Abbey School, based in a Grade II* listed building in the heart of Chester’s historic Abbey Square, will be staffed by an expert trans-disciplinary team, who will provide children and young people with exceptional needs with the very best possible educational experience.
Our school will have up to 75 places for children and young persons aged four to 19 years, with a diagnosis of autism and/or severe learning difficulties, who may display behaviour of concern or behaviour that challenges families and services.
Our team of highly trained and experienced multi-professional staff will be permanently based on-site, and will offer a number of therapies. The new roles will include social care staff, qualified teachers, behaviour analysts, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, learning mentors, and subject specialists – ensuring students have access to the right support they need at the right times.
Dr Katy Lee, Principal at Abbey School, said: “Our highly-trained trans-disciplinary team is our most valuable resource in ensuring that pupils reach their best possible outcomes. Ensuring that we have the best team in place to nurture and develop the potential of every student and deliver an outstanding educational experience, is key to our vision.
“Supporting our pupils, their families, and our community, we are working hard to deliver an agenda that is socially significant and relevant and we’re delighted to be opening out these hugely rewarding career opportunities. These roles offer the chance to positively impact young peoples’ lives and enrich their educational experience within a best practice setting, where wellbeing of students and staff is a key priority.”
“Our school model includes a comprehensive in-house training programme for staff, designed in strategic partnership with leading researchers, plus external training and postgraduate study opportunities and offers the potential to progress and develop a career within a highly innovative educational environment which will set an exemplar standard.”
The Dean of Chester, the Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford said: “Chester Cathedral is delighted with all that this development promises and we are pleased to welcome the Abbey School for Exceptional Children here. This school is a benefit to families across the city and county and I am sure it will enrich our society through the children who gain a place.”
Abbey School brings together everything that is known from special education research and best practice to provide an outstanding teaching and learning experience, with the wellbeing of pupils and staff sitting at the heart of the school’s philosophy. Unlike any other specialist school in the UK, Abbey School also offers attractive funding solutions to placing Local Authorities, which can finance the school fees for all pupils attending the school.
Employing a holistic approach, which targets learning and development through mutual engagement and participation, the Abbey School model draws on a range of academic, social, and functional activities. The school’s multi-disciplinary team will deliver a pupil-centred, blended curriculum that seamlessly integrates academic and social learning with Positive Behaviour Support – a framework for assessing, promoting, and evaluating behaviour change in an ethical and culturally sensitive way.
Core to the school’s approach will be a strategic research partnership with SEND experts at Bangor University and the University of Warwick– both institutions are globally renowned leaders in the field of SEND educational research and development. The Abbey School Educational Research Alliance (ERA), will see Abbey School collaborate on a number of initiatives with both universities to develop the very best possible educational outcomes and experiences for children and young people at the school. We are investing over £1 million in research, development, evaluation, and training – working closely with the leading universities to introduce innovative approaches that give young people an outstanding educational experience which enables them to thrive.