A warm welcome to Abbey School. We are developing a school for exceptional children that aims to be the very best of its kind in the United Kingdom. Our day and residential school is for children and young persons aged 4-19 years with autism whom may have additional learning difficulties and behaviours that challenge. We will meet the needs of our pupils in Grade II* listed buildings dating back to 1754, and located in the heart of historic Chester, Abbey Square, captured by these architectural drawings reflecting our school buildings.


Abbey School is for exceptional children whose educational and support needs are complex and may be challenging. Our aims are to improve the life chances of our pupils through education and learning, and to extend the prospect of an improved quality of life for family members and others. We also believe in enriching our community.


We are creating over 200 highly skilled jobs in the Chester area, and providing postholders the training and support they need to succeed. Supporting our pupils, their families, and our community, we are working hard to deliver an agenda that is socially significant and relevant. If you are interested in the jobs we have on offer, please take a look at our recruitment page.

Unlike any other specialist school in the UK, we offer attractive funding solutions to placing local authorities, which can finance the school fees for all pupils attending Abbey School.

We are also developing our Abbey School Model APP to help staff plan, deliver, and monitor provision for meaningful participation by pupils in activities of living and learning at school, home and in the community. It will seamlessly interface with Person Centred Plans (PCP), Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) plans, and Education Health Care Plans (EHCP). App data will provide evidence of service activity and user outcome to aid commissioning decisions and inspections. We believe that there is no other app available on the market to meet this need.

Together, we are challenging the market for pupils with special educational needs.

How are we doing this?

A highly trained multi-disciplinary team will use evidence-based approaches to plan, deliver, monitor and evaluate a meaningful, relevant and ambitious personalised curricula of academic and social learning, including behavioural supports that are the least restrictive and most
effective possible. Transitional support will be provided into and away from each school placement.

There will be close liaison with family members and placing authorities. Progress and attainment data will be collected and continuously
evaluated using the Abbey School Model APP to evidence learning, adjust learning plans, and set new goals. Learning outcomes will span academic, well-being, self-help, communication, relationships, and behaviour change. Moment-to-moment decisions will be framed to enhance belonging and connection, autonomy and control, gifts and talents, speaking and listening skills and sense of self.

The entire workforce will be verbally and theoretically fluent in how to create the most effective and positive learning environments possible and be practically expert in running those environments.

Why are we doing this?

We believe education is the key to better life. All children and young people are entitled to an effective education that enables them to achieve the best possible outcomes in life, regardless of the degree of special educational need or disability. Evidence suggests that there are effective ways of teaching children to overcome barriers to learning and engage with education and this is at the heart of the Abbey School Model. The Model is a synthesis of leading-edge evidence-based practices, which constantly evolve and improve.

Designing and delivering a synthesised Abbey School Model requires a significant and sustained investment of knowledge and expertise from leading research-practitioners, as well as financial investment. Abbey School is committed to providing the very best in all respects, including the most effective programme of support for academic learning and pupil wellbeing. The school is investing over £1m in research, development, evaluation, and training, having agreed a strategic relationship with internationally renowned UK universities.

For further information or enquiries please click here

Professor Sandy Toogood (Head of Clinical & Behavioural Services)
Dr. Katy Lee (Abbey School Principal)

App coming soon...

We are developing an app - the Abbey School Model APP - and associated software to help staff plan, deliver, and monitor outstanding teaching and learning at school, home and in the community. A version of the APP will also be available for the adult social care sector.

Contact us

Get in touch with our team today...
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