worries they may have. The school counsellor works closely with all staff and this means concerns or worries about students can be addressed and support can be put in place quickly.

Not all students are able to express themselves in the same way, which is why our counsellor works in a creative and child centred way, tailoring sessions to the students needs. This could be through sessions involving clay, sand trays, woodwork or just going out for a walk and talk. This can allow the student to express themselves through these mediums and it can take the pressure off of the student. Sessions normally last around 45 minutes, but it can be shortened if this time is too much for a student. There is no cap on how many sessions a student can have, instead we work around what is helpful and if it is benefiting the student, then we continue.

Our counselling service is also open to parents and guardians, to help offer support if things get too much or to help them explore past difficulties or current issues.

Parents Support


At Community Ed Academy we recognise that no one is an island and our students are no exception. It is crucial for home to support school and we have seen this time and again that when home supports school and is able to be proactive, student engagement and success increases. It is also important for school to support home and this is through Family Support.

We know that working with children with specialist needs can be difficult and as the saying goes “you don’t get a manual when you have a child.” We certainly do not promise to have all the answers, but what we do have is experience, time, and a listening ear. Sometimes all we need is someone to talk things through with to help find solutions that are right for you and the students.

We can offer support into other services if that is what is needed, run Early Help Assessment Plans, Family Support Plans, be involved in meetings with other professions or simply offer a cuppa and a chat. We want you to feel just as much as part of the Community Ed family as your students will, because we know that a happy supported home leads to a happy and supported student who is ready to learn.

Students who wish to attend Community-Ed Academy must have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).


The local Authority refers all students to us. The placement team has a panel that meets fortnightly and decides on individual cases. The Local Authority is aware of the type of placement Community Ed Academy can offer and matches students' needs to special schools' SEND provision.

Once a referral is sent to the school, the school has 15 days to respond and state if they can meet that child's needs against their needs, which is in section E of the child’s EHCP. The Headteacher will read the referral paperwork, and if they think the child's needs can be met at Community Ed Academy, they will invite them into school with their parents to meet staff and look around. If the child and the parents are happy, the school will likely offer a taster day. After a successful taster day, a place is likely to be offered.

The Headteacher will complete the referral paperwork offering a place, and the offer will be discussed at the next placement panel. The Local Authority will consider the child's needs, alongside the placement offer compared to any other offer, and value for money.

Once the Local Authority agrees on a placemat, an offer letter will be sent to parents. Parents must sign and return this, accepting the offer. Once the offer has been accepted, the Headteacher will be in contact with the child and parents to agree a start date.

If you have any concerns or would like any support around EHCPs or the referral process, you can refer to the following:

Or contact the Headteacher using the contact information provided.

Here at Community-Ed we know that the key for supporting our students well, is to support and empower our parents and guardians with 1:1 family support and information regarding important areas. Here you will find information and links to important and current information that we hope you will find useful. It is worth keeping an eye on this section as we will look to update it regularly. This term we have added access to some free parental resources. These resources are offered through SSS Training, which is our trusted company that supplies all our staff with staff training. Please have a look at these resources to see the type of resources now available for you.

Current resources available:

  1. Tackling Sleep Problems in Children and Teens
  2. Supporting Your Child Through School Anxiety
  3. Improving School Attendance
  4. Child Mental Health & Wellbeing
  5. Parental Mental Health & Wellbeing

