Ashcroft School is a specialist school in Stockport that supports students aged 8 to 18 who have social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Students may also have other difficulties such as school phobia, anxiety, depression, or have diagnoses of ADHD, foetal alcohol syndrome, acquired brain injury (ABI) or autism.
Every child should have the chance to shape their future through learning. Ashcroft offers the right balance of personalised learning and intensive support to help every student break through barriers and reach their potential. Every day our students build their self-esteem, learn new skills and move towards a happy and fulfilled future. Trust us to help you get there.
Our students are at the heart of everything we do. We listen to their hopes and dreams, help them see, understand and overcome their barriers. And give them the support to love learning again.
We base everything we do around the six nurturing principles. This helps our students feel secure, supported and positive about their learning environment. Accredited by the Nurture Group, Ashcroft holds the prestigious Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award, awarded to us at the highest level.
- Children’s learning is understood developmentally
- The classroom offers a safe base
- The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
- Language is a vital means of communication
- All behaviour is communication
- The importance of transition in children’s lives
When a student first joins us, we use the Boxall profile to assess their social skills and any challenging behaviours. This helps us to really understand what’s going on beneath the surface. It also helps us to set targets towards positive change.
From here we develop a tailor-made plan for each individual learner, making sure they’re involved in the process and their needs are met.
Our curriculum is broad, balanced and adapted to meet every student’s individual needs. They’ll get to build their skills, tackle any gaps and improve their literacy and numeracy. As well as work towards recognised qualifications. We have a strong track record of student’s receiving:
- Unit Awards
- Entry Level Certificate (Entry Level 1, 2, 3)
- BTEC Firsts (Award, Certificate, Extended Certificate, Diploma)
- BTEC Nationals
- A Level
Students love our outdoor learning programme. These activities help young people develop their communication, leadership skills and teamwork. Activities include:
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
As well as getting outdoors, students can join in lots of other fun, creative activities. We focus on projects that have a track record of engaging hard-to-reach young people, such as drama, music, cookery, film and photography.
Our award-winning film projects have helped students explore issues in a safe and non-threatening way. As well as share their stories with the community through North West film festivals and performance events.
Watch Emma’s story and hear how Ashcroft got her hope back for the future:
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Eileen Sheerin
- Contact Position
- 0161 283 4832
- Ashcroft School
Ashcroft School is part of the Together Trust charity, a leading specialist education, community and care provider.
We are specialist education setting, catering for young people with needs such as social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Students may also have other difficulties such as school phobia, anxiety, depression, or have diagnoses of ADHD, foetal alcohol syndrome, acquired brain injury (ABI) or autism spectrum conditions (ASC). Our staff are experienced and dedicated, and they strive to ensure every young person that comes through our door reaches their potential, helping them to move forward into a happy and fulfilled future equipped with the skills they need to be able to cope with their chosen life path.
We adopt a variety of methodologies, often not available in mainstream schools, to ensure we work flexibly with each young person as a direct response to their individual needs with particular expertise in providing education services for children in public care, within foster care or living in children’s homes.
Ashcroft School is a registered centre for Edexcel and AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) enabling young people achieve age appropriate nationally recognised qualifications and complete accredited work experience.
Our Nurture group provides students with the opportunity to experience the early nurturing experiences some children and young people lack, giving them the skills to do well at school, make friends and deal more confidently and calmly with life’s challenges.
The Nurture Group at Ashcroft School has been accredited by the Nurture Group Network and has received an outstanding rating from the prestigious Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark award. It is a small, specialised unit catering for students in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3, and occasionally Key Stage 4.
Our Governors also have vast experience in their own fields of expertise and apply this knowledge, along with their understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school, enabling them to provide continuous challenge and support to the senior management team.
Where to go
- Ashcroft School
- SK8 1JE
Ashcroft School is based at Cheadle, Stockport and is part of the Together Trust charity, a leading specialist education, community and care provider. We offer opportunities to students throughout the North West of England and surrounding areas who have struggled to cope in other settings because of their individual barriers to learning.
Time / date details
- When is it on
- School Term Time- Monday to Thursday 9:00am to 3:15pm, Friday 9.00 am to 2.15pm
- Time of day
- Session Information
School Term Time- Monday to Thursday 9:00am to 3:15pm
Friday 9.00 am to 2.15pm
- For further admission information please contact us on 0161 487 4293 or visit https://www.togethertrust.org.uk/ashcroft
- Referral required
- Referral details
We accept direct enquiries from parents and carers, as well as referrals from healthcare professionals. Visit https://www.togethertrust.org.uk/ashcroft for more information. For more information or to arrange a visit please contact our reception on 0161 283 4832 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other notes
If you can’t find the info you need, contact Ashcroft School reception.
