Welcome from the Principal

Welcome to Blackfriars Academy, a very special place to be educated where every student is valued as an individual. As a staff we work in partnership with parents and carers, taking our responsibility very seriously to provide a personalised education that breaks down barriers to learning and equipping students for the next stage in their lives.

Our learning community comprises approx. 100 students aged between 11-16 and over 60 staff, all working towards the goal of supporting students with profound and complex, or moderate or severe learning needs and profound and complex needs to reach their potential, be it GCSE passes and BTEC accreditation, independent travel on public transport, the vocabulary to make simple choices or improved communication skills. We are special because we provide an outstanding educational experience for a vast range of needs in a supportive and caring atmosphere where students blossom in our inclusive environment.

The underlying philosophy that underpins all that we do in our academy is that students learn best when they feel valued, where their barriers to learning are understood and catered for, where learning is creative and meaningful and where they are active participants in their learning journey. Our team of fabulously committed and trained staff do not work alone in creating this positive environment, we are lucky enough to work alongside physiotherapists, speech therapists, medical and social agencies, working together to meet the needs of our students.

Blackfriars Academy is committed to:


Provide an outstanding educational experience for students with special educational needs by continually building on the expertise and experience of the staff.
Provide a welcoming academy in a happy and supportive environment for each student where individual achievement, success and the joy of learning is celebrated by staff working as a team for the well-being of all.
Enabling each student to develop a positive sense of worth and self- esteem by nurturing their skills in vocational and leisure activities to increase their capacity and capability to build bridges to overcome barriers and live and work as adults within our society.
Enabling each student to achieve their full potential by providing a challenging, self- motivating and encouraging broad and balanced curriculum that is continuously, thoroughly and systematically assessed encompassing the National Curriculum and external accreditation, but tailored to the individual needs of each student. 
Creating a caring environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and each individual valued for their own unique talents.
These values are embedded in everything that we do in school: in order to help our young people to understand them, they are expressed through the Blackfriars' motto, Pride:

Pride in our appearance and in all that we achieve
Respect for ourselves, others and our environment
Independent living skills
Determination to succeed
Enjoyment of learning and life
Each student belongs to one of our Houses -  Tigers, Leopards and Panthers and the Pride of Blackfriars is monitored by the Duke of Edinburgh Lions.

Parents/ carers of prospective students are welcome to visit and talk to our students about what an education at Blackfriars is like and they will give you a truly honest answer!

As an outstanding school, we are also able to lead a Teaching School Alliance which enables us to share the skills and expertise of the school with mainstream schools and Higher Education Institutes, within the local community, nationally and internationally thus helping to create an increasingly inclusive society.