A specialist school which takes the unusual approach of offering therapy and life coaching to pupils is hoping to move to Wallington, if a planning application is successful.

Serenity School opened in South End, Croydon, in November last year.

It currently has approval for up to 25 pupils, all boys, aged between 11 and 16 and takes a ‘therapeutic approach’ to education.

It caters for children with complex behavioural, social, emotional and mental health difficulties, as well as children with learning difficulties or autism.

If a planning application is successful the school will convert offices in Manor Road, Wallington, into a new secondary school for up to 90 pupils from 11 to 18-years-old.

The plan is for the current school site in South End to become a primary school. Both schools would be mixed gender.

Headteacher Jude Onye says that children at the school have a wide range of social and emotional mental health needs.

As well as normal academic lessons the children are supported emotionally with therapy and life coaching.

Mr Onye says it is as part of a caring community that the school aims to bring “vulnerable young students back into full time education by focusing on their emotional development”.

As well as all teachers receiving additional SEN (special educational needs) training, there are additional teams focusing on psychology, speech and language.

There is a ‘can do room’ at the school where children can get extra educational or behavioural support.

And it is not just in school that staff work with pupils, there are outreach family workers which offer mentoring as well as advice and support for families.

“At the moment we are working with five local authorities in South East London,” said Mr Onye.

“Plans are still in their infancy but we are hoping we will get approval to build a new secondary school.

“The idea is as a therapeutic school, from a young age children have access to therapists and a life coach.

“By the time they are leaving us at 18 they’ve got the skills and the independence to go on to college, university or an apprenticeship.”

Serenity School is an independent school but most of the money comes from placements from local authorities.

The aim for the secondary school is for all children to leave school with five qualifications including maths and English.

Mr Onye said the school had it’s first Ofsted inspection in May 2019 and was rated ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ features.

What are the proposals?

The school has applied to Sutton Council to convert Greenview House in Manor Road into a school.

If successful the plan would be for the current 25 pupils to move over to the new site and the school would gradually grow to include a sixth form.

No structural change is needed to the building. Existing rooms would be changed into classrooms, therapy and life coaching spaces and staff offices.

The current car park of the school offices would be the outside playground for the school.

The application states that PE and sport already happens off site and the school has contracts with a number of providers.

The planning application was validated by Sutton Council on Tuesday (June 11) and is set to be decided before September 10.