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:Norton College achieve 'outstanding personal development, behaviour and welfare' - Ofsted 2018. Find out more 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
  • “Leaders have a strong positive impact on the quality of provision at the school and have ensured that the Independent School Standards are met. As a result pupils make good progress”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “Young people who come through Norton don’t need more of the same, they need something very different”

    Ian Hardicker, Head Teacher, Norton College
  • “A powerful ethos of welcome to all drives the success of the school. Consequently, pupils with a variety of severe difficulties make Outstanding progress in their personal development.”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “Safeguarding is robust. Pupils feel safe at all times. This feeling of security helps pupils to settle down. Parents greatly value the school's work in making such a difference to their children's behaviour and confidence .”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “Leaders have created a cohesive teaching and pastoral care team. The team's skills in teaching, learning and behavioural support ensure that pupils make good progress.”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “A broad, varied and often inspiring curriculum motivates pupils. Staff take great care in ensuring that pupils have the opportunity to study that interest them.”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “The actions of directors improve the pupils' progress.”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “Leaders have ensured that all the independent school standards are met. Their evaluation of how well the school is doing is robust. They know their strengths and they know actions that need to be taken to effect improvements... The broad, balanced and often inspiring curriculum enables pupils to make progress in both their personal and academic education. Consequently, the pupils are supported in every aspect of their development...Leadership is very clear, decisive and supportive... and staff morale is high...Leaders are held in high regard by the local authority teams who place pupils in their care...Arrangements for pupils to enjoy individual lessons with teachers are managed exceptionally well... Leaders rightly have an exceptionally strong focus on the well-being and personal development of all pupils."

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “The headteacher is a strong, inspiring presence in the school at all times for staff and pupils alike.”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “My child’s behaviour has been completely turned around.”

    Parent Comment
  • “Those parents who spoke to the Ofsted inspector were overwhelmingly appreciative of the work the school in supporting their childrenl...The marked improvement in their child's behaviour since starting the school is reflected also at home .”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “Leaders have created a strong culture of shared responsibility for protecting pupils. Consequently pupils are safe and well supported. The safeguarding policy and practice are extremely robust and meet government requirements.”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • “Teacher's care deeply about pupils' personal well-being and educational progress. Relationships between staff and pupils are based on mutual respect... Pupils have a vast majority of lessons with their teachers one-to-one. This way of working strongly supports the social, emotional and mental health needs of pupils...Teachers are highly skilled at managing pupils who have presented high levels of challenge to teachers in other schools. They manage behaviour well because they have close trusting relationships with their pupils...The school offers learning packages to pupils who are unable to come to school, due to their extreme anxiety.”

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • "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."

  • This is the best school I have been to. The only school I have felt happy at. (Pupil 2016)

  • 'The school's work to promote pupils' personal development and welfare is Outstanding!..The powerful school ethos of kindness and warmth along with compassion begins with a smile, a handshake and a welcome every morning for every pupil.'

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • 'The behaviour of pupils is Oustanding...The welcoming ethos of the school ensures that the minority who attend less often improve their attendance quickly...A highly motivating system of reward for good behaviour and hard work involves payment at the end of each week...Pupils 'behaviour around the school is Outstanding. They are courteous and friendly and show respect and consideration for adults...Many of the older pupils are extremely keen to talk about how their behaviour has improved markedly. Because of this, their expectations in life have considerably widened...Pupils are always encouraged to make reparations. As a result, pupils' behaviour improves markedly as they stay longer at the school...A large survey of visitors to the school was overwhelmingly positive about pupils' behaviour. A typical comment was,Fantastic college with extremely polite students and staff.'

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • 'All students have made Outstanding progress in their personal development...This is because staff are highly skilled in the management of pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties...The vast majority of pupils in key stage 3 and key stage 4 have made good academic progress from their starting points in English and mathematics. Some of them have made Outstanding progress...

    Ofsted Report May 2018
  • In line with the rest of the school, leadership of the sixth form is Good. This is reflected in good-quality teaching, learning and assessment, as well as the Outstanding support for students' personal development, behaviour and welfare. Safeguarding arrangements are extremely robust...Some previous students have taken up apprenticeships at Norton College, with subsequently employment at the college.'

    Ofsted Report May 2018

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.