Chelfham Senior School'': Yelverton, Devon, UK

Yelverton, Devon, United Kingdom

Chelfham Senior School'': Yelverton, Devon, UK

Price Range ₤ 80,000 per annum and over


Chelfham Senior School is an independent specialist primary and secondary, day and residential school for boys and girls aged 7 to 19 years who have complex learning difficulties including behavioural, emotional & social difficulties (BESD) and autism.

The school specialises in working with these young people and students in developing their progress in all areas such as education and acquiring appropriate social, independence and living skills.

Chelfham Senior School focuses on the best possible academic and social outcomes for every learner. For this the school offers: continued and ongoing support with learning and life skills; individually tailored programmes for education, social and personal development; a positive environment to bring about positive change, opportunities to integrate into community life; strong links with local employers to provide an extensive work experience programme for pupils; and safe, secure and independent living environment.

Those activities are supported by therapeutic approach: individual care pathways tailored to individual needs; cognitive behavioural therapy; child and adolescent psychiatry and psychological support where needed; occupational therapy; speech and language therapy; art psychotherapy.

Year of foundation: 1986
Some history:

In 2015 two of the Chelfham school’s main sites at Bere Alston in Yelverton and Kilworthy House in Tavistock were registered by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) as separate schools for education. 

Chelfham Senior School is a part of the Priory Group which has been established in 1980. The group is the UK's leading independent  provider of mental health care facilities and operates at more than 500 sites in the United Kingdom and includes among them: rehabilitation and recovery centres; mental healthcare hospitals and clinics; specialist schools and colleges; supported residential facilities and homes; care homes for older people. At the Priory Group there are treated over 70 different conditions through a nationwide network of over 275 facilities. 
Priory Group is organised into three divisions – healthcare, education and children’s services, and adult care services – which together support the needs of more than 30,000 people every year. 

The school, being part of the Priory Group: division education and children’s services, has access to additional healthcare and supported living services where needed. 

The range of facilities available ensures that every young person receives a smooth and planned transition from primary education all the way through to further education, university, employment and independent living, as appropriate for each individual.

Campus size and facilities:

Chelfham School is located on three sites. All sites (Bere Alston, Kilworthy and Crediton) are in the heart of the Devon countryside, close to Dartmoor National Park and the many wonderful beaches of Cornwall. 

Chelfham School can provide places for up to 63 students. 

Chelfham School is located on three sites: Bere Alston, Kilworthy and Crediton. Students live at the Bere Alston or Kilworthy House. All three sites are set within substantial grounds and have facilities for various outdoor activities such as football and other outdoor pursuits including: canoeing, climbing,sailing, yachtsmanship, gorge scrambling, mountaineering and mountain biking.

Accommodation is within small domestic units with private rooms, family living units, TV lounges, dining and catering facilities. This accommodation is suitable both for privacy and for shared activity. 

The school has good links to local medical services, dentistry etc should young people need these.

Chelfham offers a healthy, stimulating and welcoming environment where a positive education allows all pupils to experience success and prepare them to the the next stage of their life and independence.

Accreditations: Avaible are: Entry Level; GCSE; BTEC – levels one and two; National Governing Body awards; vocational coursesor and other accredited courses.

Access to the National Curriculum is modified according to the individual needs and abilities of each student. Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are implemented to develop communication, personal and social education skills. 

Chelfham Senior School as educational establishment is inspected on a regular basis by Ofsted (a government department - Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills). Chelfham Bere Alston is rated “good” (on a four-point scale: outstanding, good, satisfactory, inadequate).
Chelfham Senior School being a part of the Priory Group has operational oversight from their regional managers with detailed knowledge of their work. All assurance and governance of quality, safety and compliance are provided by the Priory Group with additional regulatory visits regularly carried out by experienced independent visitors.

Tel: +44 20 30 269 440

Contact school: contact-us


About the school

Long description: Education and care in the Chelfham School are focused on:

• A positive ethos which celebrates and rewards success
and progress
• A culture in which students feel safe, secure and
• Integrated care, education and therapy programmes
• Small teaching groups
• A framework where students learn to take responsibility for the control of their own behaviours
• High staff:student ratios
• Access to a wide range of therapies including speech and language and cognitive behaviour therapy

The college makes the most of its location, offering outdoor education and work experience opportunities within the local community. There are very useful links to local colleges, sports centres and local businesses.

Dorm Facilities: In Chelfham School there is a sensory garden which  has been constructed to help students with more complex disorders to relieve anxieties, reduce stress and stimulate their senses. It is also used as an outside classroom as it can facilitate the teaching of many other curriculum areas such as science and art. 

Academic life

What we offer?

Care teams provide 24 hour support across each site and each student also has a dedicated key worker and co-key worker. Students have ongoing and regular meetings with their key worker to monitor their progression and ensure their needs are being met across the 24 hour curriculum.

Social life & attractions

Description: During the evenings, weekends and holiday periods a diverse range of leisure activities are offered both on and off site. These activities give students the opportunity to participate and contribute to the wider community to develop their social and communication skills, whilst
also taking advantage of the coastal and moorland location.

A varied programme of activities is offered, although students will make their own decisions on the types of activities and leisure pursuits they become involved in, according to their individual choices.

The nearby towns of Tavistock and Plymouth offer shops and leisure facilities and a direct rail link to London.


Local community facilities are regularly used with links to local colleges, sports centres and businesses and there is a strong emphasis on outdoor education and media studies. 

Why Should You Choose this School?

A Priory education delivers lasting value, helping young people to achieve outstanding outcomes and reach their potential. In 2015:

    - 98.4% of leavers successfully moved onto employment, education, training and/or planned onward residential care pathways 
    - 94% of students gained one or more GSCE at A* - G at sites where students were entered for GCSEs 

    and at Chelfham School

    -100% of young people are engaged in age appropriate independence programmes
    -100% of young people in year 9 and above are actively involved in transition planning at a level that reflects their ability
    -100% of residential young people take part in clubs or social groups in the community



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Chelfham Senior School'': Yelverton, Devon, UK - Your boarding school in Yelverton, Devon


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Chelfham Senior School'': Yelverton, Devon, UK

Chelfham Senior School'': Yelverton, Devon, UK - Your boarding school in Yelverton, Devon


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