Opening September 2026

Welcome to Hawthorn Small School

Hello. I am the Human Needs director of Hawthorn Small School. In a minute I will introduce you to Maz, our inspiring Education director, with whom I co-founded and co-direct the school.
Welcome to Hawthorn small school

As this is the first article here on our website we want to say a massive hello and welcome to Hawthorn Small School. We are a small independent school that is currently in development and will be open in 2025 or 2026 depending on how development goes.. We are also starting a flexi learning pod which is opening in September 2023 and then expanding in September 2024.

Hawthorn Small School will not be a “regular” school. We are an alternative education environment where learning is co-designed with students, facilitated by teams of teachers and learning facilitators and supported by the leadership team, including specific therapeutic pastoral support.

Students will be fully and wholly supported as individuals and will have ultimate agency in their learning. There will be many articles describing how learning, support, and environment all fit together at Hawthorn but first we would like to introduce ourselves.

Hi, I'm Tomlin

Tomlin Wilding

Hello. I am the Human Needs director of Hawthorn Small School. In a minute I will introduce you to Maz, our inspiring Education director, with whom I co-founded and will be co-directing the school. We are all about collaboration and so we put our heads together on most aspects of planning the school, whilst utilising our differing skill sets.

So about me! I have been working in and around child development and education since I left school (about 25 years ago) and I specialise in neuropsychology, human needs and the rights and agency of children.  Those are my passions. Since the very beginning of my pathway I have wanted to develop and run my own alternative school. I was 18 years old when my mum (a primary school head teacher with a Masters in Education herself) took me to the Froebel Institute near London and I was hooked. I wanted to do it differently.

However, as life happens, it has taken a long winding road to get here and that has only made it better and made me all the more knowledgeable and much wiser. I have four neurodivergent children, and have discovered my own differences and needs as an adult. From a professional perspective, I have worked in the NHS, have gained professional and post-graduate qualifications in business, training and psychology. For the last decade I have run several of my own businesses in the area of educating families. I also produce content online about neurodivergence, SEN, parenting and equality.

My combination of ADHD and autism means I have many strings to my bow, many bows, and I know how to use most of them really really well. It also means sometimes I need to sit in a quiet space and not use my bows for a bit, and that’s ok.

Let me introduce Maz

So this is Maz and she is a legend. It is very likely she will want to write her own article in due course but she is very busy just now sitting beside me playing with spreadsheets that just won’t behave. Don’t worry, she is being very patient with them. When this mega spreadsheet is done, I will buy her some fizzy cherry sweets – her favourite.

I met Maz during the Covid 2020 excitement when I enquired about sending my littlest to New Forest Small School where Maz was the head teacher. She was warm and wonderful on a virtual tour of the school, and I knew right away it was the school for Hatti because Maz spoke to her as much as me, and took her round the school, letting her little inquiring mind ask and ask and ask.

My faith in Maz only grew from there as every time there was a moment of wondering how inclusive, equitable, just and compassionate she would be, when faced with varied challenges around three of my children attending the school with complex needs, she came up trumps every time.

Aside from Maz being a qualified teacher and SENCo and having a Masters in Education, she is also the most child-centred, pragmatic and progressive educator I have ever met, and I have met quite a few. Her more than 20 years of experience in education really shines through and I am so proud to be doing this with her.

Together, we will have a massive impact on young lives, and those people will change the world, if they want to.

So there it is. Hello and welcome to Hawthorn Small School.


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