About The School

Ashgate Croft School (ACS) is an Area Special School within Derbyshire Local Authority. Our allocated number of spaces is 139, although we are currently over subscribed with 147 pupils currently on roll (YR-Y14). Pupils in the main live in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire. All pupils have a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) which are gradually being transferred to Education Health Care Plans.

The majority of pupils have autism, some of whom are taught in specialist classes. A significant of our pupils having severe learning diffifulties. They are achieving at below expected levels for their age and would have difficulty coping in a mainstream school. They may find reading and writing a problem and/or have difficulty with communication or fine and gross motor skills. Sometimes they are socially immature or they may experience health problems.

Some of our pupils have profound and multiple learning difficulties, with severe physical and sensory difficulties. These pupils are highly dependent on adults for all aspects of their learning as well as their self-care and mobility.

A few pupils have moderate learning difficulties.

There is a very wide ability range throughout the school ranging from P1ii - level 4.


There are three departments within the school:

  • Primary (41 pupils including Early Years (EY) who are not taught as a distinct group, KS1 and KS2) - 5 classes.
  • Middle (46 pupils KS3) - 5 classes.
  • Upper (57 pupils, KS4 and KS5 including post-16 who are taught as a distinct group) - 6 classes.

Class sizes range from 5-14 pupils. Smaller class sizes have become an essential feature of the education for some pupils with autism and/or extremely challenging behaviour.


Ashgate Croft has a diverse curriculum to meet the needs of both a wide range of learning difficulties/ disabilities and ages. This continues to develop as the profiles of the pupils at the school change but always maintains the emphasis of developing pupil independence as much as possible.


We achieved the Move Quality Mark in March 2017. We are now in our third year of implementing Move (Movement Opportunities Via Education) at Ashgate Croft School and we have a Move trainer who is the lead across the school and 26 staff trained as Move practitioners. There is a Move leaflet available for more information.

Positive Play

We have an excellent Positive Play provision within school, described by the Derbyshire Positive Play worker as a 'brilliant showcase'. We have two trained Positive Play workers who provide full-time support in Positive Play. Our Positive Play room is resourced to meet the needs of pupils at Ashgate Croft School. The curriculum is enhanced by a school swimming pool and 'The Croft', a specialist teaching area for pupils to develop independent living skills and a variety of outdoor areas.

Visiting Professionals

The school is supported by a number of visiting professionals including Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Educational Psychologist, Speech & Language Therapist. There is also additional support from teachers for visual and hearing impaired pupils. We have regular support and input from Learning Disability CAMHS and we have a named link worker to enable good communication between their team and our school.

Further information

For more detailed information about the school, please have a look at the school brochure below together with details on the school's Private School Fund.

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