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"(Cressey) transforms pupils’ education and ultimately their life chances. (Students) make huge strides in their social and emotional development ... (and) the behaviour of pupils is Outstanding"

Ofsted Report, March 2018

"I'm so indebted to you all, for all you’ve done for him. There aren’t the words to express how grateful I am, not just for what you continue to do for (my Son) every day but also for me, allowing me to trust again.""

Parent, Nov 2018

Cressey College: a multi-site special school (5-19)

Cressey College is a multi-site special school for students with Social, Emotional and Attachment difficulties, particularly challenging behaviour, and/or additional complex needs. To see a recent video our students created about Cressey, please click here.

Nearly all our students have additional complex needs, such as ASD / Aspergers, ADHD, Anxiety, Mental Health Difficulties, Attachment Difficulties / Disorders, ODD, Speech & Language difficulties, Learning Difficulties, PDA, ADD, OCD, Discalculia, Dyslexia or Dyspraxia. Nearly all our students have been unable to succeed at their previous schools, and many need long term nurturing.  

Cressey has a proven record of helping students make exceptional social, emotional, academic and behavioural progress, and with employability skills and preparation for adulthood. We are a centre of excellence for SEMH and particularly challenging behaviour, and for many of the complexities listed above.

At Cressey we succeed where previous schools have been unable to; and we succeed in the long term, not just briefly. Our approach has four building blocks.

The first is that our approach is nurture-based, with positive management of behaviour, supported by a rewards system that helps promote positive outcomes.

Secondly, Cressey has more staff than students, so there is lots of 1:1 staffing. We also have very small classes, varying from 1 - 5 students. This enables us to achieve positive outcomes in spite of challenging behaviour and complex needs. Students are taught in small classes, in pairs or individually, as appropriate. There is a strong focus on improving literacy, numeracy and ICT skills, and on developing personal and social skills.

Thirdly, we place each student in the right environment for his/her particular needs. We can do this because we have six separate small sites each catering for different needs, and two off-site programmes. So we can place individuals in the site or on the programme that best meets their needs. We have different environments for:

  • Primary students (Years 1 - 7) who need to be in small Nurture group (Coombe Cliff site)
  • Students in Years 7 - 9 who need to be in small Nurture classes, with highly individualised programmes (Birdhurst)
  • Students in Year 7 - 12, who need very small classes with highly individualised programmes (Chappells)
  • Students in Years 9 - 14, who need very small classes with highly individualised programmes (Moorings)
  • Students in Years 2-14, who cannot work alongside other students, where each has their own personal classroom (Denmark Hall).
  • In addition we have a site for girls only in Years 7 - 14, who will make better progress in a girls-only location (Adeline)
  • Lastly we also offer two types of off-site placements. These are:
    • Outreach Programmes, for students who will benefit from a part-time programme off-site.
    • Pathways to Employment Placements, which are full or part-time programmes, off-site, tailored for each individual for their chosen future  employment.

Finally we have a strong focus on positive outcomes, every child has their own individual Student Support Plan. We follow the National Curriculum, but it is individually tailored to take into account each student’s Statement / EHCP, and every child also has their own Individual Education Plan (IEP). We also support individual talents and interests, and extra tutoring is provided for this. 

Looking ahead, we are continually striving to improve the excellence of our education.

We welcome visits. So please come and see for yourself.



Adrienne Cherrywood, Head Teacher


Staff Vacancies - as at Dec 2018

We want more Teachers and TAs to join our growing Cressey team. Click here for more details and for how to apply, or contact Maria White on 020 8256 0547

Place availability - as at Dec 2018

We have very few places still left on-site; but we do occasionally get unexpected vacancies, and we're making more places available for Outreach & Pathways to Employment placements. So consultations and applications are very welcome, as always.

Years 1-6 at Coombe Cliff Primary School. There's one place currently available. Class size 3-5 students.

Outreach programmes, Years 1-6. We have 6 Outreach places available in South Norwood (2 or 4 hrs / day) for primary students waiting for a placement at our Coombe Cliff Primary School.

Outreach Programmes, Years 7-14. We will have places available from Nov 2018 onwards. These are bespoke programmes, delivered off-site for students awaiting a full-time place at Cressey. For more details click here.

Pathways to Employment Placement, Years 10-14. Places are available. These are full-time programmes, delivered off-site for students who will benefit from a bespoke individual programme, out in the community. For more details click here.

Years 7-14 at Chapples (Wimbledon) site. This site is full; but we expect two vacancies during Nov / Dec 2018. There should be more places available in Spring 2019, when we move the site to a bigger and better building.

Years 7-9 at Birdhurst. This site is currently full. Class size 4-5 students.

Years 9 -14 at Moorings. This site is full. Class size 4-5 students.

Years 7-9 at Adeline. This site (for Girls only) is full. Class size 2-4 students.

Years 3-14 at Denmark Hall. This site is full. Here each student has their own dedicated personal classroom.

Ofsted Report - March 2018

Ofsted graded us Good, with Outstanding for students’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, and Outstanding for the effectiveness of leadership and management. This reflects the great progress our wonderful students make, and of the huge efforts of our excellent staff. Click here for the report.

Admissions enquiries

For our Admissions criteria click here. For more details on place availability, please call John Herring on 07474 145 445. 

School Office address

Our new School Office address, for all mail and enquiries, is as below.

    Cressey College (School office)

    Coombe Cliff, Coombe Road
    Croydon CR0 5SP

    Tel: 0208 686 5840 (and select Option 1)

Mail should no longer be sent to our old School Office address at Denmark Hall. Anything sent there will still get to us, but will be slightly delayed.