T: 0161 283 4832
Behind every challenging behaviour is an underlying root cause. We listen to students, take the time to understand what’s driving their behaviour, and come up with a positive action plan.
Together, we can help students take control of their learning and make a change for the better. We do this through special student groups, activities and direct support and by working with parents and families.
We provide support for the whole learning journey. Each class group has a teacher and educational assistants who work with students every day. We also have specialist teachers for certain subjects and offer intensive one-to-one support where it’s needed. Alongside our academic curriculum, we also teach communication, social and life skills.
Individual student support is at the heart of what we do. Our staff are trained to support students with dyslexia, dyscalculia or dyspraxia. And we’re connected with expert clinical psychologists and therapists through the wider Together Trust services. We can also offer a full diagnostic assessment if we believe a student could have autism, followed by advice, support and specialist therapeutic input.
We take a positive reinforcement approach to managing behaviour, encouraging students by celebrating positive change. Each student also has a personalised behaviour management plan which sets appropriate limits, creates a safe learning environment, supports change and maintains placement stability.
Social, emotional and behavioural skills underpin almost every aspect of school, home and community life. Building these skills can help students learn more effectively and develop positive relationships with others. That’s why we teach Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) every single day. It means students leave with the social and emotional literacy they need to lead a healthy, happy life.
Some students struggle to put difficult thoughts and experiences into words. Play therapy helps students make sense of things by exploring their anxieties in a safe space. We have a resident play therapist and a state-of-the-art playroom with everything needed to spark a young person’s imagination. With our support, students develop confidence, coping mechanisms and a more positive view of their place in the world.
Our specialist Nurture Group creates a welcoming, safe environment for those students. The group offers structured play, reading schemes and outdoor activities to help students build their skills and deal with challenges confidently and calmly.
Our small, specialised unit in the School House caters for students in Key Stages 2 & 3. There are 2 groups allocated to each key stage and as there are only 4 pupils in each group, places remain very limited. Pupils referred to the Nurture Group typically had experiences in their early years that have resulted in poor attachment and difficulty establishing relationships with peers and adults. These may include such things such as neglect, bereavement or loss. Pupils are taught at a developmental level rather than their chronological age. Our nurture group:
- provides a welcoming and safe environment
- is well equipped for structured play
- has reading schemes and equipment to improve literacy and mathematical skills
- focuses on physical skills through outdoor pursuits
- helps students deal with challenges confidently and calmly
We have a high staff/pupil ratio of 2:4 to ensure that each young person receives the extensive support they need. There is a core focus on physical ability through outdoor pursuits which has is strongly linked to improving literacy skills and raising self-esteem. Classrooms are designed to provide a welcoming and safe environment with plenty of toys and materials for structured play and social interaction. Whilst academic achievement remains a high priority, there is great emphasis on the development of social skills, improving emotional regulation, strengthening resilience and reducing anxiety. There are no unstructured times during the day with pupils receiving full ‘wrap around’ care and support. After this intensive intervention we expect pupils to move on successfully to a group in our secondary provision in Cheadle or to a mainstream school elsewhere.
- Contact Name
- Eileen Sheerin
- Contact Telephone
- 0161 283 4832
- Contact Email
Schools Extended Local Offer Response
- How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
At Ashcroft School, all students are assessed throughout their first six weeks using the Boxall profile. During this time we have an understanding of the young person enabling us to determine their individual needs – both academic and emotional. Students applying to the school will also have an Education Health and Care Plan, a Learning Disability Assessment or a Statement of SEN which are also used as the basis for planning to meet individual needs. These then allow us to use the assessment to group young people according to their ability, ensuring all students access a tailored curriculum.
Students are involved in monitoring their own progress via assessment for learning and question and answer sessions. In accordance with the SEN Code of Practice, together with parents/ carers, the young person and professionals, an Annual Education Review for students with a statement of SEN are held to discuss support being provided and possible recommendations as to whether the aims of the statement need to change. This is based on our academic and the behavioural, social and emotional assessments conducted throughout the year.
