Mike King

Founder of Releasing Potential

Mike King is CEO of Releasing Potential and Executive Headteacher at Releasing Potential School; Mike has worked in the third sector for eighteen years after a career as a secondary school teacher, and has set up a range of Alternative Provision programmes as part of the work of Releasing Potential. 

Lara Penfold

Headteacher at Releasing Potential

Lara Penfold is Headteacher at Releasing Potential School, and has recently overseen its transition from an AP outreach service to a registered independent school for children with Special Educational Needs. Lara is a teacher and SENCo by background and has written the school’s bespoke curriculum for children with a range of barriers to learning including Autism, ADHD and anxiety.


From AP Outreach to Independent School: What our Transition Taught Us

Workshop session 4 – Room 4 


This workshop will explain the complicated process of transition from an unregistered Alternative Provision to an Ofsted-registered Independent School from children with Special Educational Needs. It will consider the impact of whole-school transition on students and staff from a relatively unique perspective – that of an alternative provider that does not operate within the National Curriculum framework. The session will share the challenges and triumphs of transition planning at the strategic level, and suggest how mainstream schools, care settings and the third sector can learn from the difficulties faced by Releasing Potential School as it embarked on its journey in 2016. 


Releasing Potential began in 2001 in Portsmouth, offering outdoor education as a way of engaging young people who had become disengaged from mainstream school. Over the last seventeen years, the organisation has grown, and now runs two school sites.
Our approach is holistic and systemic: we believe in creating an environment in which young people can be supported, regardless of their background or level of ability, and our philosophy of belonging, safety, and risk underpins everything we do. Our faith in the power of community determines the ways that we work, giving us a strong sense of identity across all six areas of the organisation:
schoolforest schooloutdoor education, mediationinstitute and enterprise
Releasing Potential are thrilled to be an OFSTED good-rated school following our first inspection. As an Alternative Provision, the journey was slightly different. Read all about it here. 

OFSTED 2018 – What a report! 

The Institute is the academic research and professional training wing of Releasing Potential, an educational charity and Independent School for young people with Special Educational Needs.

We offer a variety of courses and events for those working in SEN, Alternative Education and Youth Work. 


The Details

Managing Transitions in Education, Support & Social Care

 Wednesday, 10 July 2019
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM [GMT]
New Place Hotel
High Street, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire, United Kingdom SO32 2JY

Ticket price starts from £40

Ticket includes:

Admission to all Keynote sessions
Admission to all workshops
Breakfast upon arrival
Sit-down lunch