Our Accreditations and Awards

Every day we improve the lives of thousands of people, their families and communities through a relentless focus on caring and learning. The commitment, quality and expertise of our Outcomes First Group and Outcomes First Group services have been recognised by numerous industry accreditations and awards, including:

Great Places to Work UK

Outcomes First Group are delighted to share that it has been recognised as one of the 2021 UK’s Best Workplaces™ in the top super large employers published by Great Place to Work® today!

The accolade is in recognition of the pride people have in their jobs, the level of trust that colleagues place in managers, and an inclusive working environment based on collaboration and team work.

Fostering Friendly

Outcomes First Group recognises and values the contribution that foster carers make to society and especially the lives of children in care. We understand that foster carers who do other work in addition to fostering need some flexibility in their working arrangements in order to meet the needs of their fostered child. Outcomes First Group is committed to support any staff member who is a foster carer.

Disability Confident Committed

Outcomes First Group are proud to be registered as a Disability Confident Committed Employer in recognition of our commitment to inclusive practices. As a Disability Confident Committed Employer we celebrate diversity with a proactive approach to employing a diverse workforce and are committed to offering an accessible and inclusive recruitment process which offers equality of opportunity for all existing and prospective staff.   As an inclusive organisation, Outcomes First Group is committed to challenging attitudes towards disability by actively removing barriers and offering disabled people opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations with us. You can find more information about the Disability Confident scheme here

The British Psychological Society Accreditation

“Approved by the British Psychological Society for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).”

The Outcomes First Group Therapeutic Parenting Programme is designed to develop an attachment, trauma and neurodiversity informed workforce to create a positive and reflective therapeutic environment to achieve the best outcomes for all the children and young people we support.

Outcomes First Group’s Therapeutic Parenting Programme has been approved by the British Psychological Society for the purposes of continuing professional development. The British Psychological Society is a registered charity which acts as the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK, and is responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in the science, education and application of the discipline. To read more about the training programme, please see here.

Restraint Reduction Network

The Restraint Reduction Network is a charity striving to reduce reliance on restrictive practices by sharing their expertise and resources, the quality standards and practical tools that support reduction. Outcomes First Group are proud to be approved as a member of the Restraint Reduction Network, demonstrating the group’s continued commitment to reducing restrictive practices and benefiting from the expert advice, guidance and materials provided as part of the membership. To read more about the Network and Outcomes First Group’s Pledge, please see here.


Education Business Awards Winner 2021

Bramfield House School, part of Acorn Education and Care at Outcomes First Group, has won the SEN Provision Award at the Education Business Awards. The award acknowledges the high quality care and education provided to students with Special Educational Needs, as well as the hard work and dedication supporting young people to achieve fantastic outcomes.


Education Business Awards Finalist 2021

Three schools, Bramfield House, Baston House and Acorn Park – part of Outcomes First Group – have been shortlisted for the Education Business Awards 2021, which celebrate excellence in the education sector. Shortlisted for the SEN Provision Award, this category is presented to the school that demonstrates an increase in the quality of care and education services provided to students with Special Educational Needs. You can read more here.


TES Schools Award Finalist 2021

Acorn Digital Learning part of the Acorn Education and Care division at Outcomes First Group, has been shortlisted as a finalist for the TES Schools Awards, within the category ‘Alternative Provision School of the Year’ Award. To read more about the shortlisting, you can do so here.


BETT Awards Finalist 2021

Acorn Digital Learning part of the Acorn Education and Care division at Outcomes First Group, has been shortlisted as a finalist for the BETT Awards, within the category  ‘The Covid-19 Response Champions Awards – UK Companies’.  When school closures were announced in March 2020, a programme was put into place to roll out the ADL online live teaching platform to all our 45 specialist schools. ADL trained over 750 teaching and support staff in the use of the online classroom, delivered 16,950 lessons and registered 1,800 pupils in 3 days. More information can be found here


Autism Professional Awards Finalist 2019

Jonathan Baron, Dance Teacher at Hillingdon Manor School, was shortlisted in 2019 for an Autism Professional Award in the category ‘Achievement by an Individual Education Professional’ for the exceptional and positive outcomes he has helped dance group Autism with Attitude to achieve and the inspiration he is to them and others around the world.

