Sketchley School - Leicestershire

Manor Way
LE10 3HT

Tel. 01455 890 023

Fax. 01455 636 282

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Sketchley School, formerly Sketchley Horizon School, is a specialist school for young people aged 8 to 19 years with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Pupils may also have challenging behaviour as a result of their communication difficulties and a lack of social understanding.

At Sketchley School we focus on the needs of each individual pupil to create a framework that promotes self-confidence and self-esteem. We aim to raise standards in the education of young people with autism and help them to lead meaningful, fulfilling and happy lives. Set within an acre of mature grounds in the heart of Sketchley, the school offers a safe, structured and predictable environment for pupils to develop the skills they need to live as independently as possible and make real life choices as they reach adulthood.

We provide:

  • Facilities specifically designed for pupils with autism 
  • Access to adapted National Curriculum 
  • Emphasis on individual pupil achievement and personal development
  • Multidisciplinary approach to teaching
  • Close working relationships with parents
  • Access to psychiatrist and psychologist support 
  • Access to range of therapies including speech and language and music therapy 
  • Interaction with local community 

Placements are on a day basis and Sketchley School can provide places for up to 30 pupils.

Outcomes and achievements

Sketchley School enables students to:

  • Learn how to manage their behaviour and cope with anxieties 
  • Develop strategies to manage everyday living 
  • Develop independence 
  • Become empowered to make their own choices

The criteria for admission to Sketchley School are a combination of
individual, family and school environment factors:

  • Aged between 8 and 19
  • A diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder or evidence of behaviours which are in accordance with such a diagnosis 
  • Associated complex needs 
  • A statement of special educational need

Assessment process

The purpose of the assessment is to determine the needs of an individual and whether these can be met by Sketchley School.

The initial assessment includes:

  • Education and performance levels 
  • Communication assessment 
  • Self-help/independent skills assessment

The first full individual education plan (IEP) is based on this initial assessment and includes a detailed programme designed to enable each individual pupil to work towards specific attainable goals.

To begin the assessment process we request:

  • Referral papers and a history of the child's schooling 
  • No reported adverse medical conditions or factors 
  • Appropriate family commitment to supporting and maintaining programmes at home

Sketchley School provides emergency education placements for children excluded from other schools. This provision is dependent on the number of children on the school roll at the time of need. Sketchley School believes that all children with special educational needs, whose parents or local authority wish it, should have a right to be considered as appropriate for assessment for admission. Pupils will be assessed against the admission criteria. 

Sketchley School does not discriminate and considers referrals from all cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.


Sketchley School adopts a multidisciplinary approach to education using the best practice from models such as TEACCH and those developed throughout Priory Education Services. Pupils have access to the National Curriculum, adapted and modified to meet their individual needs. They will learn in small classes of up to six and are grouped by key stage to ensure education is at the right level.Our pupils learn how to develop effective compensatory strategies to overcome difficulties in social and emotional processing, communication and flexibility in thinking and behaviour.

 All individuals with autism appear to suffer from stress as both a direct and indirect consequence of their condition. Some stress can be reduced by making environments as 'autism-friendly' as possible and reducing social and sensory bombardment. The design of the school and the structure of the educational programmes are created to achieve this.

Pupils engage in physical activities in line with the National Curriculum throughout the week and make full use of the indoor swimming pool and gym. These opportunities are designed to build stamina and to reduce excess energy and anxiety.

Our teaching approach provides physical and visual opportunities for learning and helps pupils to achieve their full potential by understanding their limitations and making the most of their abilities. Managing expectations is a core part of the programme. We seek to promote self-confidence and self-esteem by building on pupils' strengths.

The development of communication, personal and social education skills will form a major part of a pupil's individual education programme (IEP with emphasis placed on establishing appropriate behaviour and self-control in all settings. Regular opportunities for pupils to use their social skills in the local community are built in to the educational programme.

Our aim is to bring out the best in each pupil to enable them to live happy, functioning and meaningful lives. Sketchley School offers a safe, structured and predictable environment for pupils to develop the skills they need to live as independently as possible and make real life choices as they reach adulthood.

Sketchley School works to establish a close partnership with parents in order to support pupil progression and get the very best out of them in all areas. We keep parents well informed of their child's progress and encourage them to participate in their child's development programme as much as possible.

Each pupil is viewed as an individual with his or her specific needs being met in appropriate ways, with individuality being encouraged. Independence is fostered and pupils are encouraged to strive towards their full potential. At all times Sketchley School recognises the special needs of each pupil and ensures that the learning opportunities provided for them and the targets set for them reflect and address these needs.

We aim to develop independence for every individual according to their own abilities. Skills will include:

  • Strategies for handling anxieties
  • Ability to minimise and handle distress
  • Strategies for appropriate behaviour in all settings
  • Ability to make individual choices

Accommodation and facilities

Sketchley School is situated in the village of Sketchley, Leicestershire and has excellent links with the M6/M1 only six miles away and Hinckley train station one mile away. The school is well situated for a number of Counties and is within easy driving distance for Leicestershire, Coventry, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Staffordshire.

Set within an acre of mature grounds in the heart of Sketchley, the school provides pupils with a safe, specially adapted environment in which to learn and grow. The school is specifically designed for pupils with autism and includes rooms for specialist subjects, therapy and quiet areas.

Therapeutic approach:

  • Individual car pathways tailored to individual needs
  • Anger management programmes
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry and psychological support where needed
  • Occupational therapy and sensory integration assessment
  • Sppech and language therapy
  • Music therapy

Quality and regulation

Priory Education Services has a system for auditing the services provided against the regulations detailed by Ofsted Education Inspection Standards. These are implemented at individual school level by managers and staff as part of the day to day life and work of the school and include expectations, systems, policy and procedures. 

Each school is audited for the quality of its provision and outcomes for the young people in its care by Priory's Regional Managers and by the School Improvement Partners who visit every term. The 'Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda is at the heart of everything we do.

Quality assurance systems include Ofsted education audits. School performance is monitored against the standards set by regulating bodies and internal company specific performance indicators.

Sketchley School Policies

Information about the school's policies and procedures regarding the welfare of children is available upon request. These include the following:

  • Academic results 
  • Anti-bullying 
  • Child protection 
  • Complaints procedure 
  • Curriculum 
  • English as an additional language 
  • Equal opportunities 
  • Exclusion 
  • Health and safety 
  • Ofsted report 
  • Promotion of good behaviour and sanctions 
  • Special educational needs 
  • Staff list and qualifications 
  • Statement of purpose