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Compass – Compass Schools

  • The Compass Schools are a specialist education provision based across Norfolk, offering an individualised therapeutic package.

  • Service Manager Lead: Neil Toplis (Service Lead) and Dr Amie Curtis (Clinical Lead)
  • Service Contact: Telephone 01603 727616
  • Address:
    Compass,  Unit 5A,  Octagon Business Park,  Hospital Road,  Little Plumstead, Norwich, NR13 5FH
  • Reception phone number: 01603 727616
  • Service hours: This service is available Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 16:30.

What this service offers

The Compass Schools are a specialist education provision based across Norfolk, offering an individualised therapeutic package.

The Compass Schools are run in partnership between staff teams from education (Unity Trust) and NHS NSFT Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). We also work closely with local Children’s Services to make sure that all children and their families or carers are able to access all the support they might need. Across the three schools we work with children from key Stage 1 to 3 (6 to14 years of age).

Children attending a Compass School have usually found that mainstream education and / or CAMHS have not been quite the right fit for them or their families or carers. It may be that children and their families have found accessing clinics in the community more difficult. With therapeutic support at school, it means we are able to attune to the children’s needs and this support is more readily available.

This also means that we work more closely with parentsand carers and that they are invited to be part of the school community. Children attending the schools are able to access the National Curriculum on a daily basis and we believe that children should be able to have fun, experience the benefits of playfulness, emotional warmth, and care through providing their education in creative ways.

Therapeutically we offer specialist multidisciplinary and inter-agency assessment, meaning that we are able to spend time getting a really clear picture of what might be tricky, and how we can be helpful to the families which we provide a service for. We offer individual therapeutic sessions for both children and family members or carers, and also offer training and consultation to other professionals working with our young people. By doing this, we hope to work together to ensure everyone’s educational, social, and emotional needs are met.

The Compass Schools services comprise a range of educational staff (teachers, teaching assistants and instructors) and therapeutic staff (clinical psychologists, art therapists, family therapists, mental health nurse, assistant psychologists) who provide an integrated approach to looking after specialist educational, social, emotional, and behavioural needs.

We specialise in supporting children and families with a range of difficulties which include: 

  • Difficulties with emotional recognition and regulation,
  • Misunderstood or behaviours which challenge,
  • Traumatic life experiences / Developmental Trauma,
  • Associated mental health conditions.

Access this service

Compass Schools children will have an Education, Health and Care Plan organised by the education setting and referred through the Local Authority ECHP Coordinator. Children will be aged 6 to 14 years. We will not accept referrals for children with a diagnosed learning disability or those on the autistic spectrum.

To get help from this service you need to be referred to the Compass Schools Admissions Team. This is usually done through a child's Education Health Care Plan Coordinator (EHCPC) making contact with the local authority educational placements team.

Referrals first have to be approved by Norfolk County Council and then taken to a schools admissions panel which happens half termly. If parents/carers feel this is an appropriate placement for their child and choose to accept a place, a discussion will be had on how to support the child with the transition from their current placement.

Visiting and onsite facilities

Our Compass Schools are in 3 different locations. Addresses and contact details are:  

  • Compass Belton (East), Bell Lane, Belton, Great Yarmouth, NR31 9LD. Telephone 01493 923122.   

  • Compass Lingwood (Central), School Road, Lingwood, Norwich NR13 4TJ. Telephone 01603 717117.   

  • Compass Pott Row (West), Cliffe-en-Howe Road, King's Lynn, PE32 1BY. Telephone 01485 601670.  

How this service support carers including friends and family

Compass Schools welcome working closely with families, parents and carers. Please note that while we do offer family therapy, this does not extend to meeting the mental health needs of siblings or other family members. A separate referral to a local mental health service, as appropriate, would be indicated as independent to the therapeutic offer from the Compass Schools.

Urgent help

If you are a service user and are in crisis and need support urgently you can contact your service on the number which will have been provided.  

Call 111 and select the mental health option to speak to our 24 hour mental health crisis line.

If you are with someone who has attempted suicide, call 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives. 

If anyone is at serious risk of harm, call 999 and ask for the police. 

For non-life threatening medical situations, call NHS111 on 111.  

For more information, see Help in a Crisis

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