Children need to know they are being thought about in the right way by people who are interested in them

The Ethos of the School

breckenbrough 1st 2015-49

The school has evolved from the ideals of its founder Dr Arthur Fitch (shown above). He believed that young people who had problems could be helped by putting them in a safe, peaceful and secure environment, where they could be given space and time to address their difficulties by their own intellect and skills.




Today the ethos is based on core Quaker values, such as equality, respect, tolerance, forgiveness, reflection, conflict resolution and stewardship. Support is based on a good professional and personal understanding of the students. This understanding results from having an experienced, committed staff team who genuinely wish to support every student in improving the quality of their life. However, a relaxed and spontaneous reaction to circumstances remains a powerful and important part of the ethos.

What Children Need

  1. Children need the company of significant caring grown-ups who can be trusted to behave appropriately.
  2. They need parents who care about their child’s feelings and can recognise and interpret them.
  3. They need the presence of secure attachment figures.
  4. Children need to know they are being thought about in the right way by people who are interested in them.
  5. Children need to feel they are intrinsically worth loving regardless of their actions.
  6. Reasonable and appropriate limits are needed by children so that they can feel the world is safe.
  7. Children need grown-ups who can bear to be in touch with their own infancy.


I made this note after a lecture on the subject by Robin Balbernie on 16.02.1996. Robin was then Consultant Child Psychotherapist at Cleeve House in Gloucester, supervising my psychotherapy training.  Nearly nineteen years later, I offer it to you all at Breckenbrough School as I conclude my service as a Governor because I believe you strive to meet the needs of our students in the ways listed above.  I particularly value point 4.

Nicholas Evens 12.11.2014