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Welcome to Athena School

Welcome from our Executive Head and Chair of Governors.

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Welcome from our Executive Head and Chair of Governors

A Welcome To the Fortuna/Athena Federation From The Executive Head, Bridget Robson


I would like to give a warm welcome to everyone who visits the Fortuna/Athena Federation website. I have worked with pupils with SEMH needs for almost thirty years and as the Executive Head I am very proud of the achievements of both pupils and staff within the Federation.

Both schools are based in Lincoln and provide provision for primary and secondary age pupils with an EHCP with a primary need of Social Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH)

Jo Richardson opened Fortuna School in 2003. Jo was one of the original twelve nurture teachers in Hackney who worked with Marjorie Boxall to support the production of The Boxall Profile. Fortuna’s philosophy was therefore based around strong nurturing principles. Fortuna began with sixteen pupils and has grown into a large primary special school of eighty pupils. Having worked with Jo for many years I took over as Head in 2009. The school has since had an Ofsted rating of ‘Outstanding’ since March 2012, which everyone has worked very hard to achieve and maintain.

The opportunity then arose to join a secondary provision to Fortuna School creating the Fortuna/Athena Federation. This provision is run on exactly the same nurturing guidelines, making the transition from primary to secondary school far easier for pupils who already find change challenging. Athena School joined the Federation in 2015 and is a large secondary school offering provision for ninety-eight pupils. The school has moved quickly from R.I. to ‘Good’ with leadership and management being ‘Outstanding’. The staff and pupils have worked incredibly hard to move forward and bring about huge positive change within the school.

The federation works closely with NurtureUK and I am pleased to be the Trustee For Education for the charity. The federation works within the principles of a Nurturing School. This means that the schools vision is ‘based primarily on the needs of the pupils, the nature of the help provided and the learning experiences involved.’ The school uses nurture group principles for all pupils, which are;

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally.
  • It is understood that all behaviour is communication.
  • The classroom offers a safe space.
  • Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem.
  • Language is a vital means of communication.
  • The importance of transitions in children’s lives is understood.

The nurture 6 principles were developed by educational professionals Eva Holmes and Eve Boyd (1999).

All staff are dedicated to giving children, ‘an unconditional commitment to their well-being’ which therefore gives the best opportunities for pupils to grow developmentally and learn within their educational experience. The aim of the federation from this is to give pupils the best opportunity for their future, in terms of their relationships with others and their continuing education and future employment.

I hope this brief introduction gives an insight into the Fortuna /Athena Federation. If you would like any more information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Bridget Robson

Executive Head

If you would like to know more about each school please press on the links below.

Athena School

Fortuna School

A Welcome To the Fortuna/Athena Federation From the Chair of Governors, Gail Brown



My name is Gail Brown and I am Chair of Governors for the Fortuna/Athena Federation of schools.

I have been a governor in Lincolnshire schools for some 30 years and during that time also served as a Local Leader of Governance.

My time served as a governor has seen many changes over the years, I do believe that the balance between Senior Leaders and Governors is the best it has ever been. School Leaders have a huge responsibility as educators but at the same time nurturing the whole child and supporting them with their emotional needs and preparing them for life as an adult in a very changing world.

We, at the Federation, have a commitment to providing the best all round support and education for the children in our care.

Fortuna has had three “Outstanding” Ofsted inspections and Athena has been given a solid “Good”, with Leadership and Management “Outstanding”, of which as a “ team” we are very proud of.

As a Governing Body we support and challenge the Leadership Team and hold them to account, in the best interests of the children and staff.

Being a school governor is both rewarding and exciting when working with such committed and hard-working leaders.

If any person has time and valuable skills they could share, then it would be great to hear from you, you can contact me through either school for a chat.

At the Federation we work as a team to secure the best possible outcomes for all.

Our Vision is for both schools to be an “Outstanding” example of excellence for others in SEMH environments.

Gail Brown

Chair of Governors

Fortuna /Athena Federation.

Latest news:

Our Generation. Our Vote

Athena School took part in the youth mock election that took place a week before the UK general election 2024. The project has been an exciting opportunity to support children and young people to have their say and share their views on the issues they care about.