In this episode Vijita Patel considers the strategic implementation of the Recovery Curriculum for her school, Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre in London. She does this from a stance of compassionate leadership, with a clear focus on engagement in learning.

Her penetrating analysis shows how child need should inform organisational judgements, and that a constant focus should be the emotional well being of the child. A mutually respectful relationship with families as co educators, is vital at this time she says. 

About Vijita & Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre

Vijita Patel is the Principal of Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre, a special needs school for children aged 2 to 19 in London. The school is a designated National Teaching School, leading a large alliance of schools, organisations, and higher education partners to drive systemic improvements in the school system for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

As a National Leader of Education, Vijita supports Headteachers, Senior and Middle Leaders, SENCOs, and Local Authority teams on leading locality and provision developments as the complexity of need increases with this new generation of children with SEN.

She has contributed to the development of programmes for teacher training and leadership development, and also worked with Post-Graduate students on personalised learning through research on cognitive processing.

Vijita is co-author of the London Leadership Strategy ‘SEND Review Guide’, developed to place ownership of strategic solutions directly with teachers and school leaders. She is also a Trustee of the Varkey Foundation.

Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre is one of eight schools in the country to have six consecutive ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted Inspections. 

Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre

Varkey Foundation

More info on the Recovery Curriculum

For information on the Recovery Curriculum, including the original Think Piece entitled “A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic”, lectures, resources, reference materials and details of the online communities of practice, visit:

Join the conversation about The Recovery Curriculum:

Clearly any form of Recovery Curriculum will need to be unique to each and every school, contextualised to the ethos, culture and values of that school, as well as its existing curriculum and crucially reflecting and addressing the needs and aspirations of its unique population of learners.

We have created private groups in LinkedIn and Facebook where colleagues and peers can discuss and share thoughts, ideas, experiences, resources and learning in relation to education and provision post pandemic. The groups are also an opportunity to connect people and help you to build a network that can support you on your own important journey over the coming months.

Facebook Group: Recovery Curriculum

We’ve set up a private facebook group specifically for The Recovery Curriculum at:

or search for “recoverycurriculum” in Facebook.

Facebook: EfL SEND Community Group

Join us at:

or search for “eflSENDCommunity” in Facebook.

The purpose of the group is to provide a safe, closed space to seek out and share ideas, experience and resources that can help with any and all aspects of SEND provision. It’s also a community for practitioners and schools that use Evidence for Learning and Insights for Learning to share ideas, resources and support each other in using these apps. This is a peer-moderated and supported group.

Linkedin Group: The Recovery Curriculum

The group is called “A Recovery Curriculum for children & schools post-pandemic” and you can find it at: