Welcome to
Norton College

Here at Norton College, our mission is to give the most challenged and challenging children and young people the educational, social and vocational skills they need to be able to integrate into society

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Norton College special secondary education building exterior

By transforming the nature and look of a learning establishment, transforming the way we deliver the curriculum, and transforming the way we deal with the students, we expect to transform the outcomes.

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Norton College Local Education Authority

Local Education Authority

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Norton College Information for Parents

Information for Parents

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Norton College Student Information

Student Information

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NEWSFLASH:‘Congratulations to our very own Ash Smith for winning Sky Sports Teacher of the Year Award 2015’ - Watch the video here

We support young people who are not able to benefit from mainstream education by removing the barriers to learning and giving them a tailored learning package designed to meet their specific and unique needs.

By building their confidence and encouraging them to try new things, we aim to inspire students to achieve what they had previously thought to be unachievable. We pride ourselves on providing a range of learning styles for our students that suits their needs and best prepares them for a positive and purposeful future. We teach both academic and vocational subjects underpinned by those crucial skills such as resilience and tolerance. Our teaching is in a range of styles from 1:1 tuition through to traditional classroom-based activities using a wide range of approaches.

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We are very much aware that behaviour is often locational and that previous behaviours might have been a reaction by the student to the situation or circumstances they found themselves in at the time. Therefore, by removing the barriers to learning, we have created a positive and purposeful atmosphere. This nurturing atmosphere is fundamental to raising students’ outcomes and has been successful in removing unacceptable behaviours that our students had previously displayed.

Norton College is a fresh start for all students, we will never refer to previous poor behaviour and will treat all young people with respect and in the manner that they deserve.

We pride ourselves on creating a happy and relaxed atmosphere where students are able to develop their personalities with confidence and openness.

Created by the Headteacher, Ian Hardicker, who is now in his 20th year leading similar special schools, our philosophy is ably supported by current pedagogical thinking and a dedicated staff who are committed to improving the outcomes for each individual student.

About Us

Our Philosophy

Vocational classes at Norton College

Our Facilities

Excellent classroom and vocational training facilities...

We provide a range of learning styles for our students ranging from traditional classroom-based activities through to a whole range of practical and vocational opportunities. Find out more.

Learning styles and teaching methods tailored to suit each individual student…

We design bespoke learning packages around both academic and vocational subjects based around the young person’s aims and aspirations. These learning packages are sufficiently flexible in order to accommodate individual learning styles for the students. Find out more.

66,000 square feet of classrooms, vocational learning space, and sports facilities…

The Norton College facility is a converted factory, office space and land, that has been transformed into a bespoke learning environment. We aim to provide some of the best academic and vocational facilities in the country for the young people we support. Find out more.

Home-School-Home-Plus transport arrangements…

Our trained staff will collect students in the morning to bring them to College, and safely drop them home at the end of the day. Not only does this have a dramatic impact on attendance, but it also enables staff to meet with parents twice daily, chat to students en route, and prepare them for a day of learning. Find out more.

Supporting students and parents through home study programmes…

Where necessary, we also provide tailor made home study packages that enable youngsters with issues around social integration to receive their entitlement in the security of their home. We work closely with these students to build their confidence and enable them to access the community. Find out more.

Outreach support to local schools…

We also have extensive links with local mainstream Colleges and training providers that enable us to enhance the students experiences and not only introduce them to new skills but also to allow them to experience a wider social setting in preparation for their future placements. Find out more.

Case Studies

  • Kurtis


    Norton College have been exemplary with supporting my 16 year old Asperger son.  My son literally was in crisis and...

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  • Holly


    Holly had been out of school for seven years, when she joined Norton College as a student. Holly has severe attachment disorder...

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  • "I want to take young people on a journey from that hopeless feeling to hopefulness, and from a feeling of dependence to independence."

    Ian Hardicker, Head Teacher, Norton College
  • “Young people who come through Norton don’t need more of the same, they need something very different”

    Ian Hardicker, Head Teacher, Norton College
  • “My child’s behaviour has been completely turned around.”

    Parent Comment in Ofsted Report Oct 2014
  • “The headteacher and his team have been very supportive with my child’s particular needs and encourage him to try new tasks regularly. The school keep me up to date with my son’s progress.”

    Parent Comment in Ofsted Report Oct 2014
  • “Attendance is above average. Some students who had low levels of attendance now have attendance levels which are above 95%. This is because staff welcome students when they arrive and treat each one as a unique individual.”

    Ofsted Report Oct 2014
  • "Our child has only been at Norton college for a relatively short time but the change in him has been remarkable. He is much calmer and more amenable at home and is now able to take part in activities in the community with minimal supervision and for much longer periods of time. His demeanor is so much more relaxed and it is as if all the anxiety he was carrying has vanished. This has led to him being able to engage with his learning again, which he is very much enjoying. His confidence and self esteem are hugely improved and he feels safe at the college. He knows that people will react appropriately to his behaviour and students will always be treated with respect. We feel that this now gives him a much better chance of a successful future, all thanks to the hard work and understanding of the staff, along with the ethos of the college."


It is important to note that Norton College does not have any association with Holistic Education Therapy (HET). Any reference to Norton College on the HET is website is NOT authorised and is not compatible with the ethos and philosophy of Norton College.