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Alderwasley Hall School
Alderwasley, DE56 2SR Belper
01629 822586


Alderwasley Hall School provides specialist education for children and young people with speech and communication difficulties.

Situated in the picturesque Derbyshire countryside near Belper, Alderwasley Hall School is currently the largest specialist school in the UK for children and young people whose special educational needs arise from their difficulties in speech, language, and communication.

Places are offered to students aged 5 to 19 years old, either on a day or residential basis and are supported by over 50 Local Education Authorities.

The school includes Primary, Secondary and Post 16 departments on two sites plus a residential house for the oldest students in Matlock.

The school works together to create a happy and caring environment, enabling our students to learn and communicate with confidence, and grow as valued members of society.
Inclusive Environment

A whole school strategy has been developed to ensure that all pupils have an inclusion entitlement.

At Alderwasley Hall School, the pupil population needs to be understood as dynamic and diverse. There is no naturally agreed intake of pupils on an annual basis. Referrals are made throughout the year for day and residential pupils for all ages. Admissions are made at mutually agreed times and may be dependent on individual circumstances. For some pupils, early identification of their difficulties may mean that re-integration is a desirable and realistic target within their school carer. Others may have more complex needs and/or negative experience of mainstream education. For these pupils the likelihood of future re-integration is reduced, which means that the school must look at more subtle and creative ways of fulfilling its Mission Statement promise.

For some of our pupils, inclusion may simply mean attending our school and learning to participate in classroom activities, or joining in school-based activities. Over a period of time they will be given opportunities to generalise their knowledge and skills in a wider range of contexts, which at some point may be community based. It is important to acknowledge that the time spent preparing pupils to be successful outside school is a critical part of our work and should be recognised within their inclusion targets. A great deal of consideration is given to referral and assessment data on order to ensure that the timing of inclusive activities is commensurate with each pupil's ability to succeed.

Alderwasley Hall School broadens the learning opportunities for our pupils and we share our knowledge and experience with other professionals. This is achieved by:

  • Developing links with local schools and colleges across the whole age range
  • Ensuring that all pupils have an Inclusion target set at their annual review
  • Conducting research into effective partnerships for mainstreaming
  • Developing outreach SLT services within the local community and schools
  • Providing flexible placement options for pupils on roll in mainstream schools
  • Providing community access to AHS resources
  • Conducting assessments within local schools and community resources
  • AHS pupils participating in community activities and events
  • Giving presentations on aspects of Inclusive practice
  • Developing the curriculum to provide enhanced opportunities for progression onto the next phase of an education/training
  • All departments enter/join external projects
  • Staff nurture curriculum links with mainstream schools/colleges
  • School offers work experience placements to local schools
  • School enters local football/athletics competitions
  • Staff contribute to teacher training courses
  • Local employers who offer work experience and training places
  • FE colleges offer mainstream and SEN link courses
  • Community groups and organisations


The school provides for children and young people in Key Stages 1 to 4 as well as Post 16, on two sites. There being an additional residential house for older students in Matlock. All students are placed in small class groups. Appropriately qualified and experienced teachers, therapists and support staff work together to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. Each class group has a speech and language therapist who plans and implements an individual programme for each student, and works collaboratively with teachers and care staff to maximise all learning opportunities.


If you are a parent and you wish to make a referral to Alderwasley Hall School, you should contact the Education Department of your Local Education Authority (LEA) in the first instance. In the event of the LEA not supporting your request it may be possible for a private assessment to be arranged. Private assessments are undertaken only following written agreement that the referring party will be financially responsible for the assessment fees.

If you would like to make a referral please put this in writing to the Headteacher along with a copy of the pupil’s Statement of Special Educational Needs and reports from:

  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Education (including IEP’s)
  • Psychology
  • Medical
In certain cases there may be additional reports, which would be helpful for the school to have, e.g:
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Social Services
What happens next?
An inter-disciplinary team reviews referral information and a decision is made as to whether an assessment will be offered at Alderwasley Hall School, or Callow Park, at the Post 16 department.

If an assessment is appropriate, a formal offer is made in writing. There are three types of assessment:
1. Comprehensive Inter-disciplinary Assessments
2. Consultations and Outreach Assessments
3. Private Assessments

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