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Dacorum Education Support Centre

Dacorum Education Support Centre

Working At DESC

Dacorum Education Support Centre is a highly successful and outstanding pupil referral unit working with young people, their families, schools and other professionals.

We are a unique organisation that works with young people who, for one reason or another, are not in mainstream education. We support the individual and their family and work together to achieve appropriate outcomes and secure a positive way forward for the future. We firmly believe effective relationships are key to effective learning.

Our innovative and responsive curriculum ignites the learning experience of all our learners. Our offer is linked to the passions, interests and aspirations of our learners as well as preparing them for a successful reintegration to mainstream, identifying specialist provision or supporting them in our Centre for the longer term. Our mantra, 'Be the best you can be' is echoed in all our work with young people, working with them to overcome their barriers to learning, re-engage them in their next steps.

Working at DESC is an excellent opportunity for talented individuals to be part of a forward thinking and dynamic organisation.

Staff Wellbeing

Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Team are extremely passionate about supporting all staff with their own wellbeing. Our team includes staff from all areas of DESC to ensure all staff have a voice.  

Staff are given time to connect with colleagues once a term during ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’, which is a time to look after our own wellbeing and taking part in non work-related activities. These activities have included:

  • Pottery
  • Visit to local Riding for the Disabled Centre
  • Games of rounders
  • Croquet
  • Tennis
  • Zumba
  • Yoga
  • Table Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Walks by the river/canal
  • Cake and biscuit decorating
  • Christmas Crafts
  • Chat, chill and eat cake!
  • Design a tote bag

The Mental Health Team run peer support sessions that are solution focused and time to support each other.  

Staff feedback is important to us, and we undertake regular staff surveys using Teacher Tapp. 



Continuing Professional Development and Learning

Staff Development

At DESC we believe that ‘Being the Best We Can Be’ should be valued by our staff, as well as our learners.  
Education is a lifelong process and ongoing learning is something which is important for adults to model.  
With this in mind, our staff development is centred around a continual drive to improve, not prove. Whatever their role, our staff are encouraged and supported to reflect on where they are currently and consider what they could do to progress professionally.  

We recognise that learning is a lifelong process for every individual and that it involves deep reflection on practise and values.

Our approach is designed: 

  • To build and enhance expertise 
  • To encourage and support continuous growth and improvement 
  • To help staff improve their professional reflection skills to identify strengths and areas for further growth 
  • To promote a culture of professional growth and enquiry 
  • To improve staff wellbeing by increasing autonomy and self-efficacy 
  • To improve learner outcomes 

Our learner mantra ‘Be the best you can be’ applies equally to staff and following this approach assures we are ‘Being the best we can be.’ 

Staff development takes the form of various activities at DESC. Some examples are:

  • Professional Growth approach
  • Robust Induction Programme for all staff
  • Up to date with statutory training
  • Regular whole school and team meetings 
  • An enriching programme of INSET days
  • Targeted training for distinct staff groups 
  • Focus groups on a range of areas e.g. Teaching and Learning; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; Mental Health
  • Access to online materials and training through Educare, Creative Education and MindEd
  • Opportunities for collaborative work within, and outside of, DESC
  • In-house sharing of expertise
  • Work shadowing
  • Leadership Exchange Programme

Staff Benefits

  • A full induction programme
  • Occupational health and workstation assessments
  • Maternity, paternity and adoption leave
  • Training opportunities with our CPDL programme
  • Regular training sessions on our Centre IT systems
  • Employer's contributions to the teachers and support staff pension schemes
  • Health and Wellbeing Support, including free access to mental health support and physiotherapy
  • Free use of the on-site gym
  • On-site parking
  • A cafe and well equipped staff rooms with kitchen facilities
  • Annual Staff Occasional Day
  • Wellbeing activities once a term


Current Job Vacancies

Our vacancies are advertised on Teach in Herts and on our website.

See our current staff vacancies 

We are committed to promoting equality and respecting diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community.
The Centre promotes the practice of using anonymised application forms to manage unconscious bias.

If you have any queries about any of the jobs advertised, please email our HR Manager Jill Clark



Staff Comments

Some answers from our staff survey to the question 'Something which made me smile at our Centre recently' ......

  • my colleagues
  • the learners
  • a learner teaching another learner a new skill
  • a learner saying that they would like extra work for our subject
  • a learner taking a photo of their work because they were so proud of their achievement
  • a learner's reaction to telling him how far he had come
  • a learner being really reflective and making a big effort to change
  • watching learners engage within a lesson successfully, showing great learning but also visually enjoying themselves whilst doing the lesson
  • being able to share the achievement of a learner with another colleague and both being excited
  • seeing an anxious learner come into Centre for sessions and looking happy
  • singing with the Year 10 learners on the minibus
  • school staff noticing differences in the learners
  • receiving a thanks from the parents to say their child has improved massively
  • support of my colleagues
  • seeing families attend Centre for the giving thanks session and how proud the learners were of the things they had made
  • the learners make me smile/laugh on an almost daily basis with what they say, their outlooks on different topics and all of their breakthroughs
  • wellbeing afternoon