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David Lewis College


David Lewis offers educational placements in school and college, we have expertise in meeting the needs of young people with a range of additional need including: 

  • Cognition and learning:
    • PMLD.
    • SLD.
    • MLD: (comorbid with other conditions).
    • SpLD: (comorbid with other conditions).
    • Communication and Interaction:
      • ASD: (School and college have full Autism Accreditation awarded by NAS).
      • SLCN.
      • Sensory and Physical:
        • VI: (comorbid with other conditions).
        • HI: (comorbid with other conditions).
        • MSI: (comorbid with other conditions).
        • PD: (comorbid with other conditions).
        • Epilepsy. 


38 week residential. (7 day boarders or weekly boarders).

38 week day placement.

52 week placement. (38 week educational placement and up to 14 weeks respite).

Assessment places.

Medical placements are based on the clinical need of the student and will be organised through our Clinical director.

We are prepared to look flexibly at the needs of every student on an individual basis and plan accordingly with Local Authority partners. 

External Accreditation.

  • National Autism Society: Full Autism Accreditation.
  • Investors in People.
  • Healthy School.
  • Fund Raising Standards.
  • Positive about Disability.
  • Inclusion Quality Mark.
  • Investors in Careers.

Human Resources:


  • Director of Education.
  • Admissions Manager.
  • 4 Assistant Principals.
  • 19 SEND teachers.
  • 84 Teaching Assistants and Day time Care Officers.


Safeguarding Team.

  • 2 on site qualified social workers.


Treatment and Assessment:

  • Clinical Director.
  • Paediatric Medical Director: Consultant Neurologist.
  • Adult Medical Director: Neurologist.
  • 4 Senior Clinical Medial officers.
  • Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist.
  • School Nurse. (FT)
  • Centre cover nursing team. (24 hour cover).
  • Psychology and Behaviour support Specialists:
    • 1 clinical psychologist.
    • 2 psychology support assistants.
    • 1 behaviour management specialist.
    • 3 Registered mental Health Nurses.
    • Speech and Language Therapy Team. (4 Therapists and 2 assistants).
    • Occupational Therapy Team. (2 Therapists and 1 assistant).
    • Physiotherapy team. (3 Therapists).
    • Podiatrist. (PT).
    • Dietician. (PT).
    • Dentist. (PT).
    • Clinical Physiologist. (PT).
    • Registered Manager:
      • 3 Residential Managers.
      • 200 Residential support staff.

Financial Director.

HR Director. 

Multi-Disciplinary working.

A significant feature of our work at David Lewis is our multi-disciplinary team approach to supporting all our students and ensuring we meet identified additional need. 

Our MDT meets once a week and discusses the progress of all our students, barriers to progress are identified and ways of mitigating these barriers are identified, strategies are developed put into place and monitored by the team.

A quorum at an MDT meeting would have representatives from the:

  • Education team
  • Residential team.
  • Therapy teams.
  • Clinical teams.
  • Safeguarding team. 

The MDT play a vital role in ensuring all review meetings are fully informed and appropriate actions identified. Clear and concise communication is a feature of our MDT. 

At times members of the MDT will constitute themselves into professional groups if a particular issue has been identified and requires immediate action, the lead time for changes to programmes, protocols, plans and profiles is cut significantly by adopting this approach. 

We let all external partners know when a professional strategy meeting is taking place and the outcomes from that meeting to ensure they have all information on the progress of our learners. 

Therapies to promote learning, health and well-being.

In order to meet additional need to support our students using a range of therapies: 

  • Speech and Language Therapy.
  • Occupational Therapy.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Hydrotherapy.
  • Rebound therapy. 


Effective communication is integral to all learning, so all students are assessed by a Speech and Language therapist. 

The Speech and Language Therapy team promote a ‘Total Communication’ approach which ensures all staff are equipped to meet the communication needs of our students across the whole college and school day. This is continually supported by the entire SaLT team. 

As part of our ‘Total Communication’ approach we value all methods of communication and aim for students to develop functional communication skills for life. Through assessment, the Speech and Language Therapy team identify the most effective communication method for each individual student, potentially including alternative or augmentative communication (AAC), e.g. 

  • Communication books
  • OoR (Objects of Reference)
  • PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
  • PODD books (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display)
  • Makaton sign
  • Light-tech aids, e.g. Big Macks, VOCAs (Voice Output Communication Aid)
  • High-tech aids, e.g. iPad (with appropriate app), Dynavox
  • iGaze

The Speech and Language Therapy team work with the wider MDT to support the learning and/or behavioural needs of individual students. This may involve the use of a range of approaches, e.g. Social Stories, SPARK*, Comic Strip Conversations. 

