Parent Comments

Some of our parents volunteered to write, in their own words, what they felt about Malden Oaks when their child was referred and how that perception has changed during the time they have been with us:

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"When my daughter was referred to Malden Oaks alarm bells started ringing

  • it's going to be full of naughty kids
  • she will turn into a thug like them
  • she will start smoking to fit in
  • she will become rude to the teachers like the rest of them
  • she will have no future

I just assumed Malden Oaks is a place where they send the kids that mainstream can’t deal with. The kids that don’t want to learn. I decided to go and meet with Sam Axbey and although the meeting went well the alarm bells were still ringing.

My daughter has been at Malden Oaks a while now and I can honestly say it’s the best thing that’s happened to us in regards to my daughters education.

The teachers are on first name terms and are friendlier than "the main stream teachers" but they take no nonsense! They understand every child is there for their own personal reason/need and cater for that. They generally just want the children to achieve the best they can.

I’m so thankful to each and every one of them.  My daughter has become a very confident and able young lady who is very focused on studying hard for her GCSEs which she is taking this year. I am so lucky that she found Malden Oaks".

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"Malden Oaks has done wonders for our son. This is the only school he has attended every day and looked forward to going to. The teachers have excellent attitudes towards the students, treating and speaking to them like grown-ups. I have found everyone at Malden Oaks a pleasure to have known and they have worked hard with my son as when he first went there, he would push boundaries but with having only a small number to a class, it worked really well for him. His exams may not be that good but at least he has taken some and probably wouldn’t if he had still been at mainstream school. I would like to thank the Headteacher, Samantha Axbey for her patience and everyone else who took the time to care about my son. It made such a difference. Thank you!"

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"Congratulations to you all! Teachers and admin staff.

Meena, you have left a very positive mark on my child, I thank you very much for that. You are an inspiration. You too Asma. Sam, Alison, Rob, Ben et al, you’ve been great.

Your patience and objectiveness to your pupils is something more teachers should follow. I hope Malden Oaks continues to thrive and go on to improve the academic life of many more children. Even the most challenging child can go on to become a great, smart adult. Thank you all so much."

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"When our son was referred for a place at the PRU we had reservations – would the school be full of badly behaved children? How wrong we were! Malden Oaks “saved” our son! Since being at Malden Oaks, he has changed from an anxious, depressed and isolated child into a confident young man. The quality of teaching and the support of staff has ensured that he has a future. We feel really lucky that schools like Malden Oaks exist to help children with a variety of issues achieve their full potential."

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If I had to give one piece of feedback for Malden oaks. I would say that you should intervene earlier when a child is struggling in secondary school. We would have come to you earlier but we thought that it was a losers option and it was giving up on him. We felt it was a mark of failure to “end up at the pru” We used it as a threat. In the end we had to back track when it was our only option. It was  [xxxxx] who changed my mind and prompted me to look at your website. However a website isn’t good enough. Anyone can paint a shiny picture on a website. I think if you had been invited to talk to us a year earlier we might have come then. Hindsight is of course you just don’t know if that would have worked but I think that it just might help others if you are invited to meet with parents in our position earlier.

 I realise that you are oversubscribed already but maybe as you grow the government will see that mainstream school does not work for all kids and the ones who are different are not to be lost but to be given encouragement and an alternative choice.

 You and everyone at Malden Oaks are doing a great job. We owe you a great debt.

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I just wanted to let you know that we think and talk about you all, all the time! My daughter is doing really well, having done a level 3 Diploma in Performing arts (merit for performance). She is now doing Production Arts at the college and loving it. She is going from strength to strength, reducing her medication and has not had day off for a month now!!!

She still has the bad days, but they are fewer and she is learning how to deal with them. We often talk about Sam, Asma & Meena - you ladies changed her life! I mean that and like angels, the three of you were there when I had almost lost hope.

You'll be imprinted in the best parts of our lives forever, because everything could have been so devastatingly different.

I can't imagine how hard teaching and being a headmistress must be, but if you set out to change just one child's life for the better - then you have already achieved this and then some!