Witherslack Group has provided inspirational education and care to children and young people, resulting in life changing experiences and countless stories of success, since 1996. They provide specialist education and care for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs, communication difficulties (autistic spectrum conditions, Asperger’s Syndrome, speech, language and communication needs) and complex learning needs.
Expanding the offering of specialist education services
- Prior to Livingbridge’s investment in 2011, the group was predominantly a regional provider of specialist schools and children’s homes located in the North West of England. With a strong reputation within the sector and a history of success, Witherslack Group knew that, with the right assistance and support, it had the foundations to roll out a scalable model that would see it develop over time into the UK’s leading specialist education and care provider.
- Our investment has enabled them to grow significantly, both in terms of geographic coverage and the number of young people– while still maintaining a strong ethos of high aspiration, placement stability through its ‘team around the child’ approach, unique in-school therapy solutions and inspiring environments. These all combine to optimise life opportunities for children and young people, give confidence to parents and carers, and deliver unmatched value for local authorities.
- We helped appoint and develop the role of head of people, and supported them in their creation of an employment strategy for attracting and retaining great people.
Over half of the schools Witherslack now operates have been opened or significantly expanded since our investment.
- Most importantly though, through a strongly shared vision, we have enabled Witherslack Group to continue to go the extra mile and have the highest aspirations for every young person. This ensures that their time at the Group’s schools and children’s homes gives them the foundations and ambitions to achieve to their utmost and create their own story of success in the future.
- Following the secondary sale of Witherslack to Charme Capital Partners, Livingbridge reinvested alongside Charme in order to support Witherslack through its next stage of growth.
“It was our commitment to supporting the highest standards in education and care that enabled us to forge a partnership with Witherslack’s management, who are passionate about the education and care they provide, and wanted a private equity partner that shared that philosophy.”
James Titmuss, Livingbridge
The senior management team has been strengthened, including the appointment of a group managing director, business development director and a director of quality assurance. A new chair and finance director have also been appointed from the Livingbridge network
Secondary sale which sees Livingbridge reinvest alongside another private equity firm