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Welcome

It is a tremendous privilege to be the CEO of Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust (OHC&AT). We are a family of specialist education providers from pre-school through to further education across London, Surrey, Sussex and Berkshire and fully represent all designations of special education needs and disabilities (SEND).

Working together to transform lives is what we do and across the whole organisation we have a range of experts and practitioners who advocate for children and young people with SEND to ensure they receive the best possible opportunities to achieve their full potential.

Since the College was established in 1983 it has grown from a small hospital provision into an Outstanding College that operates from six college centres and provides post-16 education for students with moderate, complex and profound learning needs. In 2013, the College established the Trust to share its expertise and provide services and support to specialist schools. The Trust is now home to 15 special schools and we have five live Free School projects in progress with projected opening dates ranging from 2020 to 2023.

It is an exciting time to be part of OHC&AT. Whether you are a parent or carer looking for a high quality special school or college for your child, an educator, therapist or leader looking to progress your career or a governor of a school looking to work closely with others, I do hope that you find the information on our website helpful and that it gives you an insight into all that we stand for.

John Prior - CEO
Peter Lauener - Chair, Orchard Hill College
Jay Mercer - Chair, Orchard Hill College Academy Trust


“Orchard Hill College & Academy Trust exists to support, enable and champion the talents, skills and rights of the most complex and vulnerable people in our society in order that we can release their potential, promote their wellbeing and transform their lives.”


Our college centres & Academies

This is a very exciting and pivotal moment in the lives of St Dominic’s, Brantridge and Grafham Grange schools.  Academy conversion under the sponsorship of Orchard Hill College Academy Trust will help secure their futures and, no doubt, lead to better outcomes for pupils and students, families and carers, staff and all stakeholders.

Ken Cowdery, Chair of Governors

Latest News

Topping Out Ceremony for Addington Valley Academy

Today marked a great milestone in the construction of our first special free school in Croydon. Key stakeholders were invited by building contractor, Kier, to witness the ‘topping out’ of Addington Valley Academy. The virtual ceremony took place on the …

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Tracey Goodsell presents at the Academy Governance Summit 

Tracey Goodsell, Head of Corporate Governance for OHC&AT, was invited to speak at the Academy Governance Summit conference – Delivering resilient governance in academy trusts. The one-day virtual summit was developed for governance professionals, clerks, and anyone responsible for governance in trusts …

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Include Magazine

The latest edition of Include, our annual publication for stakeholders is available to read here.  It features articles from our Leadership Team and success and achievement stories from across the schools and college. If you would like a printed copy …

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Mental health article by Laurie Cornwell published in SEN Magazine

OHC&AT Executive Principal and Deputy CEO, Laurie Cornwell’s article on OHC&AT’s mental health strategy is featured in the January 2021 edition of SEN Magazine. The article illustrates the importance of a whole-school approach to positive mental health and wellbeing. You …

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