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Undershaw is a specialist setting where children aged 8 to 19 with ASD and associated mild to moderate learning needs 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.

A typical student profile:

  • Mixed gender aged 8 – 19 years

  • Primary diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • Challenging Behaviour

  • Learning Difficulties

  • History of placement breakdowns

  • Has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Undershaw enables students to transform their futures and to realise their true potential in a safe, nurturing, and inspirational environment. These are students who may find secondary mainstream settings challenging. We offer small classes and universal therapy provision and an academic peer group to allow our students to thrive.

Students will already have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP), or they may be in the process of obtaining one, and present with mild to moderate:

  • Social communication difficulties
  • Speech, language, and communication difficulties
  • Specific learning difficulties for example, dyslexia
  • Developmental co-ordination disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders
  • Anxiety and Tourette’s syndrome
  • Medical vulnerabilities
  • Depression
  • Phobias inhibiting school attendance or “normal” living e.g., OCD
  • Refusal to attend school or separation difficulties.

We are unable to support students who present with the following difficulties:

  • Trauma and attachment disorders
  • Conduct disorders
  • Severe mental health problems
  • A child whose behaviour creates an unacceptable health and safety risk
  • A child with severe learning difficulties and who is unable to access the broad and balanced curriculum delivered for students of average or above potential
  • A child who requires a high level of staff support in order to keep themselves and/or others safe, or to make progress in their learning.

Where are we and which areas do we cover?

Undershaw is located in Hindhead, Surrey on the border with Hampshire and close to West Sussex. The school has students from all three Local Authorities, as well as students from further afield e.g. London.


What do we provide?

Undershaw is a specialist setting where children aged 8 to 19 with ASD and associated mild to moderate learning needs can access the national curriculum and qualification pathways in a safe, secure, and friendly environment.


How can you apply for a place at Undershaw?

If you feel the school might be the right fit for your child, please call our dedicated Admissions Team on admissions@undershaw.education or call 01428 609 953 and arrange to visit us.

See our Admissions page

How are decisions made about who can come to Undershaw?

The school assesses students and will make the offer of a place to parents. The students at Stepping Stones are funded through two different streams:


Local Authorities

We work closely with the Local Authorities to engage them in the funding of our pupils. If it is decided that Undershaw is the appropriate setting for your child through the EHCP process, your Local Authority will fund the place.


Private funding by parents

Parents may pay the school directly for the costs associated with placing your child here; these costs will vary according to the specific needs of the child. We do, however, encourage all parents to obtain an EHCP for their child to ensure they get the best support for their child now, and in the future.


How does communication take place between the school and the families?

As a small school, communication between the staff and the families is part of daily life at Undershaw. The team of specialist staff will be closely involved with each child’s development throughout their time with us. We operate a more formal Annual Review process and meeting take place each half term chaired by our SEND Education lead and attended by parents / carers, a representative from the Local Authority (if the place is funded by the LEA), pastoral support staff and relevant therapists.

We are child-centric school and have a nurturing approach to each child. There is a unique team surrounding each child ensuring that each aspect of the EHCP is catered for at Undershaw. Parents and Carers can look forward to an immersive relationship with the school, our staff and our way of life. We value each family and take pride in offering a flexible approach to communication, both formal and informal.

We have a Parents Association and are always on the lookout for new members to join and help craft and develop the many aspects of life at Undershaw. A parent perspective is vital to the school and such an important attribute of our daily life.


Are we fully accessible?

The buildings have been adapted to be hearing friendly; sound dampening has been installed on the ceilings of the hall and some classroom space.

The swimming pool, state of the art Science and Art rooms are all fully accessible.

Undershaw provides Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy on site for the students according to their needs. Our leading therapists work closely together, and as part of a wider team with the teaching and support staff.

In addition the school has links with a number of other professionals whom we regularly call upon for advice and to provide input in areas such as educational psychology or visual perception, Emotional Freedom specialist, Counselling and play therapy.


What training is on offer to our staff?


All teachers have ongoing professional development in special education and many have an additional qualification in a particular area of special need. In recent staff training days, we have focused on young people with layered needs, PDA, Multi-sensory impairment, PTSD, epilepsy and the education of children diagnosed with acute anxiety. We have considerable expertise in the care and education of young people with hemiplegia and those who have brain tumors and we continually update our knowledge.

Teaching Assistants

All our TAs attend the same training as the teaching staff. We employ assistants with relevant experience who hold NVQ qualifications from Level 2 to level 4.


Our therapist team are all HCPC registered and belong to their individual professional bodies.


How can you contact us for further information?

If you think the school would be a good fit for your child, please download an admissions form, and send it to us along with your child’s EHCP, and any other supporting documentation.

It is important that you notify your Local Authority at this stage because we can only formally offer a place where we have been consulted by the Local Authority.

Please email admissions@undershaw.education for further information or call 01428 609 953 where our dedicated admissions staff will be delighted to help you.


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

Post 16 parent

At all times our family felt supported.

Post 16 parent

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

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

The world is kind, because I have now found a better school.


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

Year 4 parent

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

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

Post 16 parent

Eliminating the impossible