ANXIOUS and depressed children in Wyre Forest will be able to learn and receive emotional support in a home-style environment at a new primary school which is set to launch in May.

Wribbenhall School will offer four places for primary-aged children who have a history of anxiety, depression, self-harm or are at risk of suicide and therefore unable to access education in the state school system.

The private school, which is currently awaiting Department for Education approval, is being set up by husband and wife Ellis and Sally Wells, who are both teachers, in the conservatory of their Crundalls Lane home.

Ellis, 49, who currently works as a full-time teacher in Dudley, told The Shuttle: "During my time working with children I have seen an increase in the occurrence of anxiety in children in primary schools.

"I know that some children have attempted suicide during stressful periods of their lives and I want to give some of these children the chance to work in a relaxed, understanding and caring environment."

Pupils at Wribbenhall School will get to choose what they learn about from a syllabus which reflects the National Curriculum, while also having access to the nearby forest and 'emotional support dog' Daisy, which the couple say will help to increase children's emotional wellbeing and self-esteem.

"Emotional wellbeing and resilience will be developed so that each pupil can move on to their chosen next life stage, with strength, confidence and a positive life attitude," said Sally, 52. "The school offers an integrated approach to a double-focus curriculum.

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"It replicates but is not confined to the National Curriculum and offers each child the freedom to choose their own topic of education.

"This means that each child has a personalised curriculum, but staff keep their attainment in line with the national expectations of all children."

She added: "The core values Wribbenhall School seeks to promote in its students are positive self-esteem; confidence in their own judgement, self-reliance, independence, ambition and compassion.

"Although children choose their own topic of study, assessment is made against the national curriculum to support transition to other schools."

Staff and volunteers will be fully vetted and Ellis and Sally plan to work closely with local authorities and safeguarding organisations.

The couple plans to expand the school in future, based on demand, and eventually move to a larger premises.

Wribbenhall will open to applications in coming months. Prospective parents can contact the school for more information at or on 01299 405383.