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Head’s Welcome

We are united in our vision to develop, deliver and drive an education for a lifetime.

Emma WestHeadteacher
Welcome to our website and thank you for your interest in Undershaw. I feel privileged to lead this school and am passionate about delivering an excellent SEND education for our children.  Our school is vibrant, dynamic, friendly and a ‘home from home’. We are also blessed with an idyllic campus and beautiful surroundings.  I am confident that each child who comes to Undershaw has the space to find their centre, their drive, and their passion – and they find a place where they are free to be.


When I say I am privileged to lead this school, Undershaw really is very special place. It is the meeting of specialisms where each child’s wellbeing is key, each member of staff is valued, and the interplay between the pillars of our offer is channelled to create the very best bespoke education for each student. It is the epitome of what education should be.

We are united in our vision to develop, deliver and drive an education for a lifetime. School life at Undershaw prepares students for their future as independent adults, engaging actively in their community, striving for social change and with a thirst for learning in all its guises.

Undershaw’s purpose is unique. We provide a nurturing but ambitious education for those with SEND who might not thrive in a mainstream setting but who equally would not be well-suited to attending a special needs school. Undershaw offers an alternative which sits just between the two. It is a specialist environment of 95 students where individual needs are met through a personalised, innovative, and integrated approach. We have a flexible curriculum, bespoke qualification pathways, SEND ethos, individual pastoral care, and integrated therapeutic support.

I am delighted to welcome you to our website. Please contact us directly to arrange a visit and I look forward to welcoming you to Undershaw soon.

Emma West
March 2022

Read our 2022 Ofsted Report
What they're saying

‘Undershaw is a shining example of best practice in skills education. Congratulations to all involved'

Sophie DeavilleSenior Education Associate, Skills Builder Partnership

A strong focus on developing key life and employability skills in the sixth form ensures that pupils are well prepared personally, as well as academically, for the next stages of education or employment.

OFSTED ReportFeb 2022

The Undershaw students are just so lovely and friendly. I’m impressed how hard working and mature they are.

SarahCafé Manager, Haslewey Community Centre

It was a delight to meet your students: full of questions and curiosity. It’s clearly a lovely school.

Kate Perry, BBC Journalistand Undershaw Careers Week Speaker

The staff at Undershaw have created a lifelong strategy for students, ensuring that they have the essential skills needed to succeed.

Sophie DeavilleSenior Education Associate, Skills Builder Partnership

Thanks for the confidence in me.

Undershaw Alumnus

Honestly the change in him has been amazing. We feel very fortunate to have got into Undershaw. Such a great school with fantastic staff & teachers.

Undershaw Parent

The school has been amazing and has transformed my son in so many ways into the happy and confident 16yr old he is today.

Undershaw Parent

Eliminating the impossible


Undershaw is an inclusive community which is based on mutual respect.  Everyone is valued and their uniqueness celebrated.

Read about Employability


Undershaw is a caring and considerate school. We look after each other wholeheartedly, fostering meaningful and compassionate relationships.

Read about Therapy


Undershaw is a safe space for all, where we can take risks. We support each other to keep going and believe in ourselves when we try new things.

Read about our Curriculum