Blackfriars School is a large special school of around 190 pupils from the age of 10 to 19 with a range of physical, learning, medical and sensory needs who come from North and Central Staffordshire and the Unitary Authority of Stoke-on-Trent. The School is a Performing and Visual Arts College, the lead school in the Leading Edge Partnership Programme, an Enterprise School and a Staffordshire Key Learning Centre. The School has High Performing Specialist Status. In its most recent Ofsted Report, March 2009, it was graded as Outstanding in every category.
The School is dual sited, with pupils aged 4 – 16 years educated on the site in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Post 16 education is based in Bucknall, some six miles away in the City of Stoke-on-Trent.
On the Bucknall site, facilities include a new purpose built Community Building that enhances the delivery of the curriculum through vocational education. Students enjoy and benefit from the experience of running a Retail Outlet and a Cyber Cafe, alongside Manufacturing, Performing Arts and Enterprise Ventures. A group of young adults aged 19 - 21 are educated on the Bucknall site in a new venture set up between Blackfriars School, Stoke-on-Trent College and the Learning and Skills Council. This is an exciting phase which will see the expansion of Further Education opportunities for pupils with Special Needs in North Staffordshire over the next few years.
The School has a long and successful record of innovative partnerships; having been one of the first Beacon Schools, a lead school in the Leading Edge Partnership Programme and within the community element of its work as a Performing and Visual Arts College, the School enjoys a close working relationship with Madeley High School and a number of local partner primary schools.
The School has built an expertise in providing Alternative and Augmentative Communication for pupils and students who require support with communication. The School has a highly skilled staff and provides a large resource base to support its own pupils and students and those in surrounding districts.
As a Staffordshire Key Learning Centre, the School provides a pro-active outreach support, training and resource base to over 130 local schools. Support includes advice for physical curriculum and social access to aid the inclusion of pupils with physical disabilities and serious medical conditions into mainstream schools.