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Prior's Court School

Hermitage, Thatcham, Berkshire, England RG18 9NU
Tel: +44 (0) 1635 247202

Special School Co-Educational 5 - 19 Years Day & Boarding (Flexi, Full, Weekly)

An independent residential special school for young people aged 5 to 19 years. The young people supported by Prior’s Court all have a diagnosis of autism with complex needs and often have several additional diagnosable conditions.

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Word From The Head

Helen Franks

Prior’s Court is a registered charity providing education and residential care for autistic young people with complex needs, aged 5-25.

Set within a 50 acre site in Berkshire with a multitude of specialist facilities for autistic young people, Prior’s Court exists to transform the lives of the autistic young people with complex needs in our care; to help them achieve the impossible and give their families the magic moments they never thought they would have.

More than 20 years on from opening in 1999, the experience, vision and passion of our Founding Patron, tech entrepreneur Dame Stephanie Shirley CH and her autistic son Giles, continues to profoundly influence what we do and why we do it.

Prior’s Court School has built a reputation for the quality and outcomes of our approach which has enabled young people, aged 5 to 20, to achieve significant progress towards a happy, healthy and more independent life, in which they can access the world of work. Prior’s Court School is recognised internationally as one of the foremost providers of autistic-specific education and care in the country, holding an Ofsted education “outstanding” ranking since 2017 and Ofsted care “good” or “outstanding” since 2010

Open Days, Visits & Events

25-07-2024 - Admissions Open Morning

Our Admissions Open Mornings are designed for prospective parents to gain an understanding of how Prior's Court transforms the future for autistic young people with complex needs on a day-to-day basis.

Join us for a tour, talk to staff and take a look at our facilities designed specifically for autistic young people with complex needs.

At this event you can have a chat with our expert staff, explore our 50-acre site, and discover how we make a difference to young people's lives every day.

Register to attend via our website.

What We Offer

  • ASDAN - Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network
  • Agriculture/Horticulture
  • ICT
  • Painting/Sculpture
  • Photography
  • English
  • English As Foreign/2nd Language
  • Sign language
  • Athletics
  • Cycling
  • Fitness Training
  • Football
  • Swimming
  • Touch Rugby
  • Cooking
  • Cycling
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Eco Club
  • Horse Riding & Management
  • Horticulture
  • Music
  • Rock Climbing
  • Sailing
  • Scouts
  • Trampolining
  • Yoga
  • Autistic Spectrum of Disorder (ASD)
  • Dual/Multi-Sensory Impairment (DSI/MSI)
  • Epilepsy
  • Language and Communication Disorders
  • Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD)
  • Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD)

  • * This school operates
      52 weeks in the year.
  • After School Club
  • Coeliac/Gluten Intolerance
  • Dairy Intolerance
  • Halal
  • International Students
  • Nut Allergies
  • Special Diets
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian


  • Assessment
  • Referral by Local Authority or Social Services
  • Educational psychologist's report
  • Residential assessment
  • Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
    • All denominations welcome
    • No religious affiliation
    • English
    • Sign language

      Age Range & Fees

      Age Range5 to 19
      Annual Day Fees *£0 to £0
      Annual Weekly Boarding Fees *£0 to £0
      Annual Full Boarding Fees *£0 to £0
      * Currency: GB Pound

      Number Of Pupils

      50Full Boarding5
      0Weekly Boarding0
      Boys Girls

      Number Of Staff

      Full-time: 260
      Part-time: 210

      % Pupils Gaining
      GCSE/IGCSE Passes 5 - 9

      % Pupils Gaining
      A Level Grades A – C

      % Pupils Going
      To University