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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. 

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 groups (Coombe Cliff site)
  • Students in Years 7 - 9 who need to be in small Nurture classes, with highly individualised programmes (Birdhurst)
  • Students in Years 7 - 11 who need to be in small Nurture classes, with highly individualised programmes (Sanderstead, Wellhurst)
  • 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).
  • Students in Years 2-10, who cannot work alongside other students, where each has their own personal classroom (Sanderstead, Harling).
  • 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 in Years 1-14, who will benefit from a part-time programme off-site.
    • Pathways to Employment Placements for students in Years 10-14. These are full or part-time programmes, off-site, tailored for each individual for their preferred 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 Jun 2020

We want more Teachers / Teaching Assistants to join our growing team; and also a Speech & Language Therapist and an Occupational Therapist. Click here for details.

Place availability - as at Jun 2020

For Sep 2020 we have 4 primary school places free for Years 1-5, and 2 places in Yrs 7-8. We also have places for Years 7-8, in our Girls only site. But regretfully we have no places at all available for Years 9 or above. For more details click here.

Admissions criteria and enquiries 

For our Admissions criteria click here. For more details on place availability, call John Herring on 07474 145445

Cressey becomes part of Horizon Group

We're delighted to announce that in Sep 2019 Cressey became part of the Horizon Group. This fantastic        opportunity will enable us to offer more school places, and further improved outcomes for students. For full details click here

Ofsted Report - March 2018

Ofsted graded us Good, with Outstanding for students’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, and 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.

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.