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May 11, 2023 in Events, General news, Our people

New partnership for Undershaw’s Professional Development Programme

As part of our work as a Centre of Excellence for SEND education, we are excited to have partnered with the Bohunt SCITT programme. SEND training is a compulsory part…
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A New Way

At Undershaw we have small class sizes, a personal approach to welfare and pastoral care, and a supportive and relaxing environment where each student can thrive, make lasting friendships and achieve their best.


Undershaw is an independent specialist school where children aged 9 to 19 with mild to moderate learning difficulties and additional needs, such as ASD, cerebral palsy, hemiplegia, and medical vulnerabilities can access the national curriculum and qualification pathways in a safe, secure, and friendly environment.

Many of our students have found the pace of mainstream schooling particularly challenging and may have experienced barriers within their educational journey.

As a school our role is to transition our young people into a world where they can be economically and socially engaged.

Gemma BriggsDeputy Headteacher (Pastoral)

A strong Special Educational Needs (SEN) philosophy is the heart of everything we do. We understand how additional needs are often challenging in a school setting and the potential barriers posed by traditional schooling for those with SEND. We have tailored our school environment to address these needs.

Teaching and Learning

each child has a class teacher and comprehensive pastoral teaching assistance. We also have a team of Specialist Subject Teachers, Pastoral Support Teaching Assistants, and Subject Specialist Teaching Assistants. We have a maximum of 8 children per class group to allow for the organic development of friendships, peer support, and individual pastoral care.

Integrated Therapy

We operate a fully integrated Therapy Programme to support each student’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). We offer a comprehensive range of physical and emotional therapies to complement the health and welfare of all our students. Therapy is integrated into the timetable, takes place in our dedicated Therapy Centre, and is delivered by a team of leading practitioners.

The School Day

Those with ASD and complex needs often find transition times stressful. We have structured our school day accordingly. Our timetable has 4 substantial lesson blocks, minimising the frequency and disruption caused by back-to-back lessons and the associated transition.

Learning Dens

In place of classrooms, Undershaw students have Learning Dens. This ensures that the children can stay in their own ‘home’ as much as possible. We have a suite of specialist spaces available to furnish the curriculum e.g. a bespoke Arts and Music Centre, IT suite and Media Studio, to mention a few.

We are child centric

  • We are for access to a quality education free of discrimination.

  • We recruit staff of the highest calibre.

  • We have leading therapists.

  • We thread employability and life skills throughout school life.

  • We are supported by trailblazing Charitable Foundations and a passionate Governing Board.

  • We have Discovery Days and Learning Dens (no classrooms here!)

  • We are Undershaw.

Parent Testimonials

I absolutely have my trust in the leadership team, the wonderful staff and the vision for the school going forward.

Current parent

The emotional support and advice has been wonderful

Year 4 parent

I’m thrilled both my children get to reap the benefits of such a high quality education

Year 4 parent

She’s made friends and really looks forward to coming to school.

Post 16 parent

Our daughter commented to me after her first day that the difference in atmosphere was enormous.

Post 16 parent

Whilst supporting the students with such a fantastic provision, we have certainly felt encouraged as parents too

Year 4 parent

J has felt able to put her trust in the school from her very first day.

Post 16 parent

At all times our family felt supported.

Post 16 parent

E has many years ahead of him at Undershaw and I am excited about the opportunities he is going to get.

Year 4 parent

Eliminating the impossible