Alderwasley Hall School

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Alderwasley Hall School
Alderwaley Hall 617010 736ebf18.jpg
Established 1930 (Special School 1976)
Type Independent special school
Head Teacher Sara Forysth
Location Alderwasley
DE56 2SR
Coordinates: 53°04′34″N 1°30′50″W / 53.076°N 01.514°W / 53.076; -01.514
DfE number 830/6016
DfE URN 113021 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 134
Students 96
Gender Coeducational
Ages 5–19
Colours Pink, Blue (Unofficial)
Sixth form Alderwasley Hall Sixth Form Centre

Alderwasley Hall School is an independent residential special school. The school is for children and young people aged 5 to 19 with Asperger's, speech and language difficulties and Acquired Brain Injury.[1] It is in and named after the village of Alderwasley in the Peak District, close to Wirksworth in Derbyshire, England.


A 15th-century manor house, built by the Lowe family, that stood on the site was replaced with the present house in the late 18th century by Francis Hurt (High Sheriff of Derbyshire 1788). His son, also Francis Hurt, was also High Sheriff. The house was made a Grade II listed building in 1967.[2][3] The hall remained in the Hurt family until 1930, when they moved to Casterne Hall, Staffordshire, and it was sold to a Benedictine Order to be used as a school. In 1976 it became a Special School.

Use as a school[edit]

The school is primarily a term-time residential school, but takes day pupils primarily from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire. It also has an onsite Children's Home for some pupils to live 52 weeks a year at the school.[4] Despite being an independent school, the majority of funding comes from local education authorities (LAs).

The school has extensive grounds, which include a series of ponds, which are home to ducks and geese. The parish church of All Saints lies close to the entrance of the school grounds.

The Headteacher is Sara Forsyth. It is owned by the SENAD Group based in Derby who run other schools for children and young people with learning difficulties.[5]

Alderwasley Hall in about 1905

Because of the difficulties experienced by the students the school has poor exam results compared to mainstream schools. However, in the school's 2014 Ofsted Education Inspection under "Achievement of pupils" the school was graded good.[6] The most recent exam results showed 0% of students achieving grades A*–C in both GCSE English and mathematics, making it the lowest possible score compared to the national average of 53.5%. The school has also seen a year-on-year fall on results, with only 71% of people achieving any qualifications at the school now compared to 73% in 2009, 100% in 2008 and the national average of 99.1%. Average total points per pupil is only 51, which is 88% lower than the national average of 439.[7]

Alderwasley Hall Sixth Form Centre[edit]

The Sixth Form Centre Alderwasley Hall Sixth Form Centre,is based 1 mile (2 km) south of Wirksworth. It is also used by the students from Alderwasley for Sport and Art.


The school is primarily set up to cater for pupils with Asperger's Syndrome and speech and language difficulties, but does take students with Autistic Spectrum of Difficulties, Dyslexia, Specific Learning Difficulties, Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, Delicate/Medical Conditions, Epilepsy and Dual/Multi-Sensory Impairment.[8][9][10]


External links[edit]