IT’S probably Southampton’s smallest school, but it could be one of the most important.

The teachers at Southampton Children’s Hospital School help youngsters stay on top of their studies while going through the trauma of illness.

Run by head teacher Nell Giles it’s part of the Hamwic education trust but a school in its own right, and provides education for in-patients as well as going out to schools or homes around the city who can’t access education because of medical conditions.

Pupils are referred by schools and medical staff – and teachers are specialists but also trained to offer a wide range of subjects.

Speaking to the Echo, Ms Giles said she was moved to apply for the job after hearing about the school’s work last year.

She said: “I saw the job advertised and didn’t know there was as school in the hospital. I was intrigued.

“It’s a unique environment to work in. Doctors, nurses and psychologists all work together with the children. We work really closely with the NHS – that’s crucial to us as a school.

“We are part of the child’s whole therapy.

“We aim to provide a good quality of education so they are then able to reintegrate into school without losing out.”

Pupils aged four to 16 are taught in the hospital classrooms or by their bedside.

Last year Ofsted praised Ms Giles for her “very positive impact” and “proactive, energetic and efficient approach”. Staff said it is “a great place to work”.