Occupational Therapy:

Occupational therapy uses a person centred approach using a variety of assessment tools that identify a person’s individual strengths and limitations. Information is gathered from assessing personal activities of daily living, domestic activities of daily living and sensory needs of the person with the aim of maximising function and independence. The occupational therapist may provide re-education on new or alternative ways of ‘doing’ or provide/ advise on equipment and environmental aids and adaptations. 

David Lewis OT approaches are based on the principals used in the: Canadian Model of Occupational Performance (CMOP) and the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO). We use a sensory processing approach based on sensory integration theory to identify when sensory differences impact on function.

 Depending on individual needs assessments may include:

  • AMPS (Assessment of Motor Processing Skills)
  • SPM (Sensory Processing Measure)
  • Standardised and non- standardised Activities of daily living assessments
  • Seating and postural management assessments

 Occupational therapy work within our MDT to provide specialist training and support to maximise our student’s potential.


Physiotherapists work in partnership with all colleagues and external partners to support students develop their physical abilities, promote their independence and successfully access their learning. 

Following assessment, individual plans are designed to fit in with the students curriculum and carried over onto the residential house by support staff when required. All staff are guided and progress monitored by the physiotherapy team.  We aim to make programmes accessible, functional and ‘fun’.

 We are able to provide hydrotherapy, rebound therapy and promote 24 hour postural management, looking at specialised seating , equipment for standing, mobility and positioning throughout  the day and night. 

We advise on ‘manual handling’ and also work with the Orthotist who visits the centre weekly to provide various splints to help with function and helmets for protection. 

Supporting Additionality.

We offer support up to 2:1, the majority of our students have 1:1, with a small minority having less than this. 

All relevant staff have full training in: 

  • Safeguarding.
  • Positive Behaviour management.
  • Health and Safety.
  • Lifting and handling.
  • Personal and intimate care..
  • Infection control.
  • Basic Life Support.
  • Food Hygiene.
  • Medication Management.
  • Dysphagia.
  • Equal Opportunities and Diversity.
  • Total Communication.

 Curriculum & Learning.

We offer our learners a curriculum designed and differentiated covering:

 Entry level.

  • Entry level 1.
  • Entry level 2.
  • Entry level 3.
  • Level 1. 

Our curriculum is designed to support our students as they: 

  • Develop their ability to communicate and make discernible choices.
  • Develop their independent living skills.
  • Develop the skills they will need to progress into supported or voluntary employment.
  • Access the community and develop the social skills required to support their integration.
  • Work to ensure their physical and psychological well-being. 

We offer learning in: 

  • Skills for life.
  • Social communication.
  • Communication.
  • Animal care.
  • Horticulture.
  • Preparing for work.
  • Work experience.
  • Sport.
  • Horse riding.
  • Art.
  • Creative Media.
  • Cooking.
  • Performance and Dance.
  • Music.
  • Business Enterprise.
  • Duke of Edinburgh: Bronze and Silver.
  • Independent Living skills. 

Our accredited courses to support learning and offer external recognition of progress: 

  • Duke of Edinburgh: Gold and Silver.
  • EL. Award in communication skills.
  • EL1. Personal Progress: Award.
  • EL1. Personal Progress: Certificate.
  • EL1. Personal Progress: Diploma.
  • EL2. Skills for independence and work: Award.
  • EL2. Skills for independence and work: Certificate.
  • EL2. Skills for independence and work: Diploma.
  • EL3. BTEC Vocational Studies: Award.
  • EL3. BTEC Vocational Studies: Certificate.
  • EL3. BTEC Vocational Studies: Diploma.
  • L1. BTEC Vocational Studies: Award.
  • L1. BTEC Vocational Studies: Certificate.
  • L1. BTEC Vocational Studies: Advanced Certificate.
  • L1. BTEC Vocational Studies: Diploma.
  • Specialist courses with external partners set up on an individual basis based on need and aspiration. 

Work Experience.

Assistant Principal leads on developing workability skills, as part of this work experience is organised for all our students, placements are fully assessed and matched to the needs of our students. Placements can be internal or external. 

  • Tatton Farm
  • Sainsburys
  • Poppies Day Nursery
  • Alderley Edge Bar and Grill
  • Piccolinos 

Physical Resources and environment.

We are an extremely well-resourced school and college, sitting in 200 acres of Cheshire countryside. We use the external space for traffic training, to develop independence, to promote our students ability to self-manage their behaviour and ensure their health and well-being. 

The private roads around the entire site are used by our cyclists and we have a significant adapted bicycle fleet to ensure full access for all our students. 

Main school Building: 

Building and environment is designed to be autism friendly and low stimulation. 

  • 5 classrooms. All classes have access to:
    • Quiet space
    • Kitchen area.
    • Access to safe external spaces.
    • 3 of the classes have direct access to adapted toilets.
    • Sensory Garden
    • Playground with soft flooring.
    • 2 large changing rooms, with hoists, slings and changing beds.
    • 2 fully accessible and adapted toilets.
    • 1 internal sensory area.
    • 1 large Kitchen.
    • Sensory space with observation room.
    • Assembly hall.
    • All classes and the main hall have access to ICT equipment. 

