Vision, Mission, Values


Our vision is that all children with exceptional needs receive a meaningful and fulfilling education that enables them to make their own choices about the direction of their adult lives.


Abbey School exists to provide the best education possible for young people with exceptional needs.

  • Every pupil is a unique individual with potential
  • Special educational needs and/or disability should not be a barrier to a valued lifestyle
  • All children and young people without exception are entitled to access the best education and support available
  • Best practices in education are evidence-based
  • Teaching and learning decisions should be evidence-driven
  • Clear goals make data-based decisions more numerous and effective
  • Education is for everyone and for the whole of a person’s life
  • Learning is enabling, empowering and extends the boundaries of autonomy
  • If a pupil is not learning, it is the teaching that needs to change – the learner is always right
  • Pupil voice should be heard and respected


Our whole school approach brings together everything that is known from special education research and best practice to maximise pupil learning and wellbeing. We are an innovative learning organisation. Our day-to-day working practices routinely inform research, evaluation and development.  We have a bespoke curriculum, designed by us, specifically to meet the needs of our pupils.

Each pupil’s journey through the curriculum is personalised. Approaches to teaching and learning are individualised, goal-based and precisely assessed. The curriculum is delivered by transdisciplinary teams who benefit from a high level and intensive internal training programme.

Our unique APPs support staff in planning and monitoring each pupil’s learning journey on a moment-to-moment basis. We are centrally located in the heart of the city which provides many opportunities for community-based learning, live skills development and supported work placements as young people get older.

Every decision we make is framed in the context of the Abbey School BAGS model

Belonging and connection

Being part of a community and having a network of valued relationships.

Autonomy and control

Having influence over day-to-day and life defining matters.

Gifts and talent

Doing even better the things that are done really well, and learning to do things that are important but may not be done at all.

Speaking, listening and a sense of self

Communicating effectively in a variety of ways, not just speech, and having an identity that defines who I really want to be.


Local Authority

“I just wanted to take a minute to pass on some feedback on today’s EHCP meeting for [pupil]. I think it was the best EHCP review I have ever attended for a child! It was so lovely to see [pupil] both in the meeting and in all the photos and videos you had prepared. It was incredibly child-centred and kept us all focussed on the positive progress [pupil] is making at Abbey School. I came out of the meeting smiling and I’m sure parents did too.”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“I can’t believe the change in our daughter in just a few short weeks. The relief for our family is immense to be certain that she is finally in a place that truly understands her.”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“This is the 7th school that our son has attended and each placement has broken down. He is absolutely thriving at Abbey School and has made more progress this term than he has in the past six years.”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“Our son is so much happier and content since starting at Abbey School. Recently we have been able to take him and his sister out for the afternoon together. Using the strategies you have given us, he was able to wait and follow simple instructions. We can finally enjoy some time together as a family.”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“We are just amazed at how our daughter has changed in a few short weeks from being a very sad, angry little girl, to the calm, happy and chatty girl we see today – we can’t thank you enough!”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“5 star reviews all round. Thank you ever so much for supporting our child!”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“Thank you for making us the happiest and luckiest people to access your gorgeous, amazing school. We are very privileged and still in disbelief about how much this school is going to make a difference to our lives. We are truly blessed!”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“I can’t get over how much you all do for our child. Nowhere has taken all of their needs into consideration like this before and you’re all trying things to support them that nobody else has ever bothered with and you can just see how much their confidence has improved.”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“Our son finally has a class team around him that truly understand him.”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“We are absolutely delighted and proud of how our son has settled into his new environment.”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“Abbey school is not just a school – it’s a family who support the child and the family together.”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“I just say how pleased we are with everything. Your staff are amazing, our son loves them and as you know he never wants to leave. The setting is fantastic, I feel totally privileged that my son is part of your school.”

Parent of Abbey School Pupil

“Your autism experience is immense, our son is happy and safe staying at the Green and is becoming more independent. Thanks for all your hard work caring for him, as a mum this is a huge relief to know he’s got a great team around him at the Green!”