At Ashcroft, we have a very high pupil to staff ratio and therefore staff are able to monitor the students very closely. All staff are trained using PROACT SCIPr-UK®. This is a therapeutic behaviour modification system which encourages analysis of behaviour and identification of need.
- How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
Ashcroft School runs on a secondary school model and students move around the school to specialised teaching rooms. Each group has a form teacher who manages their day to day pastoral needs. Every group is also allocated its own Learning Support Assistant or Educational Project Worker who stays with the group for the whole day. This enables stronger communication between staff as the LSA keeps teaching staff informed of current issues and needs of the individual students.
Key workers are assigned to each student in the school so that they have an open door to an adult who acts as their advocate and mentor. This adult will usually be their form teacher or the LSA assigned to the group, however, students may also request a staff member with whom they feel comfortable and safe.
Our nurture setting runs on a primary school model although it caters for students of all ages from eight to 18 years-old. This setting provides total wrap around care and has a stronger focus on social, emotional and behavioural development. Specialist teaching staff provide lessons within this nurture setting so movement around the school is kept to a minimum. This provides a more secure and safe environment for our more vulnerable students.
All staff will attend regular meetings where the needs, progress and development of the students are discussed. All staff who teach a student have access to the individual IEPs, behaviour management plans and EHC plans but it is the key worker’s responsibility to make sure that relevant information is communicated. With more sensitive information, we have a ‘need to know’ policy and this information is therefore only shared with necessary personnel. The students also create a One Page Profile with their key worker which outlines what support strategies the student feels works best for them.
The Governing Body of Ashcroft School helps to shape the vision and direction of the school and ensures the school fulfils its duties, including the promotion of inclusive policies on special needs, equality and diversity, the welfare and education of looked after children. Our Governors have vast experience in their own fields of expertise and apply this knowledge, along with their understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school, enabling them to provide continuous challenge and support to the senior leadership team.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
Ashcroft School has a variety of learning programmes and environments which cater for similar needs in different ways. Our Nurture Setting is a small, specialised unit catering for students within 3 groups for Key Stages 1, 2, 3 and one group for Key Stage 4 and 5. Students referred to the Nurture Group have typically had poor experiences in their early years, resulting in poor attachment and difficulty establishing relationships with peers and adults. Classrooms are designed to provide a welcoming and safe environment with plenty of toys and materials for structured play. Special care is taken to ensure that the equipment and books are appropriate to the age of the students. We have a reading scheme suitable for students who are effectively non-readers and suitable mathematical equipment for students whose basic number skills are weak. Staff are fully trained by the Nurture Network.
One of the most important roles the school has is to re-engage students in learning. We work with young people who may have had long periods out of school and who may have had a history of failure in the traditional education system. This may involve those who have been permanently excluded or who are at risk of permanent exclusion from school and the rest of society. We offer bespoke packages aimed at raising attainment and self-esteem.
This may include:
- Access to the core national curriculum subjects
- Mind, body and soul
- Outdoor education including sailing, climbing and The Duke of Edinburgh Award
- Projects such as filmmaking, radio plays and drama
- Vocational courses in plumbing, ground works, joinery, bricklaying and painting and decorating
- Intensive reading programme
- Arts and crafts
Ashcroft School provides 25 hours of learning per week and offers a broad and balanced curriculum adapted to reflect individual needs. We adopt a variety of methodologies, often not available in mainstream schools, to ensure we work flexibly with each young person as a direct response to their individual needs. We have high expectations of our students and are committed to raising achievement. Our teams work flexibly to cater for the varying curriculum and social needs of our students. We focus on ensuring our students develop the skills of lifelong learning which in time can lead to the successful completion of accredited courses, including GCSEs, thereby increasing their opportunity to access further education, training and employment.
Ashcroft School offers students intensive personal support designed to help them re-engage in education; change their own behaviour and develop more positive relationships with others. This is achieved through intensive learning support often delivered through a range of stimulating activities that motivate and engage students in ways that are not readily available in other settings. We aim to promote learning and positive emotional development through improving self-esteem and celebrating achievements.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?
Students at Ashcroft are given targets which are assessed each day on a handover sheet. The handover sheet is a means of sharing with parents/carers key elements of the day and where the highlights and challenges have occurred. The handover sheet and the points earned form the basis of the school reward system. Where needed, key workers make daily calls or send emails if this is a preferred method of communicating. We continually assess students within their academic studies and monitor their behaviour, emotional and social progress using Boxall Profiling which highlights areas of strength and those which need targeted intervention. Ashcroft School has achieved the Boxall Quality Award and Investors in People Award.
