Ashgate Croft School

Ashgate Road, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S40 4BN


        Tel: 01246 275111


Jenny Dodds – Acting Headteacher

Ashgate Croft School is an Area Special School within Derbyshire Local Authority. Our allocated number of spaces is 142, although we are currently over subscribed with 145 pupils currently on roll (YR-Y14), ranging widely in cognitive and physical ability and needs.

The majority of pupils have severe learning difficulties and would have difficulty coping in a mainstream school. Some of our pupils have profound and multiple learning difficulties, with an increasing number on the autism spectrum. A few pupils have moderate learning difficulties.

Class sizes range from 6-12 pupils. Smaller class sizes have become an essential feature of the education for some pupils with autism and/or extremely challenging behaviour.

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Ashgate by following us on Facebook!

About Us

  • Jenny Dodds – Acting Headteacher
  • Chris Dodds – Acting Deputy Head
  • Neil Amos – Assistant Head – Primary
  • Ali Rodgers – Assistant Head – Middle
  • Georgia Middlebrook – Assistant Head – Upper
  • Jonathon Elton – School Business Manager

School Information


Our school dinners are cooked on site. Dinners are to be paid for online via Parent Mail where you can use card details or Paypal. Please contact the school to register for this when your child starts. Cash or cheques are no longer accepted.

You do not need to select meals for your child. Pupils will choose at the start of each day and any meals pupils have had for that week will be selected each Friday and you will get an automated email telling you how much you owe. You can top-up your account and any money owing for meals will be deducted each week.

From September 2020, dinners cost £11 per week for Primary and £12.00 per week for Secondary.

View and download our the school meal menu.

Pupils sit with class staff who serve food and supervise eating, assisting where appropriate.
For all pupils we place great emphasis on teaching correct table manners and appropriate behaviour at lunchtimes, in line with our lunchtime policy.

Pupils are welcome to bring their own packed lunch. Some pupils may require special diets and we are happy to make individual arrangements for them.

Free School Meals

Parents/carers may be eligible to claim free school meals. It is easy to apply and you can now apply online by visiting Free School Meals Application.

Alternatively, you can ask at the reception office and they will provide you with an application form to complete. Using the contact details on the outside of the menu leaflet simply request a free school meal application form to be posted out to you.

On return of the completed form, parents will be contacted to advise on eligibility.

Mellors – Download additional information and activity packs

Mellors Environmental and Projects Update (October 2021)

Admissions to school can take place at any time during the course of the year.

They are dealt with by the Local Authority, please contact them direct and ask for Special Needs Admission Team:

Special Needs Section
Derbyshire County Council
County Hall
Telephone: 01629 580000


For some Parents/Carers, we appreciate the decision to consider the possibility of a special school is a difficult one.  If you would like to visit school on one of our open days, please contact the Headteacher’s PA by email:


Open days for prospective families:

  • Monday 27th September 2021 at 3.30pm
  • Monday 22nd November 2021 at 3.45 – 4.45pm

  • Monday 17th January 2022 at 3.45 – 4.45pm
  • Monday 7th March 2022 at 3.45 – 4.45pm
  • Monday 9th May 2022 at 3.45 – 4.45pm
  • Monday 13th June 2022 at 3.45 – 4.45pm

Our Leadership Team will be pleased to discuss with you the individual needs of your child and any concerns that you may have. You will have the opportunity to meet the Leadership Team and have a tour of the site.

If you have donated/contributed to our School in the past then we greatly appreciate it. Our aim for this financial year is to continue to make improvements here at Ashgate and we will always welcome donation/contributions towards these.

We welcome donations through our Virgin Money Giving Page.

Clothing Bank

We have an Air Ambulance clothing bank on site, situated in the car park next to the Swimming Pool. If you have any unwanted clothes, bags or shoes, please do use the clothing bank as a percentage of the money raised is donated to school.

Finished Projects

School Lottery

Minutes from Previous Meetings

New parent/carers are always welcome to attend.

The Giving Machine – Download the Shop&Give app and never miss a donation to Ashgate Croft School again! Follow this link for more information or see the posters attached below.

