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Inspire! > Inspired Directions School
Who are we?

The Inspired Directions School offers alternative provision for high needs learners struggling to access mainstream education. Established by the charity Inspire!, an Education Business Partnership, we have been an Alternative Provider for young people in Hackney since 2008 and achieved independent school status in 2014.  Fundamental to our ethos are the values of individuality, collectivism and progression.

The personality, interests and needs of each individual young person are at the core of our approach. We are committed to the ongoing and future progress of all our learners and have developed a broad and flexible curriculum which enables us to meet a great range of learning needs in developing a personalised timetable for each of our learners.

As members of a small and supportive community, young people are provided with a place of safety and belonging where they can build positive relationships with peers and adults, regain educational and personal confidence, and achieve along their chosen pathways.

We ensure that all our graduates have a meaningful destination to move on to. We will continue to support our graduates through transition, and offer opportunities for ongoing engagement with the Inspire! community through our enrichment activities.

The Inspired Directions School is located near Dalston Junction in Hackney. Download a copy of our prospectus here to find out more. 

Who are we for?

The IDS intake is predominantly vulnerable learners with multi agency involvement, and highly complex educational needs. These include learners who have been excluded from mainstream school or other PRU provision, statemented pupils and school refusers.

Our individualised and pupil-focused approach sits well within the new SEN code of practice, which requires young people to be placed at the centre of the planning process. We work closely with schools, parent agencies and professionals to ensure that we meet the needs described in existing SEN statements, new EHC plans, and those identified through our own initial assessment process.

What do we offer?
  • Qualifications: We are able to offer GCSEs and Functional Skills in English and Maths; BTEC courses including Business, Workskills and PSD; Arts Awards; NOCN and AQA Units. Every young person will leave with a set of accreditations appropriate to their level and progression pathway.
  • Core Academic: All learners receive specialist tuition from qualified teachers towards accreditation in English, Maths and ICT. Additionally, we provide a comprehensive curriculum for all our learners by including within our programme short courses in: History, Geography, Science, MFL, RE.
  • Creativity: We place a strong emphasis on pupils developing creative expression, voice and confidence in weekly art and music lessons, as well as special theatre and film projects.
  • Personal and social development: Individual support from outside agencies and internal mentors; sessions in key areas, including Drugs and Sex and Relationships Education, as part of core class programme.
  • Work-Related Learning: Inspire!’s status as an Education Business Partnership means we are able to offer learners extensive opportunities to participate in vocational learning, enterprise projects, and work experience in their chosen fields.
  • Healthy Living: We offer a free lunch and breakfast club for all pupils; weekly PE sessions; topics in PSD lessons.
  • Projects: We utilise Inspire!’s extensive network of other providers and businesses to facilitate offsite projects including, film-making, music production, construction, fashion, bike maintenance.
  • Enrichment: We offer an extra-curricular enrichment programme including writing, film and music clubs; we seek to organise additional enrichment activities in response to areas of interest suggested by our learners.

Our school day runs from 09.30 - 15.30, Monday to Friday during school term times. We are currently able to offer the following subject areas and qualifications:

Course/Subject Qualifications Standard


EDM Functional Skills English

I GCSE First Language English

Entry 1 to Level 2

L1, L2


EDM Functional Skills Mathematics

I GCSE Maths

Entry 1 to Level 2

L1, L2


NOCN ICT Users Certificate  

Work-related Learning

NOCN Step Up Diploma

Level 1

Project/Vocational Work  

Project Work –

Arts Award Bronze to Silver


City and Guilds Multi-Skills Level 1


NOCN Garment Making Award EL3, Level 1





Edexcel Award/Certificate in
Personal and Social Development


Edexcel Award/Certificate in
Personal and Social Development


Half-term project work in:

  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • RE
  • Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)   
  • Citizenship
  • Philosophy
Currently developing AQA Unit Awards EL3-L2


What is our admissions policy?

The Inspired Directions School has an agreed admission number of 30 students, aged from 13-16 years old.

Referrals to the Inspired Directions School are made predominantly through schools, local authorities, and Pupil Referral Units.

Referrals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to assess the suitability of our provision to meet the needs of each individual young person. Admissions are based upon:

  • Information received from commissioning organisations, including details of statement of SEN or EHC plan, and external statutory agencies
  • An initial interview with the young person and their parent/carer
  • An induction period of 2 weeks

If we and the referring body are satisfied that we can adequately meet the needs of the young person, they will be admitted to the school.

Referrals are accepted at any point during the academic year if we have places available.

To enquire about the school, or begin the referral process, please contact us on 0207 275 6068 or email


© Inspire! - Education Business Partnership · Registered Charity number 1111037 · Company number 05157521