Red Balloon Learner Centre Reading

Schools and Children’s services

Red Balloon Reading

The aim of Red Balloon is the recovery of bullied or traumatised young people who have self-excluded from school. We offer a full-time programme with a therapeutic approach. Our curriculum is negotiated with each student’s needs and interests in mind. Whilst offering all key subject areas to secondary school aged children, we also provide extracurricular activities to build students’ confidence in the community. We place wellbeing and students’ re-engagement in learning at the heart of everything we do. 

Lessons are in small groups and one-to-one when necessary. Part-time or transition placements are also considered depending on student need.

Students are admitted provided:

a) there is a place for them (maximum 15 students);
b) they can be supported by our provision;
c) they want to come to the Centre and are able to attend regularly;
d) they want to learn and make academic progress;
e) they will behave with respect and consideration towards the other students, the staff and the premises.

 When students have recovered they are fully supported in their transition back  into mainstream education (school or college).

 Our provision offers-

  • High adult to pupil staffing ratios.
  • Highly qualified teaching and support staff
  • Links to post 16 providers and Further Education colleges
  • 1:1 access to computers/laptops for all pupils
  • Music therapy
  • Drama therapy
  • Transition Plans
  • Annual Review process
  • Termly progress reports
  • Regular contact with parents and carers
  • Development of lifeskills
  • A range of qualifications

There are costs related to using / accessing our service

 For further details please contact:

Contact Telephone 01189 583004

Contact email

Local offer age bands (Secondary) 11-16

SEN provision type targeted


The Red Balloon Learner Centre has published their Local Offer providing information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)


Who to contact

Contact Name
Michelle Masters
Contact Position
Head of Cente
0118 958 3004 0118 958 3004
Red Balloon Learner Centre Reading
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Where to go

Red Balloon Learner Centre Reading
220, Kings Road
Directions to RG1 4JJ

Local Offer

Contact Name
Stuart Bracewell
Contact Telephone
0118 9583004
Contact Email
Red Balloon Learner Centre -Reading
Local Offer Age Bands
Secondary (11-16 years)
SEN Provision Type
Local Offer Updated
Download more Local Offer details for SEN Information Report - Local Offer Document 2018-19

Schools Extended Local Offer Response


School Name: Red Balloon Learner Centre

Address: 220-222 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 4JJ

Telephone: 0118 958 3004



Ofsted link:

Head teacher: Emma Goodfellow

SENCo: Stuart Bracewell



Date of latest Accessibility Plan:

Date completed:

By whom:

Name: Role:


General Statement – Red Balloon Learner Centres, established in 1996, offer a combined educational and therapeutic programme in a small community setting for children and young people who have self-excluded from school because of severe bullying or other trauma. We aim to: • raise students’ self-esteem; • get them back on an academic track; • prepare them for return to mainstream education, employment or training. Red Balloon - Reading opened in 2011. We provide for up to 15 students. We seek to develop a community in which all members (staff and students) support each other to learn and to develop the interpersonal skills that they will require to succeed beyond Red Balloon.

Admissions: Children and young people aged 11 to 17 who have self-excluded from school can be admitted provided that:

• there is a place available; • we consider we can provide for the student’s academic, wellbeing, social and physical needs; and the student:

• wants to come and will attend regularly;

• wants to learn and make academic progress;

• will behave with respect and consideration towards the other students, the staff, visitors and the property.

What students study: Each student has an individualised programme which includes sessions in academic subjects, creative arts, wellbeing and personal development. Some of these are one-to-one and some are group sessions. This programme is devised in consultation with the student and the staff. All students follow the core curriculum of maths, English, science, PSHEE, humanities and technology. Creative arts, including music, art, pottery and drama, are also on offer, and we try to enable students to study in other areas if they are of particular interest to them.

The wellbeing curriculum, developed by Red Balloon, covers the themes of ‘Self’, ‘Others’ and ‘The World’. It aims to help students become more confident, selfaware, empathetic and to be able to manage their emotions and behaviour. We encourage a healthy lifestyle. While there are some discrete sessions, such as therapy or counselling, Circle Time and life skills, wellbeing is embedded throughout the school day and within any extracurricular activities.

Qualifcations and transition At KS4, students can take GCSEs in English, maths, science, history, art, computing, modern foreign languages and food technology. Entry Level qualifications in English, Maths and Science as well as a range of ASDAN qualifications are also available to all students. When a student has recovered their self-esteem and re-engaged with academic work, they will be able to leave Red Balloon and return to mainstream school, employment or training. Care is taken to identify the next step for each student in consultation with their parents or carers, and to ensure that our provision prepares them for that, not only academically, but also with regard to social skills.

Practical details: The Centre opens at 09.00 and closes at 16.00. Sessions begin at 9.15, with two short breaks in the morning. Lunch break is from 12.35 to 13.15. Students do not have to wear a uniform, although we do expect them to dress appropriately.

1: The kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at the school
1.1: Do you have children with SEND in your school?

Yes, the majority of our children have SEND. Primarily SEMH issues, but some other needs such as ASD as well.

2: Information related to mainstream schools about the school's policies for the identification and assessment of pupils with SEND
3: Information about the school's policies for making provision for pupils with SEND whether or not pupils have EHC plans
3.1: Where can I find information about the school SEN Policy?

Disability & Discrimination Policy here

3a: How the school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for such schools
3b: The school's arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs
3c: The school's approach to teaching pupils with SEND
3d: How the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEND
3e: Additional support for learning that is available to pupils with SEND
3f: Activities that are available for pupils with SEND in addition to those available in accordance with the curriculum
4: In relation to mainstream schools, the name and contact details of the SEN Co-ordinator
7: The arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEND about, and involving such parents in, the education of their child
9: Any arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with SEND concerning the provision made at the school
10: How the governing body involves other bodies including health and social care, LA support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and in supporting the families of such pupils
14: Arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people's progress towards outcomes. This should include the opportunities available to work with parents and young people as part of this assessment and review
15: Who can I contact for further information?
16: What is the complaints procedure?

Our Complaints Policy can be found here

17: Our external partners are

Educational Psychologist

Speech & Language Therapist

Social Care


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This information has been collected from third party providers therefore the Reading Services Guide, Reading Borough Council (RBC) and Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of this information and recommends that parents, carers, young people, residents and professionals check with providers regarding DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) and OFSTED registrations and CQC registrations. Information collected by Reading Service Guide; is used solely to implement and supply the Family Information Service (FIS), Special Educational Needs & Disabilities - Reading's Local Offer, Adults & Carers Support Group and Reading Youth.


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Last Updated

Last updated:

Contact the Team

Family Information Service 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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