SSS Learning - Parental Resources

Helpful Websites

Below we have included some links to some useful websites that we feel could be helpful to have access to. These websites will cover areas around safeguarding for our young people, internet and technology access and mental health.
The NSPCC website offers a variety of resources and support in regards to keeping children safe. You can access short video clips, information on mental health and information on abuse and what to do if you have any concerns. This is fantastic website and we would highly recommend you taking some time to look through this if you have any concerns or worries. If you would like talk through any worries or concerns, then of course please feel free to call us at school to talk it through.
Educate Against Hate is a website that offers advice and trusted resources to help safeguard students from radicalisation, build resilience to all types of extremism and to promote shared values. Their website is easy to navigate and offers documents to read, as well as videos to watch. Messages of hate can take many forms and it is important for us as trusted people to gain knowledge and be ready to support our young people if they need it. Parents can find answers to common questions and resources to help protect your child on this page.
Internet Matters supports parents and professionals with comprehensive resources and expert guidance to help them navigate the ever-changing world of child internet safety. They look to offer support to different age ranges and group this support together. They offer support around online safety, setting online boundaries, grooming and so much more. In this day and age when our young people have so much access to online content, we would recommend taking some time to think about online safety.
Mind is a well-known and trusted organisation that supports mental health and well-being. On this website you can find specific access to an under 18’s page, that offers information around mental health for young people, information on confidence and self- esteem, self-harm and anger. They also offer support to parents and guardians who are supporting young people, as well as offering support to young people who may have some worries about their friends.
Sendiass offer free and impartial advice, guidance and support about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), for children, young people, parents and carers. There is a wealth of support and guidance on this page, including literature, free training around EHCP’s and better understanding them as well as being able to chat 1:1 with a Sendiass advisor. Sendiass offers support to parents and cares across both Norfolk and Suffolk.
The Special Needs Jungle is a website that looks to support parents and carers of young people with special educational needs. The website is written by parents of young people with SEND or people who work with young people with SEND. They look to offer advice and guidance for children and young people up to the age of 25 years old. They offer resources around EHCP’s, specific health conditions and guidance and advice on supporting young people with Send, from the parents who know what it’s like.

Just One Norfolk and is a free resource for those living in Norfolk. The Solihull Approach ‘Understanding Your Child’ is a free online course available for everyone who cares for children aged 0-18 years. It’s there to help you recognise emotions in yourself and your child, and helps you to see how these emotions can impact on behaviour.

Parents and carers can follow the link and with the pass code JON70, they can access lots of different training.  A course we would recommend is Understanding Your Teenagers Brain.

For now that is all we have. We will look to update this page regularly so please keep checking in. If you are looking for specific support or guidance then please call school and we will look to get together to discuss how we can help. If you have access or know of any great information, please let us know so we can share it with the rest of the families. As always, if you wish to talk through any issues or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact school.

Students Support

Hi and thanks for looking at our student support page. Here you will find lots of information and videos on topics and areas that you might find interesting. If you feel like you would like some support around your mental health, worries about friends and family, friendships or other areas, we hope that you will find something here.

We will add in links to websites as we discover more and look to add different bits in that we feel may be helpful. Have a look through and see what you think. If you have any ideas on how to make this page better, please let us know as we would love to hear your ideas.
Mind is a great website that offers free support to young people. It has lots of information on it as well as videos that you can watch around mental health and how to look after yourself. This website also has some great information about what to do if you are worried about a friend’s mental health and how you could help.
Childnet offers lots of information about online bullying, gaming and grooming. They give tips about what to do if you are worried about your own safety online. This website does not have any videos so requires a lot of reading. If you want to, ask someone close to you to support you to look through it, or even someone at school.
Think U Know offers advice and guidance to all young people, parents and guardians as well as teachers and those that work closely with young people. We have included the link for the 11 to 18 year old page. Here you will find information on lots of topics such as online safety, being social online and support around relationships. There is a lot of information on this website, so it may be helpful to get a trusted someone to help you navigate your way through it.
The Mix is a website that supports young people under the age of 25 years old. They offer advice and guidance on many different topics from sex and relationships, to mental health and drink and drugs. You can join safe and secure chat message boards to talk to other young people with a health professional to support, or you can message for some 1:1 support. You can also text or email them and speak to them that way if that’s more comfortable.
MAP is an organisation that supports young people from11-25 years old. They have a great website that you can look at and find advice, guidance and support. You can also visit their support hubs in Great Yarmouth and Norwich, where they offer spaces for young people on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 1:30 and 5pm. They offer lots of other face to face support so feel free to pop down and check them out. If you would like someone from school to take you down there to check it out.
This is a website that looks at how young people can keep themselves safe. They have lots of cool videos to watch on many different subject from keeping yourself safe to what to do if you feel you need to speak with someone. Check it out.

