Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones
Life at Stepping Stones Life at Stepping Stones Life at Stepping Stones Life at Stepping Stones Life at Stepping Stones

About Us

We are an independent special school with charitable status.

Stepping Stones Charity

Started in 1994 our charitable objectives are the advancement of education, promotion of health, the relief of poverty and to assist other established charities with similar objectives.  Our main focus is the running of the school in Hindhead for which we lease two properties in Hindhead from charitable foundations on long term agreements. 

The charity is expected to have a £1.3M turnover this year in the support of our objectives which we meet in the following ways:

Advancement of education

  • education of 66 students this year in full-time special needs education
  • employment of 36 qualified staff
  • supporting access to education
  • family support workshops

Relief of poverty

  • free community lets for disability charities and disadvantaged groups
  • headteacher discretion for financially struggling families

Promotion of Health

  • partnerships with other charities for research & collaboration purposes
  • support to policy development in education, disability & mental health

Assistance to other similar charities

  • 5 student led fundraising campaigns for other charities
  • staff, student, community and parent volunteering to support our Conan Doyle heritage project  with over >700 heritage guests
  • student and staff volunteering to support community events

Our Vision

Towards Independence is the vision we have held for the students at Stepping Stones since opening in 2004.  We work to ensure that our students embrace a positive school environment to become self-confident, independent learners for life.  With the aim that each will fulfil their personal potential to gain the qualifications and skills they need to be socially and economically independent in their local community. 

Our History

The school was conceived in 2004 by two parents, Larry Sullivan and Sandy Seagrove, who despaired of finding the right school for their daughter; they resolved to create such a school and purchased a deconsecrated church building in Hindhead. Starting out with just three students, the school has grown and flourished and has established a strong reputation with funding authorities as a placement for young people who, for whatever reason, fail to thrive in mainstream schooling.  We have a fully independent Governing Board who provide to oversight and governance to the school.  As the school grew in 2014 the Trustees looked for an opportunity to expand and in 2016 we took up a lease on Undershaw, just 50m from our Tower Road site in Hindhead, giving us additional facilities and allowing us to have a Lower and Upper School with the start of our Post 16 provision.

Our Provision

The school makes provision for children who have acquired processing delays due to: acute or chronic medical conditions, hemiplegia or mild cerbral palsy; those whose mental and/or emotional health is at risk due to direct or indirect trauma; and those whose mild autism creates learning needs.

"The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding."  

                       OFSTED 2016

In the academic year 2016-17 we have 64 young people enrolled at the school aged 7-18 years old.  The school is split across two sites: Lower School and Upper School/Post 16. 

Our class groups on average are 8 students. The younger students learn in form groups whilst the Upper School students move fully to subject specialist teaching.

We offer a unique environment for the student who finds the hectic pace of a mainstream school too challenging and yet would find the curriculum and peer group offered by a fully fledged special school too narrow or too limiting.  Past students have left us to continue their studies in other mainstream and specialist colleges or have moved into the workplace with the self-confidence to succeed in their chosen paths.

Through our close association with the COINS Foundation we also reach out to disadvantaged and disabled children throughout the world.  We seek to change lives for the better and strive to ensure that every child can realise their potential and make their unique contribution to society.

For further information regarding the school please consult our Ofsted Report a link to which is provided here:  Ofsted Report 2016