About Us

Our Aims

At Mackworth House School we believe that every child and young person has the right to an engaging, happy, relevant and fulfilling school experience that consists of:

  • A nurturing, safe and low stimulus environment with clear routines and structure.
  • A personalised and individually tailored curriculum for each pupil.
  • Flexible and effective teaching and learning strategies, with ongoing review and evaluation of the academic and personal developmental progress being made.
  • The supported development of independence skills, daily integration within the wider offsite community and the facilitation of learning essential life skills.
  • The promotion of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and healthy food provision.
  • Specialist Therapy sessions, advice and strategies that are part of each pupil’s daily routine.

 Our aim is to provide all of this in a happy and relaxed environment.


Our School

Mackworth House School is a co-educational Day and 8 bedroom Residential School on the Western edge of Derby situated in a stable residential area. It has been purpose built to provide a low stimulus environment for up to 15 pupils aged 6-19 years with diagnoses of Autism with associated Communication Disorders and Severe or Moderate Learning Disabilities.

Our specialist school provides a very personalised education and personal development programme of 32.5 hours each week and we expect all pupils to reach not only the outcomes within their Educational, Health and Care Plan but also reach their potential as valued, increasingly independent members of the wider community.

The maximum number in a class is 4 pupils. We provide daily individual and/or group therapy sessions. We provide an offsite activity for each pupil on a daily basis.

Our staff includes:

Qualified Teachers teaching each child;

Higher Level Teaching Assistants teaching and supporting each child;

Experienced Teaching Assistants;

Specialist Therapists;

Experienced Care Staff.  

All staff have a current clean Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Our school is registered as an Independent Specialist School with the Department for Education.

Our last OFSTED inspection was in March 2018 and we are graded ‘A Good School’ with some outstanding features.

Examples of their judgements of Mackworth house School:

“Pupils’ personal development and behaviour is outstanding. This is because of the high levels of care and support that staff provide to ensure that pupils make strong progress in their personal development.”

“Pupils make good progress because of the good teaching they receive. Some pupils, particularly in the key stage 2 provision, make even better progress because of the well-targeted support they receive to become secure in their skills.”

“Staff and leaders provide highly effective support to help pupils to manage their behaviour and resolve any anxieties they may have.”

“All staff are highly vigilant of pupils’ welfare. They work closely with pupils, parents and carers to ensure that pupils are safe and know how to be safe.”


 What Mackworth House School provides

  • A wide range of assessment and accreditation opportunities from P-Level to Entry Level External Qualifications and above, including accreditation of vocational and skill-based activities.


  • 32.5 hours of fully staffed Day-School education provided to all pupils each week from 9am to 3.30pm each day including fully supervised lunch and breaks.


  • Small class sizes (maximum 4 pupils) with individually determined staffing ratios; typically our pupils receive 1:1 or 2:1 staff support within the classroom, outside learning area and in the wider community depending upon the activity, the risk assessment and the EHCP specification.


  • A qualified in-house cook who is trained in healthy food preparation for the individual dietary needs of pupils with allergies, intolerances, religious and cultural requirements and food sensitivities. All food is freshly cooked daily. School meals and breaktime snacks are included in the school fees package.


  • Sensory Room- 25m2 purpose built interactive sensory room for sessions led by education staff and Therapists.


  • Therapy Gym with suspended swings, climbing wall and sensory equipment for use during treatment sessions with our Paediatric Occupational Therapist.


  • Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) providing individualised therapy sessions, assessment and advice on augmentative and alternative communication, Intensive Interaction and Attention Autism group sessions. An individual I-Pad (if appropriate) for Augmentative Alternative Communication including PECS and TEACHH is used throughout the school and offsite.


  • Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapy providing individualised therapy sessions utilising Sensory Integration and Neurodevelopmental treatment approaches, Intensive Interaction, Yoga and The Alert Programme.


  • Daily provision of offsite community experience, fitness and independence - building activities including:

    Therapeutic horse riding and equine care,

    Rebound Therapy with our own trained staff,


    Soft play,


    Plan, shop and cook,

    Nature walks.


  • Work Experience placements in Key Stage 4 and 5. Fully supported by our staff.


  • Safe and secure landscaped gardens to the rear of the school, offering a staffed open space with play equipment and a therapeutic sensory garden.


  • Half-Termly Parent/Carer Individual Education Plan progress review and target setting meetings at agreed times to suit parents/carers.


  • Annual EHCP Review meeting at school chaired by Headteacher.


  • Annual Open Day/Charity Day.


  • Weekly ‘Drop-in for a Coffee’ session with the Headteacher or Deputy Head.