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Breckenbrough School

Sandhutton, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, England YO7 4EN
Tel: +44 (0) 1845 587238

Special School Boys 9 - 19 Years Day & Boarding (Weekly)

Breckenbrough is a Non-Maintained Special School approved by the Secretary of State. We offer day and residential placements for boys with a range of complex needs, including Autism (ASC), Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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Word From The Head

Head Photo

From Simon Bannister, Headteacher

Breckenbrough is a Non-Maintained Special School (NMSS) approved by the Secretary of State. We offer day and residential placements for boys with a range of complex needs, including Autism (ASC), Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Like our students, Breckenbrough is unique; offering a bespoke, special school approach in the delivery of our holistic curriculum. We pride ourselves in being a ‘specialist’ school, providing a nurturing, supportive and low stress environment to help our students learn to manage their anxiety levels and specific needs to make holistic progress towards their individual outcomes.

Our vision is to improve the Quality of Life for all our students in becoming healthy, happy and successful adults.

Following the model of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need, every student arrives at Breckenbrough seeking a safe, nurturing environment where they can be accepted and learn. Due to their adverse experiences in prior settings, our first goal is to reduce anxiety levels and for every student to feel safe and secure in the school environment. It is unreasonable to expect any progress until this has been achieved, especially with their academic studies. Every student progresses through the school seeking to achieve what Maslow terms as self-actualisation, which is essential in achieving the second key goal. As a student progresses upwards through the levels of Maslow, there is a parallel increase in engagement, learning and progress. In order to achieve this, high staff to student ratios are required with class sizes of no more than five students.

Our Quaker ethos underpins all we aspire to build in our students: respect, tolerance, equality, understanding and forgiveness. We deliberately avoid punishment and forced discipline, believing that resolution of conflict can come about through behaviour modelling and restorative practice. We and the eight other Quaker schools operate using a similar ethos and come together through the Friends School Council.

Our students are well supported by our experienced and committed team. Each student works alongside a core group of professionals, which includes a keyworker, whose responsibility is to ensure that the students’ needs are met, their development is planned and monitored and their outcomes are celebrated and communicated with parents and professionals. The keyworker is crucial in providing the link between the student in school and the student’s home life and family. In addition, we have a therapeutic team on site which includes a full-time psychologist, an Occupational Therapist and a Speech and Language Therapist. The coordination of work between the school team, our families and any external professionals is crucial in supporting the students in working towards achieving the two key goals during their time at Breckenbrough.

Exploring the school website will highlight many examples of students who have gone on to successful careers. Many have progressed straight into employment, whereas many others have progressed to achieve continued academic success through further education and university.

If you would like to arrange a visit to the school, speak to myself or one of my colleagues, please contact our office manager, Diane Walker, either by email: diane.walker@breckenbrough.org.uk or by phone on 01845 587238.

I look forward to welcoming you to Breckenbrough School in person, as only then can you get a true understanding of the unique and special nature of our School.

What We Offer

  • A Level - Advanced Level Examinations
  • GCSE - General Certificate of Secondary Education
  • SATs (UK) - Standard Assessment Tests
  • Agriculture/Horticulture
  • Business studies
  • Design Technology
  • Drama/Theatre
  • Electronics
  • Engineering
  • Environmental studies
  • ICT
  • Law
  • Media/Film studies
  • Painting/Sculpture
  • Photography
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • English
  • French
  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Cricket
  • Cross-Country
  • Fitness Training
  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Touch Rugby
  • Water Sports
  • Adventure Training
  • Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Drama
  • First Aid/Life Savers
  • Fishing
  • Horse Riding & Management
  • Horticulture
  • Orienteering
  • Rock Climbing
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Skiing
  • Autistic Spectrum of Disorder (ASD)
  • Dyslexia or Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)
  • Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH)
  • Aspergers Syndrome (AS)
  • After School Club
  • Before School Club
  • Gifted Children
  • Rail Services
  • Special Diets


  • Assessment
  • Referral by Local Authority or Social Services
    • Quaker
    • English

      Age Range & Fees

      Age Range9 to 19
      Annual Day Fees *0 to 0
      Annual Weekly Boarding Fees *0 to 0
      Annual Full Boarding Fees *0 to 0
      * Currency:

      Number Of Pupils

      0Full Boarding0
      24Weekly Boarding0
      Boys Girls

      Number Of Staff

      Full-time: 53
      Part-time: 15

      % Pupils Gaining
      GCSE/IGCSE Passes 5 - 9

      % Pupils Gaining
      A Level Grades A – C

      % Pupils Going
      To University

      School Reviews


      You were there when I needed to learn", you made sure I wouldn't crash and burn, you were there when I had a stress, to make sure I didn't turn out a mess.(Pupil)  


      Thank you for getting my son back for me". (Parent) "Breckenbrough has been the best thing to happen to our son" He is infinitely happier and less stressed. (Parent)  

      Former Pupil

      There are many times when I wish I could tell the present pupils how lucky they are and how Breckenbrough will be in them (for the good) forever". (Former pupil)  


      I think that school is my world". (Pupil)  


      This is the only school I have ever fitted in to"! (Pupil)  


      This is the first school where I have been listened to and staff try to understand me".(Pupil)