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Parents Q & A

What We Do

Grafham Grange School is a non-maintained special school for boys. We offer 44 residential (weekly) boarding and day provision for up to 52 students, referred from local authorities across the south of England from the age of 10 to 16. The school can also offer provision for a small number of post 16 placements, bespoke programs supported by local colleges of further education.

The school is a designated day and residential provision for students all of whom have statements of special educational needs with SEMH (social, emotional and mental health) as their primary identified need, although the majority of students have additional special educational needs such as autistic spectrum conditions, speech, language and communication difficulties, ADHD, opposition defiance, medical conditions and attachment disorders.

We place strong emphasis upon personalised learning to maximise students social, emotional and academic potential. We believe education extends far beyond the classroom and we facilitate a programme of enrichment opportunities to enhance the learning experiences of our students.

Our provision and curriculum extends experiences, skills and knowledge from the school day into an alternative, contextual, social learning environment which further promotes the development of appropriate communication and interaction and functional independence.

We offer day, extended day, boarding and flexi-boarding placements to Key Stages 3 and 4 students. 

Who We Provide For

Grafham Grange School caters for students between the ages of 10 to 16 all of whom have a statement of special educational needs and/or EHC Plan.  Students have a complex range of difficulties including autistic spectrum conditions, speech, language and communication difficulties, ADHD, opposition defiance, medical conditions and attachment disorders.

The students we admit come from varying educational backgrounds including mainstream education, other SEN providers, SEMH schools and those who have been out of education for prolonged periods of time because of phobias and exclusions. 

Many students have more than one area of difficulty and an increasing number of students are presenting complex needs.

The school offers GCSE, BTEC L1&2, Diploma Level 1 and Functional Skills programs. All students have the opportunity of attending Link courses in a local College and undertake work experience placements. The Careers Education programme ensures that the students receive the appropriate advice and guidance. We support all students in their destination after they leave us.

Visiting Our School


The first introduction to Grafham Grange School may come from viewing our website.  Viewing the photographs of our extensive grounds, the activities available, and the students who come here, can be an ice-breaking introduction to the school undertaken from the safety of your own home. 

Web Link:

Arranging a Visit

Parents and/or Local Authorities may make direct contact with Grafham Grange School to organise an initial visit to the site. This is done by making arrangements with the Head of School through the school office.


The school will require copies of all relevant documentation outlining the needs of the potential student including the current Statement of Special educational Needs and/or EHC Plans, school and agency reports. Having reviewed this information with relevant and named professionals, the prospective students and their carers will be invited to visit the school, before we offer an assessment.

Making an Offer of a place

Following assessment students are discussed at a Student Panel meeting convened by the Senior Leadership Team to determine the suitability of the placement with the class group including the anticipated impact of the student on the peer group.  Following a full consideration of the information Parents/Carers/LA will be contacted by the Headteacher. 

The formal offer letter will outline next steps in the admission process.

This will include an Interview with Headteacher and an assessment.

All new students will be subject to an induction process during which they will complete a range of baseline assessments to inform the Personalised Learning Plan (PLP).

Probationary Period

All new students will have a probationary period of 8 weeks. Provision is reviewed throughout the probationary placement.  We operate an open door policy with the Form Tutor / Co Tutor as the primary point of contact or named adult contact.


We value working in partnership with Parents / Carers and named professionals. We are advocates for the students and seek to ensure the best holistic provision.

Parents receive daily informal contact through emails or phone calls home from tutors and the residential team on at least a weekly basis or when required. 

More formally, information is shared via termly reports and reports for annual reviews, PLP targets and reviews.

We welcome the opportunity to share our work and parents are invited to open afternoons where they can meet staff and discuss their child/young person. Parents are actively involved in Options choices for Key Stage 4.

The school tracks and monitors student progress 3 times during the academic year, which informs the group and individual provision for each student to secure or accelerate student progress. Parents are informed of expected progress through the reporting structure.