Personal Development & Achievement

Within this section you'll discover a vibrant showcase of our students' daily life, their participation in diverse activities, and their fantastic accomplishments. From the thrill of competition to the joy of exploration and learning, our students embody the spirit of discovery and excellence.

Look through our selection of images capturing our students in action—be it clinching trophies in various competitions, embracing the adventure of horse riding, celebrating literature on World Book Day, or engaging wholeheartedly in our community events. A highlight to note is our recent parents' evening, which saw an unprecedented 100% turnout, a testament to the strong partnership between our school and our students' families.

Additionally, we've included our newsletters, published every half-term, to provide you with insights into our vibrant school life and the milestones we've achieved together.

At Community-Ed Academy, we are more than just a school; we are a nurturing community that encourages every student to participate in and benefit from the activities we offer—from sports events to cultural excursions to relaxing visits to the cat café.

We invite you to explore this section and see for yourself the fantastic achievements of our students. Their successes are not just a source of pride for us but also an inspiration, showcasing what can be achieved with enthusiasm, support, and community spirit.





Senior Leadership Team

What does a school governor do?

Governors are responsible for overseeing the management side of a school: strategy, policy, budgeting and staffing. They enable their school to run as effectively as possible, working alongside senior leaders and supporting teachers to provide excellent education to children.

Being a school governor is a commitment to attending governing body meetings which consider issues such as setting the school vision, mitigating financial risk and scrutinising educational outcomes. They are also involved in the school community, acting as critical friends to the headteacher and senior leaders.

Andrew McGovern

Andrew McGovern

Proprietor (Operational Director)

Andrew has lead adult Social Care for the local authority for over 10 years, before retraining as a chef and starting his own catering company. Andrew is passionate about providing opportunities for others and went on to tutor young people that found themselves on the periphery of education, engaging them back into learning through cooking and life skills.

Andrew is one of the founding directors of Community Ed C.I.C. an Intuitive Provision that opened in 2020. Community Ed was set up to provide person-centred learning for hard-to-reach young people that have large gaps away from education. Community Ed is a community interest company that’s committed to providing quality education to young people within the community, because we are a community interest company all funding directly supports the education of our students.

Sally Alden

Sally Alden

Head Teacher (SENCO)

Sally has over 28 years of experience of working with vulnerable children that struggle within mainstream education. She is a qualified SENCO and DSL and has been leading special education for the past 21 years, specialising in challenging behaviour, ASD and SEND. For the past 10 years, Sally has been a Head Teacher, and more recently an Executive Head teacher of two Independent Schools. Sally has a positive reputation across Norfolk and Suffolk for providing sustainable education for SEND students and is known for writing and developing curriculums that meet individual needs, alongside addressing social and emotional barriers. After completing her Social Science degree, she achieved qualified teacher states and went on to complete a Master’s in Education and Leadership, specialising in SEND. Sally is passionate about promoting progression and person-centred learning and believes this is achieved through building positive relationships and parent engagement. Sally is currently studying towards an NPQEL and apprenticeship in executive leadership.



Chair of Governors

Safeguarding and Children in care

I am a qualified social worker and have worked in Children and Families social work for over 20 years, working within local authorities for 13 years with all my social work career being based with children and young people looked after. I left the local authority after being a team manager for several years. Upon leaving the local authority in 2013 I set up Beams Foster Care, a local fostering agency based in Gorleston, I am Co-Director and the Registered Manager. We provide local foster placements to Norfolk and Suffolk children.

I hold a Bachelor of Science degree; a diploma is Social Work and a diploma in Criminology. Since being a Registered Manager I have completed Level 5 management course.

My passion is to support children, young people, and their families to reach their potentials. Over the years I have worked to support several children and young people that have additional needs and hold a strong interest in ensuring children and young people with disabilities have the services and resources theyshould have to ensure they can achieve in all aspects of their lives.

In my personal life I am an adoptive parent, to a funny, engaging teenager. Prior to becoming a wife, stepparent, and parent, I spent my younger years travelling counties such as America, France, Australia, and New Zealand, mostly working as a children’s nanny.

As a School Governor I hope to bring my personal and professional experience to assist the school in reaching high aspirations and a commitment to the children and young people to help them achieve the best possible outcomes.



