From small beginnings in 1951 to teaching patients from age five to 19 now, here is a short history of The Children's Hospital School at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and University College London Hospital (UClH).
1951 to 1990
Education for pupils at Great Ormond Street Hospital began with one teacher in 1951. The school rapidly expanded into a Tuition Unit. Under the auspices of the Inner London Education Authority, the school gained Special School Status with the benefit of a fully constituted Board of Governors.
With the demise of the ILEA in 1990, the school came under the direction of Camden Local Education Authority and became responsible for the Mildred Creak Unit (Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health at GOSH) and the tuition unit at UCH.
1995 to 2005
On 1 April 1995 the school became grant maintained and then became a Foundation Special School from September 1999. In April 2005 the tuition unit at Middlesex Hospital was closed and the pupils and teachers were transferred to The Children’s Hospital School. In September 2005, two new purpose-built school rooms were opened at the new UCLH.
The Children’s Hospital School therefore now comprises teaching on two sites at GOSH and at UCLH.
The school is a group 4 foundation, special, hospital school, teaching school-aged pupils ranging from five to 19, as well as children under five with Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs).
2009 to present
At GOSH we teach long-stay inpatients across more than 16 different wards and recurrent day patients on the Dialysis Unit. We continue to provide classroom teaching for inpatients and day patients on the Mildred Creak Tier 4 CAMHS unit. We are excited to be planning for a move into a purpose built teaching space within the new Children’s Cancer Centre, expected to be opening in 2026.
At UCH we teach predominantly on two floors: the paediatric floor for children up to the age of 12 and an adolescent floor for young people from 12 to 19. This is a secondary and tertiary referral centre, with a specialisation in teenage cancer. Most recently, teaching has expanded to reach those children and young people receiving treatment in the Macmillan Cancer Centre (MCC) and the brand new Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) department.