Holistic Provision and Well Being

In addition to academic progress, all other areas of the student progress is tracked and monitored.

The school's Engagement & Mood Management and Anti-Bullying procedure complies with the RADIUS Trust Behavior Management policy which enables staff to build strong relationships for learning with students. All staff members are trained to manage behaviour through MAPA (Management of Actual or Potential Agression) which is a non-confrontational approach with a focus on prevention and de-escalation of behaviours. We also employ a Speech and Language Therapist to support the blended approach to teaching and Learning as well as supporting students in managing their behaviour and communication and  removing the barriers to learning. 

Student voice (including the School Parliament) is actively encouraged. Students elect representatives for the Parliament who meet regularly to discuss how to improve provision. All students are supported to reflect on and take responsibility for their own behaviour. We encourage students to self assess their learning and social progress.

Our Specialist Services and Setting

The staff team consist of experienced SEN teachers, Pastoral and Learning Support Assistants, a Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, a school nurse, qualified Residential Care Staff and access to other services including a local GP and CAMHS. 

We have established links with local colleges and other schools to extend provision and learning opportunities. We are committed to ensuring that we work with individuals and groups of students across all key stages to ensure appropriate options, college placements and work experience prepares all students’ life and the world of work beyond Grafham Grange School.

Staff Training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

There is an annual structured programme of In Service training for all staff, including specific subject & curriculum developments, improving provision in residential care, compliance to statutory changes including safeguarding and child protection, engagement and mood management (including physical intervention) and medication training.  Training is organised to take place during the statutory designated training days as well as one evening per week during school term. 

Education Outside the Classroom

The school has recently reviewed provision with an approach to learning that includes a comprehensive programme of additional activities held during extended learning sessions  from 2:30pm to 4:10pm as well as lunch, break and after school which is underpinned by a learning focus.

School visits and visitors are an integral part of the curriculum and life at school. We organise a range of cultural and educational trips. All students are included and their participation is actively supported.  We are constantly reviewing this programme based on student feedback. 

Our Physical Environment

Grafham Grange School is set in 42 acres of Surrey countryside at Grafham, near Guildford, and is easily accessible by road and rail with the nearest local station being Shalford or main station Guildford. The site benefits from a rural location and has extensive facilities within the grounds including a hard court for a variety of ball games, a lake and its own quad bike track.

Allocation of Resources

A student's statement of Special Educational Needs and/or EHC Plan underpins our approach to learning. The experienced Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team, Middle Leaders and skilled Teaching and Care staff and committed Governing Body work closely as a team across the curriculum and care provision to ensure that we are well positioned to make informed decisions on the allocation of resources.  

Analysis of each statement of SEN and/or EHC Plan facilitates the provision map which helps inform us of the level of support required by individual & groups of students as well as the level of intervention required to meet the student’s needs.

  • All students will have one teacher (and teaching assistant) in each lesson, using core resources for each curricular area.  All students will work on their therapy targets within the classroom setting.
  • Teachers also have the option for additional staff to meet the needs of students and additional resources may be required.
  • Individual students are identified as requiring more individual programmes. This may be identified in Part 3 of the statement in the provision to meet objectives, or may have been identified by the professional judgement of the teaching and therapy team.

The experience of our multi-disciplinary team shows that the impact of intervention offered enables students to make progress. Levels of support vary on an individual basis; they are not static and may change over time according to need, achievement and progress.

The impact of interventions on student progress, engagement and outcomes are closely monitored. At each Annual Review, progress is reviewed against provision and the level of support reassessed.

Proposed outcomes are approved by, monitored and reported to the Governing Body on the allocation of pupil premium.   

Parental Involvement

Parents and carers are actively encouraged to be involved in the life and learning at Grafham Grange Parent Forum meetings and events, annual reviews, sports day, fund raising, and open days are some of the opportunities available for parents and carers to be involved in the life of the school. 

Presentation afternoons and evenings, and student progress meetings are all opportunities to see and celebrate the work of the school and the excellent outcomes for our students.