Education Investor Awards 2020

Outcomes First Group have been shortlisted as a finalist for an Education Investor Award in the category ‘Private Education Group of the Year’.

The Education Investor Awards are presented to organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to education in 2019-20, with a view to promoting excellence and recognising innovation in the private education sector.

The shortlisting relates specifically to Acorn Digital Learning (ADL), part of the Acorn Education and Care division at Outcomes First Group, which is dedicated to transforming vulnerable children and young people’s lives by providing high quality, cost-effective and innovative real-time online teaching to those who require an alternative learning environment. You can read more by clicking here.


Education Investment Awards 2019

Acorn Education & Care is proud that our well-resourced school sites, specialist & committed staff teams, our individual, child-centred & therapeutic approach has been recognised by the Education Investor Awards and we’ve been nominated as finalists for this year’s Education Business of the Year Award.

Here are just some of the reasons why we’ve been shortlisted:

  • 4 new schools were created in 2018/2019
  • Appropriate expansion of existing Acorn schools that would help meet demand to local authority need, offering 93 SEMH & ASD pupils a specialist education
  • During 2018/2019 we made investments to update and enhance facilities and curriculum offering
  • In 2018/19, across all Acorn schools there were over 300 qualifications gained including BTEC and NVQ’s.  133 pupils gained 381 results across 14 GCSE subjects achieving an 88% pass rate

Education Investment Awards 2018, 2017, 2016

This award was achieved on the basis of our innovative working within education and our successes at each of these awards is reflective of our commitment to make a difference within the education setting and our approach to integrated transdisciplinary working that is embedded within our schools crossing the boundaries between clinical intervention and education.

Education Investment Awards 2018

Education Investment Awards 2017

Education Investment Awards 2016

Education Business Awards

We were shortlisted as a finalist for the SEN Provision Award in the Education Business Awards. These awards recognise schools across the UK for improving the standard of education and the life chances of their students, highlighting the vital work of educational professionals up and down the country.

LaingBuisson Awards 2020 – Children’s Service Award

Acorn Digital Learning have been shortlisted for providing excellence in the delivery of children’s services.

Acorn Digital Learning is dedicated to transforming children’s lives by providing high-quality and innovative real-time online teaching for young people who require an alternative learning environment as they may be without access to a school setting, unable to attend school for behaviour, mental health or complex learning needs or who may find a physical school environment overwhelming.

Working with children to achieve the best possible outcomes, ADL provides inclusive, safe, nurturing, flexible learning environments, removing barriers to learning and delivers  high quality online education whilst supporting with reintegration into a school environment.

LaingBuisson Awards 2018 – Outstanding children’s services provider 2018

Outcomes First Group was nominated alongside many others including Outcomes First Group and was delighted to be presented with the award in recognition of ‘Outstanding Services in Children’s Services’ for 2018.  The award covers our work in Fostering, Education and Residential. The judges made special mention of our ‘focus on quality’ and ‘delivering excellent services’ in both our schools and fostering services. Such a prestigious award has recognised the amazing work undertaken by our foster carers, staff teams and family of Fostering Agencies, alongside our schools and our children’s residential homes, all of whom work so hard every day to make a real difference to the life chances of some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people.

Nasen award 2018

The Nasen awards seek to recognise and share best practice which benefits young people with special and additional educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This 2018 award was achieved by Jonathan Baron, Dance Teacher at Hillingdon Manor School within the category ‘Inspirational Teacher’, for all his hard work, enthusiasm and dedication working with dance group ‘Autism with Attitude’ and helping them to achieve fantastic outcomes, including competing and coming second place winners in the European United Dance Organisations Championships in Germany.

Autism Accreditation

This accreditation is issued by the National Autistic Society (NAS). It is an internationally recognised process of support and development for all those providing services to people on the autistic spectrum. In 2017 we were also nominated by the NAS for the Autism Accreditation Excellence Award, unfortunately on this occasion we were runners up.


