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About Us

Our Mission

Rivers Education Support Centre is a unique organisation offering amazing opportunities to the children in East Herts and Broxbourne who are experiencing difficulties in mainstream school because of their social, emotional and mental health barriers.

The curriculum offered at Rivers is designed to recognise and address gaps in pupils' knowledge and capitalise on their interests whilst also addressing why mainstream education is proving difficult.

Our recent Ofsted inspection report commented that “Behaviour in the Centre is exceptional, helped by the calm environment that pervades throughout the school”.

Rivers work with pupils from the age of 5-16, supported by a highly skilled Primary and Secondary team of outreach staff working in and with 102 primary and 22 secondary schools throughout the area with children who are at risk of permanent exclusion, with the aim of supporting them and the school to overcome the issues that are making school life difficult.

"I am really pleased with the support that has been provided at Rivers and I feel that this has been the best educational experience for my son, out of all his school placements over the years. I feel he is much happier since being at Rivers and I think this is because people understand him there and help him feel respected and listened to."

The Phoenix Centre supports young people at Tier 3 and 4 of the DSPL4 Behaviour Service. We offer intensified outreach and short-term provision for primary school aged children who are at risk of permanent exclusion. Children who attend The Phoenix Centre will receive bespoke therapeutic packages of support and nurture, led by our skilled practitioners. These are designed to help children develop the skills they would need to be successful in their mainstream school and future education. We are also able to provide short-term educational support for children who have been permanently excluded. 

"When you come to Rivers, there are people you can talk to. You never feel lonely. Even when lessons get tough, the staff make them enjoyable."

At the Key Stage 3 centre in Hertford, pupils either attend for an agreed period of respite or for a longer period while next steps are arranged. Pupils are provided with a broad curriculum and barriers to education are identified and pupils are supported to find strategies to overcome these barriers to support them to be successful in school.

"You don't know where we've come from. He was hanging around with the wrong people - We didn't know what to do. As a family, we couldn't do anymore. We grounded him, took his phone off him, but we couldn't change him. I am so grateful, I can't thank you any more."

Where appropriate, statutory assessments are conducted for pupils to identify additional support that may be required and in some instances to support the process towards a placement in a specialist provision.

The Key Stage 4 centre in Hoddesdon provides education for year 10 and 11 pupils. Many pupils are supported to reintegrate back into mainstream school once it has been identified that they are likely to be successful. KS4 pupils complete a wide range of exam based and vocational qualifications to work towards future aspirations and chosen career pathways. Pupils have access to a broad range of subjects at a variety of levels and are guided to be highly aspirational with the courses they select. Pupil outcomes are outstanding.

"We can't thank you enough for all of the help and support you have given to my daughter."

The recent inspection highlighted that a calm atmosphere permeates the school. There are no raised voices or any type of disruption. High levels of respect result from clear expectations of all staff. Staff act as excellent role models. Pupils know they can always seek advice or help from adults. They are confident the support they receive resolves any of their concerns.

"She’s going to achieve so much more than she ever would have done at her previous school and she’ll be able to move on and focus on what she wants to do in life."

Rivers ESC has a highly positive, solutions focused ethos, with a strong emphasis placed on pupils making progress in behaviour as being a key factor to outstanding academic progress. There are clear boundaries of behaviour across the organisation. Inappropriate, disruptive and anti-social behaviour is discouraged by all staff in lessons and around the centres. Education takes place in a purposeful working environment.

Parents are positive about the contribution the school has made to their child’s education. They use words and phrases, such as ‘never giving up’ and ‘going above and beyond’, to describe their own experiences.

"I said all along, she just needs people to believe in her. And staff at Rivers definitely do. It's her time to shine now."

Our Aims

Rivers ESC provides a safe, secure and happy environment where everyone will work hard to achieve his/her potential. Furthermore, we build pupils confidence through celebrating success and by nurturing a culture where it is ok to take chances and learn from our mistakes in order to build resilience and self-belief.

"My daughter received a postcard from her English teacher today. What a lovely gesture; it's made both her and me smile."

We aim to inspire and enable pupils to:

  • Become confident, independent and successful young people
  • Excel in learning
  • Engage positively with the community
  • Be ambitious for their futures

"I am so grateful there are people like you that go above and beyond for our children."