Our Academy

Barbara Priestman Academy is a designated provision for students aged 11-19 years with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)and/or complex learning difficulties. All students attending Barbara Priestman Academy on a full time basis have a Education Health and Care Plan.

The majority of students travel to and from the Academy on transport provided by the Local Authority, however growing numbers of students are becoming independent travellers.

We have a small number of students accessing our provision on a part-time basis from mainstream schools. We also offer formal intervention placements or assessment placements through the Autism Outreach Team (AOT). We also offer placements to students from neighbouring authorities.

The Academy occupies a building which is situated on the outskirts of the city centre. The current accommodation includes 15 classrooms, specialist sensory room, specialist teaching rooms for Science, D&T and Food Technology, a Hydrotherapy Pool, ICT room and café area. There has been substantial investment in ICT and students have access to a mixture of PCs and Apple Macs.  We are fortunate to have our own ‘Forest School’ on site where students can learn about conservation, animal care and horticulture. Students also have access to peripatetic music tuition.DSCF1139

Students are supported by a dedicated and talented multi professional staff team who work closely to provide the best opportunities for all students.  We employ our own full-time Speech and Language Therapist and an Occupational Therapist who works with individuals and small groups.
We have our own Educational Psychologist who provides support for students as appropriate.

We are part of a special multi-academy trust. This provide’s shared expertise, resources and funding across the Academies enhancing outcomes for learners.

Please take a look below at some of our amazing facilities:


Our school Gym is equipped with state of the art machines, including treadmills, exercise bikes, rowing machines, weights and weight benches.





Multi-Coordination Room




Hydrotherapy Pool

Our swimming pool caters for swimmers who need hydrotherapy so therefore the temperature is approximately 34-35 degrees centigrade.

The pool is 5m x 10m and is 0.79m at the shallow end with a sloping floor and is 1.28m at the deep end.

This is an excellent pool for learn to swim as there are steps across the pool at the shallow end and is an ideal environment for timid ,nervous, non-water confident swimmers.pool