School Curriculum and Standards

Our School Outcomes

Our school’s latest progress and attainment figures can be found on the Department for Education’s website. 

Encounters with Employers

Encounters with Experiences of Workplaces

Encoutners with Further and Higher Eduction

World of Work


Decisionz – Your local careers & advice magazine 

For the Derbyshire Spring 2021 edition of the above magazine, please click here. 

For the Derbyshire Autumn 2020 edition of the above magazine, please click here. 

Aims & Vision of Careers Education at Ashgate Croft School 

Careers at Ashgate Croft is defined as ‘Any activity which furthers the knowledge, understanding, skill or experience with the purpose of leading to life enhancing outcome, including improving the possibility & probability of working in a range of settings.’ 

We aim to ensure a high quality of vocational and careers education for all our students, to be delivered in a meaningful and appropriate way for their needs and circumstances. 

Through person centred planning with the Education, Health & Care (EHCP) plans at the centre, we support all our students to articulate their aspirations for adult life, including community inclusion, independence, their aspiration to work and promoting their physical and mental health. This also includes adults around our students, knowing the individual and their needs. 

Our school vision is for all our students to become as independent as they can be and to be prepared for adulthood. We aim to give them every opportunity to reach their full potential whether that is to continue in further education, employment, or independent living. 

Parent/Carer Involvement 

We work in partnership with parents/carers and other agencies to ensure that students are supported holistically in their development. We do this by the use of home-school books, newsletters, parent/carer evenings, coffee mornings, school website, and whole school events, we share information, open days and careers fairs to help inform the decision-making process. 

We inform parent/carers of opportunities which will enrich, enhance and add to the curriculum offered at Ashgate Croft, including open days, activities and events. We remind our parents/carers that with the right support, many young people with SEND can find paid work and be supported to live independently and participate in leading a full and active role in their community. 

  • Ashgate Croft School Careers lead and work experience co-ordinator – Richard Windle 

  • Member of Leadership Team responsible for Careers – Georgia Middlebrook (Assistant Head – Upper School) 

  • Ashgate Croft independent careers adviser – David Shephard (Senior SEND Officer 14-25)

Chesterfield College Information Evening 

On Tuesday 23rd February 2021, Chesterfield College held a virtual careers information event for families. This was hosted by Helen Davie who is one of the Foundation Studies tutors at Chesterfield College. 

Family Careers Information Evening – Year 10 and Year 11 

On Tuesday 26th January 2021, Richard Windle and Laura Wilkins hosted a virtual careers evening for families of Year 10 and Year 11 students. This was a great opportunity for families to watch a presentation from Laura on information about choices for Post-16 education and the chance to ask questions about the next steps. 

Due to the success of this evening, we will be organising more information evenings in the future. 

RRSA – Rights Respecting School 

Ashgate Croft School has successfully been awarded Gold by Unicef “Rights Respecting School” (December 2019). 

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. The Rights Respecting Schools Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school. Gold is the highest accolade given by Unicef UK and shows a deep and thorough commitment to children’s rights at all levels of school life. 

The Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice. A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. 

The Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools iniative is aimed at schools across the UK, including those in an early years setting. This year the programme has received additional support from The People’s Postcode Lottery. This vital funding is helping UNICEF UK continue its work with over 4500 primary schools, secondary schools, schools for children and young people with special educational needs and pupil referral units across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Schools have reported a positive impact on pupil behaviour, relationships and well-being by enhancing pupil’s self-esteem, leading to less truancy and bullying, better learning and improved academic standards. 

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School Council 

School council representatives are elected from each department. The school council meet on a termly basis to discuss key issues in school and make decisions about events taking place in school. 

To view the minutes of meetings, please see here. 



 ** You can request a printed copy of any of the above free of charge. **

Contact Details


Ashgate Road, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S40 4BN

Tel: 01246 275111


For all enquiries please contact Roberta Lowe (Headteacher’s PA) using the email address above. 

If you wish to make a complaint please contact the school office in the first instance.


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