SLD / PMLD / Complex Needs

Age range: All age 3 -19

We are delighted to welcome you to Bidwell Brook School, our “Good” special school based in Dartington. We are very proud of our pupils and staff and constantly strive towards providing a stimulating and challenging environment so “everyone will be the best that they can be; everyone has a voice; no-one is excluded.

Bidwell Brook School is sited in a beautiful rural location and offers an attractive and stimulating learning environment, combining specialized teaching facilities with local resources. The area we serve includes Totnes, Dartington, the South Hams, South Dartmoor and Teignbridge, and as such the school is a valued member of several communities. As well as having a very committed and professional staff, Bidwell Brook has long established links with mainstream primary and secondary schools, enabling us to focus upon the individual needs of all our pupils and to promote inclusion opportunities.

Learn to Live Federation

Bidwell Brook School is part of the Learn to Live Federation which also includes Ellen Tinkham School located in Exeter, Devon.

Nikki Burroughs is the Executive Head at both schools and is supported by experienced senior leaders who are based across the whole Federation. Pupils and staff from both schools work closely with each other and have forged strong links in both the classroom and in additional activities such as residential trips, sports events and rural skills work.

This successful Federation was formed in June 2014 and has a single Governing Body chaired by Steven Finnemore.


(Ofsted June 2023 Inspection)

“Bidwell Brook School continues to be a “Good” school. Pupils enjoy coming to this happy school. They arrive in the morning with smiles for the staff who greet them, eager to get on with the rest of the day. Pupils are proud of their school. The curriculum prepares pupils well for their next stage of learning and adulthood. They learn how to keep themselves safe in school, in the community and online. They know about appropriate social interactions and what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Pupils learn about different jobs and undertake work experience in school. Students in the sixth form have opportunities to work in the local community. They visit colleges and training providers. Staff work with pupils parents to help pupils transfer successfully to their next stage of education.”

(Ofsted October 2017 Inspection)

“Bidwell Brook School continues to be “Good”. Pupils are encouraged to describe their aspirations for the future, and staff work hard to match learning experiences to these aspirations. Pupils have access to a wide range of curriculum activities both in and outside school, including access to a rural curriculum. Pupils proudly talk of how much they enjoy their learning, and older pupils describe the success they achieve while on work experience.”

(Ofsted January 2014 Inspection)

"Pupils enjoy their learning, readily engaging at their own level. There is a wide range of academic and physical ability in every class and for those with the most extreme difficulties the good use of technology is an effective way of supporting learning. Pupils benefit from a wide range of learning, focusing on English, mathematics and communication. There is also good use of specialist facilities in subjects such as art, music and food technology. This promotes practical and artistic skills very well."