The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is a student support and well-being centre staffed by Caroline Gray, Sarah Harding and Sharon Turner. All three staff work closely together as a team in the centre with each having their own individual roles, which are as follows:-


Caroline Gray

I am based in the Sanctuary and manage the day to day medical needs of our students. The Sanctuary is a place for students who may fall ill during the day, have an accident or injury to be taken care of, or a place where students can access as part of a transitional process in getting back to a class environment after long term sick leave.

The Sanctuary also offers the following various outside Counselling Services during the school day to help and support our students. Below is an overview of these services.


Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH): provide assessments, support and treatment for children experiencing moderate to severe mental health problems. The service works to provide students with a greater knowledge of their condition and improve coping techniques. We have a Community Mental Health Nurse and CAMHs outreach worker who comes into the school and carries out assessments on students who have had referrals made about them either through staff or parents. She can then advise on a plan of action for the students to be referred to their services for an assessment and then advises us on which outreach service the student is best suited to and for us to make this contact with those services.


Bedford Open Door: committed to offering an accessible, confidential and professional counselling service to young people. Their aim is to enable young people to manage their own lives with confidence and safety. They provide the resources for students to deal with distress, achieve healthy emotional and physical development and sustain education, training and employment.


CAN YP Bedfordshire: CAN YP Bedfordshire is a young people’s drug and alcohol service covering Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire.  CAN YP work with young people aged 5-18 years. They are part of CAN, a drug, alcohol and homelessness charity which has services across Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.


School Nursing Service: we have a NHS nurse, Manjit Sanghera, who is available to the students on a Monday lunchtime to talk about any concerns the students may have such as confidence, relationships, bullying, sexual health, self-harming or exam stress or anxiety issues.

The students, in addition, are allowed to visit the Sanctuary during break times for a chat or if they need a bit of ‘time out’.

If you have any concerns about your child you can contact me either by telephone on 01234 342521 or via email at


Sarah Harding

I am based in the Sanctuary and the Attendance Office is open daily from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. If you have any concerns or issues relating attendance do not hesitate to contact me. 

Our students should be in school on time every day, unless the reason for absence is absolutely unavoidable. It is very important that families recognise their responsibility to ensure their child attends school regularly and on time. 98% attendance is a realistic and achievable target for all students that allows for the occasional emergency or sick absence.


Parent/Carer Responsibility:

  • Only let your child stay at home if they are genuinely ill.

  • If your child is going to be absent you must inform the School before 8:00 am on 01234 334528 or to advise us of why they are absent and when you expect them to return. If they are off for three or more days a Doctor’s note is required.

  • Make medical appointments outside of School hours.

  • Ensure that holidays are taken in School holidays only, never in term time; a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued to parents if students take holiday in term.


What to do if there is a problem with your child’s attendance

  • Your child’s welfare is important to us. We can help you resolve issues and can offer lots of support for you and your child. You are not alone. Contact their tutor to address the reason for their non-attendance.

  • Be supportive to your child in the run up to tests and be aware of coursework deadlines.

  • Help your child catch up with missed work - a missed day should not mean missed work.

Attendance is key to success.

Please be aware that from September 2015 if your child’s attendance is 90% and below, they will be known as a ‘persistent absentee’. This could result in the Educational Welfare Office becoming involved. If you wish to discuss further please do not hesitate to contact the Attendance Office.


Sharon Turner

I am based in the Sanctuary as well as supervising the running of our Raising Achievement Centre (The ARC). Both of these centres work closely together with our overall aim being to ensure that all students achieve their potential.

We recognise that secondary school is a time of change and challenge in the lives of young people, which can be a mixture of exciting and challenging as well as a little daunting. With this in mind we believe it is important for students to be in school every day engaging with the curriculum but also offer support and guidance for any difficulties encountered along the way.

I work closely with the Heads of Year and am part of the safeguarding team in school. I also run a Sixth Form Mentoring scheme which has seen over 80 positive pastoral and academic mentoring relationships during the last year. I am also involved in the transition of students arriving at school mid-year as well as reintegrating and working with students who may find school challenging.