The Shires at Oakham

Located in the beautiful market town of Oakham, The Shires at Oakham is both a children’s home and a school for 8 young people with autism. Additionally the children may have learning difficulties, challenging behaviour and other conditions such as ADHD, epilepsy and dyspraxia. The children at The Shires at Oakham may also have other associated medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma or allergies. Children placed at The Shires at Oakham all have Education, Health and Care Plans (statement of special educational needs) that specify their specific needs and the strategies that should be employed in order for their needs to be met.

The ethos of The Shires at Oakham is very much characterised by a ‘can do’ attitude. Staff share the value of creating a home for children that is not institutionalised, and that reflects a family atmosphere. Staff at The Shires at Oakham are experienced in supporting children with autism and understand how and when the environment needs to be adapted in order to maximise the potential of each individual. The Shires at Oakham’s approach is firmly based on a therapeutic model, supporting staff to help the youngsters make sense of the world in which they live.

The home has a safe, discreetly fenced and private garden for recreational use. There is a patio and garden area for the children to socialise and relax outside in the warmer weather. There is also a vegetable garden within the grounds that the children can access. The children are encouraged to spend time outdoors, growing plants and vegetables and exploring the grounds.  The children’s home comprises of a building designed to provide accommodation for 5 children with all the bedrooms on the 1st floor. The main building has 5 bedrooms, all of which are single occupancy and three have en-suite bathrooms. The other two can access two other bathrooms.

The Shires at Oakham


Meet our Registered Manager

Amy Merchant is the Registered Manager at The Shires and is based at the Oakham school. With more than 10 years experience in caring for children with autism, she understands the huge decision parents make reaching a decision to place a child in a residential school.

Meet the Team

Sandra Talbott – Principal

Tracey Ford – Human Resources Manager

Amy Merchant – Registered Manager

Helen Jeffries – Head of School

Karen Wigley/Paula Taylor – Home & School Administrators