School Governor

School Development Plan & Strategic Support

I have spent my working life within the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. Engaging with local communities of interest my motivation is the development of long term and sustainable solutions which meet the needs of those with a lived experience. I am Chief Executive at Home-Start Norfolk and the VCSE Assembly place-based representative for Norwich, part of our Integrated Care System for Norfolk. I also run a VCSE management consultancy business, YourNorfolk Ltd.



School Governor

Staff wellbeing and representative

Hi I am David

I work at Novaturient School in Great Yarmouth, managing a small team called the Enrichment team. This specialist SEMH school works with young people aged 11 to 16 and their families. We specifically look to support the students regarding their social and emotional well-being through different means. We believe it is essential for young people to have passion in their lives, and we try our best to develop and support this through activities and 1:1 support. We also aim to help parents and their wider families as we believe a systemic approach to our student’s engagement is the best way to get the most from them.

I am also the school therapist and have multiple clients within the school. This can be the students, staff, or family members. I am qualified as an integrative therapist and draw on different theories and ideas to support my clients. Until recently, I was a specialist bereavement therapist, volunteering at the James Paget Hospital, working with complicated grief and loss. The service has recently closed due to funding, but it was a role I enjoyed very much, and I was lucky enough to be able to offer my services there for around six years.

I am a firm believer in family support and that the best way to support a student in a school can sometimes be to support the parents. I enjoy attending home visits and speaking with families face-to-face to see how I can best help them.

I am currently studying for a Master’s in Time-limited Psychodynamic Approach and CBT. I have completed my first year, and I am now working on learning more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in my final year. I hope to integrate this into my therapeutic offer, and I am excited to see how this can support my clients better. I recognise the importance of academia but know that this learning style is not for everyone, and I am keen to help young people to learn in a way that better supports them.



School Governor

I currently work for Norfolk County Council and during my varied career I've worked for both the private, public and voluntary sector. I've enjoyed many roles including working for the community to develop and deliver services, working one to one with families and supporting individual young people.

I have a BSc Hons Degree in Psychosocial Studies, and as well as my full-time job, I'm a tutor for Adult Education. I've worked full time, been self-employed and unemployed, and I strongly believe that learning is the path to work you actually enjoy.

I know that learning can't be successful if it's a 'one size fits all' approach, and that early learning experiences greatly affect later life and ongoing life achievements. Many children don't enjoy education or learning, and anything we can do to change that should be a priority. By working with families and in communities to build a strong ideology of positive learning, achievement and growth, we help everyone, and I am happy to contribute to that in my day-to-day work and in my role as school governor.



School Governor

Finance, GDPR & Health & Safety

Matthew is a tax and payroll specialist, having spent over 25 years in accountancy practice.

A qualified member of the Association of Tax Technicians (AAT), Matthew joined Lovewell Blake as an audit junior after completing his A levels. After studying accounting, he found an affinity with taxation, in particular personal and employment taxes, and passed the AAT exams before accepting a role in the payroll team.There, he advises clients across all manner of payroll issues, from workplace pensions to national insurance and Construction Industry Scheme reporting.

Outside work, Matthew is a keen football fan and loves a good book.

He brings a wealth of experience in accounting and finance to his role as a governor, which he hopes to use to the greater benefit of the school.



School Governor


Samantha is currently the headteacher of All Saints Lessingham, a well established SEN school. She has over a decade of experience in the senior leadership and has built a strong SEND curriculum.

Meet the Team

Meet the team

Classroom Rules

classroom rules CEA

Chicken tikka masala & rice
Naan bread
Sausage, chorizo, and bean casserole with pasta Beef lasagna & ChipsCottage pie & VegFish tacos and rice
Rice puddingJelly & Ice creamJam roly-poly and custardYoghurt and fruitWaffles & Ice Cream


If a student does not like what is on offer for lunch, they are able to choose a packed lunch including a sandwich, a bag of crisps, a yoghurt, and or a piece of fruit!

Sandwich fillings are a choice of the following, Ham, cheese, Ham & Cheese, Tuna (with or without sweetcorn/mayo), or Egg mayo.

Ofsted Report

SEND Report


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