NFA has successfully achieved LILAC – ‘Leading Improvements for Looked after Children’, with the key objective of developing a quality framework for involvement policy and practice targeting young people in care. The young people will make use of this framework to carry out assessments of local authority or agency services.

The National Children and Young People Awards 2020

2020 Winners:

Villa Farm were announced as the winners of The Children’s Home Team Award at the Children and Young People Awards ceremony.

The team were commended as below:

The Villa Farm Staff Team demonstrated that they have a consistent team who work well together in a family-orientated home. They were passionate about the service they provide and gave some good examples of how the team work together to provide a fun environment for the children.2020 Shortlist:

Villa Farm has been shortlisted for The Children’s Home Team Award, which recognises a team who are able to demonstrate a shared vision and goals, whilst demonstrating dedication and going above and beyond to provide the best possible care, as well as recognising each team member for their knowledge, skills and expertise.

Two foster carers from NFA Midlands have been shortlisted for the Foster Carer Award, which acknowledges dedicated carers who have demonstrated that in the most challenging circumstances, they have persevered to make a real difference to the child in their care, putting them at the heart of all that they do.

Kirsty Orton from Acorn Park School has been shortlisted for the Frontline Team Leader Award, recognising a member of the team who has shown dedication, hard work and excellence in frontline care and support for children, young people and families.

Chris Kirkbride at Underley Garden has been shortlisted for the Registered Manager and Education Award, nominated by Ann, Principal at Underley Garden for “his relentless focus on providing an outstanding quality of care for our young people, but also for the work he has done to ensure our staff have the support and guidance they need to continue the work that Underley is proud of.”

Great British Care Awards 2020

Luke Taylor, Registered Manager at Ramsey House, part of the Acorn Education and Care division, has been shortlisted for a Great British Care Award. This particular award recognises a manager who has a clear vision in developing person-centred care, demonstrates a high level of expertise with exceptional skills managing a home and supports the whole team in meeting the individual needs of the children.


Fostering Excellence Awards

The Fostering Excellence Awards, hosted by The Fostering Network, are the UK’s most prestigious foster care awards. The awards celebrate outstanding achievement in fostering and recognise those who make exceptional contributions to foster care every day.

We are proud to announce that in 2020, there were two winners for the Fostering Excellence Awards from FamilyPlacement.com.

Sabrina-Jayne won the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution by Sons and Daughters’. This particular award celebrates a son, daughter or sibling group, aged 18 or under, who have gone the extra mile to support their parents or the young people in foster care with their family.

Jamie Barrett won the Outstanding Contribution by a Social Worker Award. This recognises a social worker who has made an exceptional contribution to foster care.

Two carers from Child Care Bureau made the shortlist for the Jon and Kathy Broad Award and Senior Practitioner from FamilyPlacement.com made the shortlist for Outstanding Contribution by a Social Worker Award.


The Award for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year, Supported by the Department of Education – The Pearson National Teaching Award

Oliver McIntyre from Hillcrest Shifnal School has had the honour of winning The Award for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year (2020) by the Pearson National Teaching Award. More details can be found here


We are also active members of:

The Children’s Services Development Group (CSDG)

Our membership to The Children’s Services Development Group (CSDG) supports our company values. CSDG is a coalition of leading independent providers of care and specialist education services for children and young people with complex needs.

Operating as a collective voice for the independent sector since 2006, CSDG champions child-centred, meaningful, and outcomes focused support for vulnerable children and young people that ensures their stable and successful transition into adulthood.

The Consortium of Therapeutic Communities

Our membership to The Consortium of Therapeutic Communities is a reflection of our commitment to operating in a therapeutic environment and manner. The consortium is for organisations who recognise the influence of our social environment on how we are, what we learn and how we change.

The Community of Communities (CofC)

The Community of Communities (CofC) is a standards-based quality improvement and accreditation network working with Therapeutic Communities (TCs) in the UK and abroad. This accreditation is issued by the Therapeutic Community Accreditation Panel (TCAP), and is an exciting benchmark within the residential childcare sector.

The Fostering Network

Our membership of the Fostering Network benefits each and every foster carer we work with by offering them a legal helpline and legal cover, support helplines, discounts on mortgages and home insurance in addition to numerous social and training events the Network facilitate.