The Alternative Partnership
Eddison Logo.png
Download a Referral From
Complete a referral form for your learner and send it to

About Pioneer

Pioneer consists of two centres;
The Darwin Centre, facilitated by Mount Tamar School and based in Beacon Park, Plymouth, and

The Edison Centre, created by Discovery Multi Academy Trust and based in Southway, Plymouth.

Our centres provide a 6 week nurture provision (with additional pre-assessment and re-integration period) for children aged 5 to 13, who find mainstream education challenging at times.

Our Ethos

As young people grow up they often make mistakes and get things wrong. This is a natural part of developing as a person. Some young people find this more difficult than others, for a variety of reasons. There are times when this makes a full time placement in a mainstream school inappropriate for a while, and a programme of intervention may be required.

Pioneer is part of the continuum of provisions for vulnerable children and young people in Plymouth. It is a temporary alternative to mainstream school and we work together alongside our partner schools and professionals to build learning plans for children and young people who may currently be struggling to cope in their current placement. After this intensive provision, support will be put in place to allow the children to return to their mainstream setting and thrive. Our core purpose is to improve the life chances of the children we work with.

At Pioneer we take the time to invest in relationships and see them as the foundation on which everything else is built. Some of our young people will have had early experiences that lead them to behave in particular ways to protect themselves from harm. Others have learned to behave in a manner that creates a sense of self-worth. Others are still emotionally at a much younger age than they actually are.


We see behaviour as a form of communication and well learned responses. We work hard to understand the causes of social, emotional and mental health issues and develop support for the child or young person holistically through a plan involving expertise from across a range of staff. We ensure our young people feel safe and secure, making them feel welcome and wanted as part of a school community. Warmth, humour and unconditional regard are inherent aspects of our provisions.

The Darwin Centre
01752 365128
Content provided by
Pioneer Alternative Partnership
The Edison Centre
01752 706 361