Birtenshaw School Bolton is a non-maintained special school for children and young people aged 3 to 19 years old with special educational needs and disability. Our vision is to “Transform Lives” by ensuring that pupils receive the same learning and social opportunities as other children and young people; which we achieve by providing facilities and a creative curriculum tailored to meet their needs.

With dedicated staff, a unique approach and purpose built facilities; we provide a supportive, safe and happy environment where all children and young people make progress regardless of ability level. Occupying a building in Bromley Cross, Bolton specifically designed to be autism friendly, our school provides a creative curriculum, specifically designed autism-friendly facilities and a range of complimentary health services and therapies. The school has full Autism Accreditation from the National Autistic Society and provides education for children and young people with a learning or physical disability, a diagnosis of autistic spectrum condition and / or Complex Health Needs.

All pupils have an Education Health and Care Plan and the targets set within these plans determine the curriculum pathway for pupils to ensure their learning is designed to meet individual long term aspirations. This is achieved through a broad and balanced, creative curriculum which is delivered by fully qualified teachers and facilitated by experienced Learning Support Assistants.

Many pupils also have speech and language / communication needs, multi-sensory impairment or present with behaviours that some may find challenging. At the last Ofsted inspection in June 2017 the school was rated as ‘Good’.

From January 2020 Birtenshaw School, Bolton fully committed to achieving the Excellence in Pupil Development Award. As a school we already place a strong emphasis on developing pupils ‘soft skills’ such as tolerance, empathy and conflict resolution, communication skills and social interaction. We are extremely pleased to say that we achieved this award in April 2021.

The award has been designed to encourage leaders to check the impact they are having in implementing their vision and plan to prepare young people for adulthood and independence. The award process supports leaders to evaluate and continuously improve this aspect of the education they provide in school.

The award recognises the work that we are already doing at Birtenshaw School, Bolton and ensures that we can demonstrate our commitment to preparing pupils well for lifelong learning and life beyond school. Achievement of this award reinforces our vision of “Transforming Lives”.

School Governing Board

  • Ms J Wade – Chair and Trustee Governor
  • Mr D Reid – Chief Executive
  • Kaylie Crompton – Head of School (Attendee)
  • Mrs D Thompson – Trustee Governor
  • Mr T Long – Trustee Governor
  • Mrs H Whittle – Community Governor
  • Mrs S Pickering – Parent Governor
  • Andrew Smith – Community Governor
  • Mrs R Eckersley Fallon – Parent Governor
  • Miss Cara Slater – Staff Representative
  • Miss Samantha Connor – LA Governor
  • Julie Barnes Deputy Chief Executive – Services / Executive Head (Attendee)
  • Mark Foster Assistant Director of Education (Attendee)

Occupational Therapy

We have a number of Occupational Therapists from Bolton NHS Foundation Trust Community Paediatric Team based at the school. They have a range of specialist experience and skills to support children accessing Birtenshaw’s education and care services; providing therapeutic interventions which can be carried out in groups or on a one to one basis. This may include sensory assessment and interventions, exercises, pool based sessions, rebound therapy, provision or advice regarding equipment, and input in to EHCP reviews and other care planning.  Since autumn term 2019, the occupational therapists have introduced new group therapy sessions for all pupils at Birtenshaw School Bolton such as;

Relaxation – This group is usually led as a guided imagery session accompanied by relaxing music.  Relaxation can be a great way to start the day for many pupils and improves concentration and mood, can reduce anger and frustration, as well as fatigue.

Busy Bodies – A group designed to support sensory processing and sensory integration. Pupils develop physical skills such as hopping, skipping and jumping, build body awareness and strengthen core muscles.

Bouncersice – A group which provides vestibular and proprioceptive input, improves upper and lower body strength, improves balance and promotes bilateral coordination.

Yoga – A relaxing space to promote emotional wellbeing, improved breathing, increase range of motion and improves flexibility and strength.

These sessions have been a huge success and staff and pupils have engaged in all of the sessions. Staff have reported significant improvements in attention and focus in lessons which has had a positive impact on pupils learning, as well as a generally more positive and relaxed atmosphere in the school. 

We are located at Darwen Road, Bromley Cross, Bolton, BL7 9AB

Recognition of Our Achievements

Birtenshaw School Bolton was shortlisted in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 for the prestigious TES Awards. The nominations were Creative School of the Year (2015), Alternative Provision School of the Year (2016) and most recently Birtenshaw School won the Healthy School of the Year in 2018. 

During 2016 Birtenshaw School Bolton was also recognised by winning the Character Awards presented by the Department for Education, Primary Provision of the Year by the Autism Professional Awards and Secondary School Head Teacher of the Year through the Bolton News Schools Awards. 

In 2018 Birtenshaw School Bolton won the Bolton Active Sports Award for Commitment to PE and Sport. Leah Kemp (teacher) won the Silver Award in a Secondary School, for the 2019 Pearson Teaching Awards. 

The school has also been awarded the Sliver Eco Schools Award, Green Tree Award and we hold Silver Arts Mark Status.  



Latest News

Documents, Policies and Term Times

Designated Safeguarding Leads

Keeping every child safe is our first priority. All of our staff have an enhanced DBS (previously CRB) clearance and participate in extensive safe-guarding training.

David Reid (Chief Executive)

Julie Barnes (Deputy Chief Executive – Operations)

Mark Foster (Assistant Director – Education)