The Pendlebury Centre – Admissions & Student Characteristics

Referrals for The Pendlebury Centre placements are made via the Secondary Panel for Inclusion (SPI). These referrals are usually made by schools and on occasion by professionals involved with the young person’s care. We are unable to take referrals directly from parents/carers.

Further information about the referral process can be downloaded here:

Download the SPI Referral Form-January 2024

Students attending The Pendlebury Centre typically present with one or more of the following SEMH characteristics:


  • Long-term non-attendance
  • School phobia

The young person fundamentally struggles to cope with a large school setting. These challenges, for example, could be related to movement between lessons and relatively unsupervised social times. Students may have experienced increased isolation from school life and have significantly lower resilience than age-equivalent peers – particularly related to mainstream dynamics.

Emotional Difficulties:

  • Withdrawn behaviour
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive behaviours
  • Physical problems
  • Low self-esteem

The young person may demonstrate a limited awareness of their emotional state, be prone to outbursts of emotion, have limited self-help skills to manage emotions or struggles to accurately read the emotions of others.


  • Poor self-image
  • Self-harm
  • Rarely leaves home

The young person is regularly observed to present with low self-esteem in social situations, has a skewed or negative self-image, may lack confidence within a classroom setting and may also present in an intimidating manner as a defence mechanism.

Victim of bullying:

  • Long-term non-attendance
  • School phobia

The young person is causing concerns within their social life outside of school, struggles to leave the house, or contacts friends less frequently etc.

Mental health concerns:

  • Historic or present work with CAMHS
  • Low mood for extended periods of time
  • Disengaged and lacks motivation

The young person has adopted harmful coping strategies for dealing with times of difficulty, including different categories of self-harm.

‘Acting out’ behaviours resulting from:

  • Traumatic experiences
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Bereavement
  • Abuse of any kind
  • Past or present adverse experiences

The young person has evidence/documentation to support a referral, including the reflection and views of challenges and situations the young person has/is experiencing.

All young people admitted to The Pendlebury Centre undertake a range of assessments and will be observed by professionals with a high level of expertise in SEMH (social emotional and mental health wellbeing) with referrals to CAMHS and other agencies being pursued when appropriate. Strong weekly communication between mainstream schools, parents and The Pendlebury Centre are encouraged. Parents can email, telephone or visit the Centre at any time to discuss the challenges their child may be experiencing.

To facilitate a speedy return to mainstream education, students are kept on the roll of their mainstream school and, under the arrangement made under the Education Act 2016, will usually be dual registered. All students at Key Stage 3 attend their mainstream school for at least one session each week.

“Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. Students and staff treat each other with mutual respect and kindness… Pupils are confident that their school is a place of safety. They feel accepted and valued.” (Ofsted June 2023)