St Joseph's Specialist Trust

Co-educational Day & Residential Preparatory, Senior & Sixth Form




Mrs Annie Sutton

Age Range

5 – 19 years

Total Pupils


Special Needs


St Joseph's Specialist Trust is recognised by Ofsted as a "well established day school and Children's Home providing care over 52 weeks of the year for children and young people with special needs from ages 5 to 19 years".

With many of the students on the Autistic Spectrum we also specialise in a range of complex needs including Speech & Language difficulties, severe learning difficulties, social communication disorders and challenging behaviours. Autism Accredited by the National Autistic Society, St Joseph's is a proven solution for both families and Local Authorities seeking the next step for education, care and therapy.

With Specialisms in Communication Interaction and the Creative Arts, we offer tailor made teaching and learning styles, environment, therapies, and professional standards to meet all the needs of ASD students through personalised learning programmes based on an integrated curriculum, functional communication, visual structure and positive behaviour management. These programmes incorporate a number of methods recognised for working with ASD students: TEACHH, Intensive Interaction, PECS, Social Stories and Makaton signing and symbols. By focusing on learning and behavioural needs, as well as personal preferences, enabling a truly bespoke and personalised approach is taken to ensure success. Information is carefully gathered from a wide range of sources including: the Education Health Care Plan; the diagnosis; developmental history; educational records and assessments; medical records; parents, care staff and observations.

The school is situated close to Cranleigh Village, which retains a great sense of 'community' with a range of amenities including a Leisure Centre, library, shops, cafes, Arts Centre, churches, sports and social clubs. With good transport links to both Horsham and Guildford where more leisure and social facilities including cinemas, theatre and indoor bowling can be found. The school is an active member of the local community and all students are encouraged to take an active part in community life, to maximise their potential and engage with local people.

Strong leadership, teaching, care and therapeutic intervention combine to deliver positive outcomes to meet high expectation and aspirations of both students and families. A calming environment takes into account a wide variety of complex sensory issues and uses a variety of techniques - photographs, symbols and visual clues - children feel comfortable in their surroundings and cope easily with daily routines.

We specifically adapt the curriculum to meet each child's individual needs and focus on the development of personal social and communication along with independent living skills, especially for those aged 16+ years.

By maintaining routines within a structured environment and promoting functional communication we enable students to stay motivated, maximise their potential and work towards positive learning outcomes, whilst seeing a reduction in both anxiety and challenging behaviours.


We have our own dedicated team of integrated therapists who work within both class and residential settings to enhance and complement the education and care of all students. Our Director of Therapies co-ordinates and leads a department which includes Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, Music, Arts and Drama.

We believe communication underpins successful learning, self-esteem, positive behaviour and opportunities for life. All students are assessed and a therapy programme devised based on their individual needs. To ensure learning is transferred to real life situations, our therapists accompany our children and young people into the community on a regular basis to access local facilities and activities.

Residential Options

Registered as a Children's Home, we provide care, education and therapies for up to 52 weeks a year. We can offer a variety of residential options to meet the needs of Local Authorities, students and families, from weekly or termly boarding to 52 week placements.

We offer an environment where each student is supported and able to develop the skills needed to maximise personal independence. Each residential house is staffed on an individual basis and well equipped to provide a homely atmosphere. Our last Ofsted Inspection rated the Children's home as "Good". By maintaining a waking day curriculum we believe our students benefit greatly from a consistency of approach.

Fully integrated into our community we ensure all our students' skills are transferred and managed in realistic settings and reflects their levels of need. A Speech and Language therapist also regularly visits all the residential groups to ensure consistency across the waking day.

Supported Living

We also provide Supported Living for young people aged 19+. Springvale in Cranleigh offering accommodation for adults with learning difficulties where each young person has their own tenancy and is supported by a tailored individual support package reflecting their own lifestyle choices and activities.