Our history

From small beginnings in 1951 to teaching patients from age five to 19 now, here is a short history of The Children's Hospital School at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and University College Hospital (UCH).

1951 to 1990

Education for pupils at Great Ormond Street Hospital began with one teacher in 1951. The school rapidly expanded into a Tuition Unit. Under the auspices of the Inner London Education Authority, the school gained Special School Status with the benefit of a fully constituted Board of Governors. 

With the demise of the ILEA in 1990, the school came under the direction of Camden Local Education Authority and became responsible for the Mildred Creak Unit (Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health at GOSH) and the tuition unit at UCH.

1995 to 2005

On 1 April 1995 the school became grant maintained and then became a Foundation Special School from September 1999.  In April 2005 the tuition unit at Middlesex Hospital was closed and the pupils and teachers were transferred to The Children’s Hospital School. In September 2005, two new purpose-built school rooms were opened at the new UCH.

The Children’s Hospital School therefore now comprises teaching on two sites at GOSH and at UCH.

The school is a group 4 foundation, special, hospital school, teaching school-aged pupils ranging from five to 19, as well as children under five with Statements of special educational need. Children of all abilities and all nationalities are taught.

Hospital School - Child in black top with teacher at bedside 2

2009 to present

In September 2009, the school opened a new children and families centre adjacent to the schoolroom at GOSH. This covers a four to 19 year age-range for out of hours learning, play and leisure, and a drop-in centre for zero to three-year-old babies and toddlers accompanied by parents or carers.

In addition, there is the facility for a multidisciplinary team community and care centre. This allows a more flexible approach to the needs of patients and families at GOSH.


At UCH we teach predominantly on two floors: the paediatric floor for children up to the age of 12 and an adolescent floor for young people from 12 to 19. This is a secondary and tertiary referral centre, with a specialisation in teenage cancer.