Main College Building: 

Building and environment is designed to be autism friendly and low stimulation. 

  • Art studio.
  • Juice Bar, café and social space.
  • Commercial kitchen.
  • 5 Classrooms with ICT infrastructure, computers and interactive boards.
  • 1 small classroom with ICT infrastructure and a computer.
  • Music studio.
  • Sensory quiet room.
  • 2 quiet rooms.
  • Lift.
  • Fully accessible and adapted toilet.
  • 6 other toilets.
  • Staffroom and Kitchen.
  • Main Education office.
  • Main reception.
  • Meeting room. 

Sensory building. 

This building is on one level and is designed for our sensory learners; again it is autism friendly and offers a low stimulation environment. 

  • 5 classrooms.
  • Two large kitchens.
  • 1 small kitchen.
  • 1 changing room.
  • 2 adapted and accessible toilets.
  • 1 accessible changing room with hoists and slings.
  • 2 quiet spaces.
  • Teachers work area. 

Kirk Building: college and school. 

This is for our more able students. 

  • Two fully equipped ICT classrooms with interactive boards.
  • Social space.
  • Communal Kitchen.
  • Large enclosed sensory garden.
  • Lift. 

Independent living skills base: 

  • 2 independent and fully equipped flats for day students to develop independent living skills. 

Land based Learning facility. 

  • Horticulture area.
  • Animal Care area.
  • Fully equipped dog grooming studio.
  • Stables for our animals.
  • 3 class rooms.
  • 1 workshop.
  • 1 social space.
  • All Personal Protective Equipment to access land based learning.
  • Adapted and accessible toilets. 

Sports Hall. 

  • Large general sports hall. (Badminton, basketball, indoor 5 aside football, volleyball).
  • Soft play area.
  • Adapted compressed air gym, fully air conditioned.
  • Large Rebound therapy trampoline. 

External Sports Spaces. 

  • Full sized football pitch.
  • Bowling green.
  • Orienteering courses.
  • All weather floodlit pitch for 5 aside and basketball.
  • Walkways and paths all around the site.
  • Green for cricket, rounders, kickball and softball. 

Swimming pool: 

  • Swimming pool, 14m x 5m
  • Sensory pool for Hydrotherapy.
  • 2 Fully accessible changing areas.
  • Adapted and accessible changing rooms. 

Bicycle Stable, workshop and adapted bicycle fleet. 

  • Adapted bicycle fleet.
  • All relevant safety equipment.
  • Fully resourced bicycle workshop. 

Five residential homes. 

  • Brambles:  11 bedded ground floor accommodation, two lounges , large kitchen and dining area,  3x large assisted bathrooms, 1 wet room, sensory room, activity room and garden area.
  • Cedar: 8 bedded ground floor accommodation
  • Cherry/oak: 4 & 5 Ground floor bedded accommodation, 2 bathrooms, 2 assisted bathrooms with shower, 2 lounges, 2 kitchens and dining rooms. 1 activity room, 1 sensory room and enclosed garden.
  • Limes: 12 bedded two storey accommodation , 3 ground floor bedrooms , ground floor bathroom with assisted bath, large conservatory, 2 lounges,  large dining room and kitchen. Upper floor  2 en-suite  bedrooms, 7 bedrooms, 2 large bathrooms and 1 wet room, computer  and activity room and a large enclosed garden
  • Maybin: 14 bedded ground floor accommodation including a 2 bedded self-contained flat, 2 lounges , 2 kitchens and 2 dining rooms and garden to the rear. 

Fully functioning shop. 

Fully functioning site wide café. The rainbow café. 

Dental Surgery. 

Doctor’s surgery. 

Therapy suite. 

Central Laundry. 

Central Catering. 

Curriculum Enrichment: waking day curriculum and extra curricular activities.

  • Two holiday caravans in Wales: Base for Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions.
  • Youth club. (Monday nights).
  • Large Multi Faith prayer room.
  • Community visits:
    • Local Parks and landmarks.
    • Adapted Gymnasium.
    • Dancing.
    • Cinema.
    • Chester Zoo.
    • Seaside visits.
    • Local Farms.
    • Local Companies.
    • Shopping.
    • Gym sessions.
    • Football.
    • Cricket.
    • Basketball.
    • Choir: Sing and Sign.
    • Zumba.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Angie Fisher
Contact Position
Director of Education

Admissions / Funding Manager - Gilly Godwin - 01565640162

Where to go

Mill Lane
Alderley Edge

Other Details


Other notes

School - Ages 14-19   Ofsted, Good with outstanding features

College - Ages 19-25  Ofsted, Outstanding

CQC - Fully Compliant 

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