Our Philosophy

Here at Norton College, our aim is to give the most challenged and challenging young people the sort of educational, social and vocational skills that will enable them to integrate positively into society.

The Head Teacher & Education Director, Ian Hardicker, and his team aim to take these young people on 'a journey to work', transforming young lives from hopelessness to hopefulness and from dependency to independence.

After consultation with a range of external professionals combined with the extensive experience of the management team we have been able to create an innovative and highly effective philosophy that is designed to remove the “barriers to learning”. 

Norton College 


Barriers to Learning

Through consultation we looked at the various situations that had caused students not to thrive in previous educational establishments and found many common strands. These became known as the “barriers to learning”. 

By consciously removing these barriers we have created an environment that is both non confrontational and relaxed, whilst also being warm and supportive. This environment allows students to feel they can confidently engage and participate.

By transforming the way an educational provision looks, the way we deliver the curriculum, and the way we deal with young people, we expect to transform the outcomes.

Each student is provided with a personalised and bespoke learning package built around his or her particular interests and including the core subjects of Maths, English, IT and Science. 

Our experience has shown us that poor behaviour is often the result of environmental factors outside students’ control that influence the way they approach and deal with situations.  These environmental factors may have been created unwittingly by other learning providers. Therefore, we have made a conscious decision to remove these barriers to learning and to create an atmosphere where students are able to achieve, both educationally and personally, regardless of ability and background.

Our aim is to create a caring, reassuring and stimulating learning environment where good, respectful behaviour is modelled and expected by all. Our multi-professional team aims to teach students the life skills they need to be able to develop independence and confidence, while also supporting and encouraging strong educational achievement.


For more information, or if you have any questions about us or our educational philosophy, please contact us.

"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

Outstanding for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare!
31 May 2018

Ofsted May 2018 finds Norton College to be a Good school for overall effectiveness.   ​Effectiveness of leadership and management Good  Quality...

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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.