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:

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

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 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.

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.

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