Courtlands Special School Academy caters for primary aged children who have Moderate Learning Difficulties, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH), and other complex needs. Within this there is a wide range of needs, such as children with mild medical issues, developmental disorders such as ADHD and Dyspraxia, Autism and speech and language difficulties.

Contacts details

Address:Courtlands Special School
Widey Lane
Telephone number: 01752 776848
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Our children are academically below what you might normally expect for a child of their age, usually by two to three years. All of the children have an Education, Health and Care Plan, and are given a place here by the Local Authority.

Courtlands is an amazing place to come to with a real feel of positivity, acceptance and camaraderie. You see targeted therapies many other schools do not offer and a curriculum that is designed to meet the additional needs of our pupils. You see learning organised to meet the developmental needs of the children and we have the confidence to buck the trend, stand out, and to aim for the outstanding.

To attend Courtlands, your child must have an Education, Health and Care Plan and meet the special needs described above. Your mainstream school or nursery SENDCO can apply to your local authority for a place and a panel of heads and other professionals decide whether this school is appropriate. We have a maximum of 75 children here at any one time ranging in age from 4 to 11 years old. We take pupils from Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall and we welcome prospective visits from interested parents, SENCOs or Local Authority Officers.

We have small classes of no more than ten children with lots of adult support so that our children can make excellent progress. We look at the whole child and help them to improve both their academic achievement and their personal wellbeing. This means that we help them to socialise, eat and play independently, become more active and have better coordination. We help them to learn to swim, ride a bike and look after themselves in every way. Our children make excellent progress and really enjoy coming here as can be seen through their smiles and obvious love for learning.

The levels of progress made by our pupils is significantly above national expectations for like pupils, our attendance is in the top 1% of special schools nationally and our exclusion levels in the lowest 1% nationally. We are a truly inclusive school who believe that the children have a right to have their needs met and not feel excluded from anything.


The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. These include:

  • Members of staff such as the class teacher, teaching assistants, SENCO, are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.
  • Our specialist trained teaching assistants run wellbeing groups targeting social skills, self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and anger management.
  • We offer a number of therapies to support children who are struggling emotionally i.e. music, dance and occupational therapy.
  • As a school we have found that many of our pupils can find lunchtimes a struggle and so we have provided alternative provision using lunch time clubs run by our staff.

Pupils with medical needs

  • If a pupil has a medical need then a detailed Care Plan is compiled by the school nurse in consultation with parents/carers. These are discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil.
  • Where necessary, and in agreement with parents/carers, medicines are administered in school where a signed agreement is in place.
Age range
  • Early years - 0 to 5 years
  • Primary - 5 to 11 years
  • Needs level
  • Medium
  • High
  • Provision type
  • Specialist

  • Based: Plymouth
    Childcare Type:
    • School
    Age ranges:
    • Junior school - 3 to 6 years
    • Primary school - 5 to 11 years
    • Special needs school - 3 to 19 years
    Registered places: 70
    Wheelchair access information: Yes
    Dietary needs information: Yes
    Special needs information: Yes

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