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  • Status: Current
  • Date: 2013
  • Sectors:
    • Healthcare & Pharma Services
    • Education & Training


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Outcomes First Group

Outcomes First Group is specialist provider of education and care services to children, young people and adults with autism, complex needs, learning disabilities and social, emotional and mental health needs. With Sovereign's support the Group has grown to become one of the UK’s leading providers in its field.

Investment Background

Sovereign is a highly experienced investor in Healthcare & Education.  The founders of Hillcrest, one of the longest established independent providers of care and education for looked-after children in the UK, had decided to retire. They wanted a buyer that understood their high-quality specialist offering and would build upon what they had achieved.

Sovereign was able to both address the succession planning and demonstrate a commitment to investing futher in the Hillcrest service offering. In 2013, Hillcrest became part of Sovereign's newly created Outcomes First Group.


Value Creation

  • Acquisition of Options Group has made Outcomes First Group a leading specialist provider in its field
  • Now provides services to over 100 Local Authorities
  • 98% of the Group's services are rated Good or Outstanding by OFSTED

The story so far

As part of Outcomes First Group, Hillcrest developed further and today runs 16 specialist children’s care homes in England as well as specialist day schools to support the homes. It also operates Hillingdon Manor and Baston House day schools which together provide education and care for children with autism or aspergers.

In 2016, Outcomes First Group has merged with Options Group which shared the same values, aspirations and a vision for the future. Options runs 29 facilities for children and adults with specialist care needs predominantly in Yorkshire and Humberside, West Midlands and Wales. 

The combined group:

  • is recognised as a leading specialist provider of education and care services to children, young people and adults with autism, complex needs, learning disabilities and social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH).
  • looks after c.700 children and young adults across services ranging from special schools to residential care, colleges and specialist fostering.
  • has a diversified and expanded educational offering across a range of acuities.
  • is one of the UK’s largest providers of specialist care and education to children and adults.

The Group seeks to provide a stable, secure and supportive environment, where individuals can develop the skills and confidence necessary to help them fulfil their potential.

Sovereign continues to support the combined management team, which has considerable strength and depth, to develop the services offered whilst ensuring that the quality of care provided remains at the heart of the Group’s offering.


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In their own words

We were delighted when Sovereign approached us to bring together both the Hillcrest and Options brands under the umbrella of Outcomes First Group. Not only did this establish the Group as a market leader in both Children’s Services and Autism & Learning Disability Services, but it gave us the opportunity of significant investment into new services to develop further the pathways of learning that are so essential those we support. Sovereign always prioritse the quality and compliance aspects of our business which has led to positive outcomes for the people we support.

Graham Baker / CEO / Outcomes First Group

Outcomes First Group Awards

Education Investor 2017 - Finalist