A warm welcome to Abbey School for Exceptional Children.


We are an independent special school 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 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.


Our aim is 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. Through supporting our pupils, their families, and our community, we are working hard to deliver an agenda that is socially significant and relevant.

How are we doing this?

A highly trained multi-disciplinary team uses 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.

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

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

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

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 has invested 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
Dr. Katy Lee (Abbey School Principal)

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