Contact Details

Lauren Cawston

Contact Tel:
01268 711677
Contact Email:

Key Services

Areas covered


Action Learning is an Alternative Education centre based in the heart of Essex.

We cater for primary, secondary, special educational needs and adults.We pride ourselves in giving all of our students an opportunity to undertake practical learning experiences, which can also be linked to Nationally recognised qualifications including AQA and Gateway.

We provide specialist help and support designed to increase confidence and self esteem, encouraging interaction between our students, adults and peers.

What do we cover?
Woodwork - students can make a whole range of different things in here! Last year we completed building animal pens, routing, Bee hives, rabbit hutches, fencing, tables, chairs, wooden clocks, planters, trugs to name a few!

Motor Mechanics (this also includes bikes) - there is a huge range of things that we cover in Mechanics! From checking and maintaining fluid levels, to checking tyres and pressures. Learning how to valet a car properly, wheel alignment, basic functions of engines, stripping and rebuilding gearboxes and engines. Our resident mechanic is also a brilliant person to fix things and we have a whole range of home gadgets brought in by the students for them to fix and work on!

We also have a safe bike club whereby students can bring in their own bicycles and respray and fix them.

Multiskilled construction (painting and decorating, plastering, tiling, basic electrics and basic plumbing) Stuart is our construction and woodwork tutor who has been in the trade for years! As well as working on site, he has also supervised and managed big building sites up and down the country. If it is a particular trade you are interested in or would like more knowledge on a range of trades Stuart covers all of the above!

Animal care (pigs, goats, ducks and chickens and rabbits) We love animals here at Action Learning and it also makes up part of our therapeutic work which any student can access. Students learn how to handle the animals correctly, how to look after them, spend time grooming them and giving them health checks. They also learn about animal nutrition and food mixing.

We currently have 2 resident goats Betty and Frank, 2 pigs Flo and Fifi, Bobby the rabbit, Lanky the Giant Rabbit as well as ducks and chickens. We also cannot forget about Charlie, Action Learnings resident dog! He is a nutty Springer Spaniel who will happily play ball all day! If he cannot find a ball, he finds a stick : ) Charlie was a rescue dog, who has helped a lot of students overcome their fears and anxieties Brickwork (all aspects of bricklaying and blockwork) Blockwork and Brickwork also makes up part of our qualifications.

Students learn how to build brick walls using onsite methods. Students also assist in building any outbuildings and also blockwork!

Art and Crafts is one of our newest editions to Action Learning Centres. Students can make a range of different treasures and trinkets in here, and they are all themed around the time of year. Students also make things for the public to buy. Items include candle holders, personalised signs, personalised clocks, Xmas and Easter decorations and so much more!

Horticulture is another new edition to the Action Learning family! Students understand about different crops and plants, learn to plant seeds and grow their own vegetables. We have a polytunnel and students are responsible for the vegetable patches. They also create flower arrangements

What makes us different and unique?

Categories of SEND

Cognition and learning, Communication and Interaction, Sensory and/or physical development difficulties , Medical conditions , Emotional, social & mental health difficulties.

Age group

Primary, Secondary, Post 16, Transition to adult services.


Community & Voluntary Sector Service, Education Service, SEND Products & Resources, Specialist Educational Setting and/or Outreach Service.

Referral Process

A visit is required from the person who wants to make the referral. The client is then offered a tour and a trial for half a day. Referral paperwork and risk assessment to be completed and handed back to Action Learning before the placement starts.