We hold termly progress evenings where parents and carers meet with teaching staff and key workers. Termly progress reports are issued which highlights achievements and areas for improvement.
Ashcroft subject / pastoral leaders offer advice, support and guidance to parents when needed so that they are able to better support their child at home. We believe strongly that a proactive relationship between parents/carers and key school staff is the best foundation for students to make good progress. We therefore seek to support parents and carers wherever we can. Access to and from school for events and meetings, strategies to support academic studies/behaviour at home or help to gain access to other services are just some of the ways we have supported parents in the past.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
At Ashcroft, we adopt a variety of methodologies, often not available in mainstream schools, to ensure we work flexibly with each young person as a direct response to their individual needs.
Personal, Social and Health Education is an integral part of the school curriculum and students explore many topics and issues which help students to make informed choices as they face them. P.S.H.E lessons, along with the school Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural agenda, arms pupils with the ability to interact with and have a stronger understanding of those from a wide variety of backgrounds, faiths, cultures and social groups as well as an understanding of actions and consequences.
Ashcroft School follows the Together Trust’s Policies and Procedures on safeguarding developed in the light of the latest guidance from the Stockport Safeguarding Board and the Department for Education (DfE). Where the student’s home or education base is in another authority, the relevant Safeguarding Unit will be consulted. Parents and carers should be aware that if staff suspect that a young person is at risk of harm they have a duty to inform the relevant authority.
Students are monitored closely when using the internet and topics on anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying are included in ICT and PSHE lessons. Staff are trained in areas such as CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) ambassador training, enabling effective monitoring and management of all aspects of cyberbullying.
Bullying in any form is unacceptable. Learning the effects and consequences that bullying has on the lives of others are included in the curriculum and the school participates in all government initiatives such as the anti-bullying week.
Cyberbullying is a very real and serious issue and should it arise it will be dealt with following our incident management procedures. We ask parents and carers to assist the school in reducing occurrences of cyberbullying by regularly checking social networking sites which are not accessible in school. We do not allow mobile phones in school as social networking sites are also available via mobile networks. We will work with parents to inform our students of the dangers and effects of cyberbullying and to discourage its practice. Our policy on bullying and cyberbullying is available from the school office on request or via our website.
Ashcroft has an in-house qualified Play Therapist and Counsellor to which all students have access if they wish with parental /carer consent.
All staff and volunteers are subject to regular enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks.
All staff within the school are trained by the Nurture Group Network and this forms a large part of our school ethos. We have a therapeutic focus within the school and all staff are trained each year in PROACT SCIPr-UK® approach to proactive behavioural, emotional and social support and development.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting/school/college?
Ashcroft School employs specialist teachers with expertise relating to pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, Asperger’s / autism, dyslexia and ADHD. All teachers have QTS and they are supported by teaching assistants with qualifications at least level 2. We employ an English teacher with expert knowledge of dyslexia to run an intensive literacy programme to improve student’s levels, confidence and self-esteem in this subject.
Staff receive regular training to continue to support and develop our students with their individual needs. Mandatory training includes Equality and Diversity training. Ashcroft School has achieved the Boxall Quality Award and Investors in People Award, PQASSO Level 2 Award.
Ashcroft School as part of the Together Trust has a person-centred approach to all aspects of our services. Students are at the centre of all planning and their views, thoughts and opinions are sought before all meetings and review sessions. Through all our school curriculums, in particular, our Social, Moral, Cultural and Spiritual agenda, we encourage students to take ownership of the school and its community and support them to make positive contributions to the wider communities – local, national and global – in which they live.
- What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?
All staff will undertake an induction programme followed by an extensive programme of continuing professional development for all staff across the organisation with mandatory training which is refreshed on an annual basis.
Ashcroft School employs specialist teachers with expertise relating to pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, Asperger’s/ autism, dyslexia and ADHD. All teachers have QTS and they are supported by teaching assistants with at least level 2 qualifications. Ashcroft School has achieved the Boxall Quality Award and Investors in People Award.
Several staff within the school are fully trained in First Aid. All staff also complete emergency first aid and PROACT SCIPr-UK® Training.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
- Ashcroft School runs many extracurricular activities and all students can be included if they wish. These include drama productions and play therapy.
- Ashcroft School offers residential trips, reward trips and school day trips for pupils for which full costs are met by the school.
- We do not offer after-school activities as the majority of students are transported to and from school by taxi and therefore this is not possible.
- Ashcroft subject / pastoral leaders offer advice, support and guidance to parents when needed so that they are able to better support their child at home. We believe strongly that a proactive relationship between parents/carers and key school staff is the best foundation for students to make the good progress. We therefore seek to support parents and carers wherever we can. Access to and from school for events and meetings, strategies to support academic studies/behaviour at home or help gaining access to other services are just some of the ways we have supported parents in the past.
- How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?
Ashcroft School can make provision for students and families for whom English is an additional language. Where required, advice and support – including input from a specialist English language teacher - can be sought from Stockport’s Ethnic Diversity Service. An individual programme will be developed and implemented to assist the student improve their communication skills and access to the curriculum. Translation services can also be used to assist parents and carers at meetings, and/or to translate documents.
Ashcroft can also offer support and guidance to parents including supporting completion of paperwork. The Together Trust also supports parents through the Information, Advice and Support Service, IASS (formally Parent Partnership).
All information, guidance and policies can be found on http://www.togethertrust.org/ .
Most students are transported to and from school by taxi but we aim to support independent travellers and their parents/carers with travel plans. The staff at Ashcroft School can make home visits to parents who are unable to make the journey into school.
- How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?
- All transition phases are managed very carefully with the student along with parents /carers at the centre of all planning. We have strong links with Stockport Services for Young People (Connexions) and we liaise frequently with the professionals from all placing authorities.
- Each child or young person usually visits the school to meet with the Headteacher or Deputy Head. They are taken on a tour of the school (which can be in or out of school time) and they are able to discuss concerns and ask questions about what the school has to offer. We then offer short taster sessions before they join us which is usually centred around the interests and strengths of the child or young person and planned with the young person in advance. An induction plan is then discussed with the young person, parents and carers which is very much centred around the individual needs of the student. We endeavour to be as flexible as possible.
- We have a six-week gradual integration programme for all students within an induction group. This is for the purposes of assessment and the students to become accustomed to the daily life of the school. This programme is flexible and some can be shortened or extended as necessary. We find this method provides students with a more secure foundation with which to join the school and allows their individual education plan to be developed more accurately.
- How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
All funding is secured before the child or young person joins the school. Once the student is on they have equal access to all facilities, resources and support. Where an individual student’s support needs to be increased, to 1:1 or example, the school would approach the local authority, with parental support to make a formal request to the local authority. This will usually occur at an AER meeting.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
At Ashcroft School, all students are assessed throughout their first six weeks using the Boxall profile. During this we get to understand the young person enabling us to determine their individual needs – both academic and emotional. Students applying to the school will also have an Education Health and Care Plan, a Learning Disability Assessment or a Statement of SEN which are also used as the basis for planning to meet individual needs. These then allow us to use the assessment to group young people according to their ability, ensuring all students access a tailored curriculum.
- How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?
At Ashcroft School, we believe one of the most important factors in educational achievement is consistent involvement from parents or carers. We are committed to developing homeschool links as we firmly believe in joint working with parents who are one of our most valuable resources.
Parents and carers are contacted formally on a regular basis and informally daily to develop and maintain the links between home and school. Parents and carers receive a report on a student’s progress at annual reviews and at the end of each term.
The School provides particulars of academic performance during the preceding school year including the results of public examinations, the number of staff employed at the school which includes temporary staff, and a summary of their qualifications.
Parents and carers are welcome to visit the school or call to discuss their young person at any time and are invited to attend assemblies and celebrations. We value the input provided by parents and carers and encourage collaborative working to help students reach their full potential.
Our Governing Body incorporates parent representatives who take an active part in evaluating the work of the school. If you are interested in knowing more about the Governing Body or would like to become a Governor please contact our Chairman by contacting 0161 283 4848 or visiting www.togethertrust.org.uk and search ‘Ashcroft Governors’
Parents can also support one of our services as a volunteer. You can make a real impact on the people we support and also gain for yourself. We work all over Greater Manchester and have a number of services across Stockport and Cheadle that work with children and adults with disabilities, learning difficulties and behavioural issues. All of these services need volunteers and if you have some skills that you think we could utilise elsewhere within our organisation then we'd love to hear from you.