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Inspired Directions School

Inspired Directions School students in classroom

The Inspired Directions School offers alternative provision for high-needs learners struggling to access mainstream education. Established by the charity Inspire! in 2008, we achieved independent school status in 2014. The school provides full-time or part-time alternative education for young people aged 13 – 16 in Hackney.

We value individualitycollectivism and progression. Our approach is based around the personality, interests and needs of each young person. We have therefore designed a broad, flexible curriculum to meet a range of learning needs. Each learner has a personalised timetable, with opportunities to take part in a range of offsite projects.

The school provides a small, supportive community for young people, helping them to gain confidence and achieve along their chosen pathways.

We ensure that all our graduates have a meaningful destination to move on to, whether further education, training or employment. We continue to support young people after leaving school, and offer ongoing opportunities at Inspire.

The Inspired Directions School is located near Dalston Junction in Hackney. Download the Inspired Directions School Prospectus to find out more.

Who are we for?

What do we offer?

What is our admissions policy?

Quality assurance & results

School policies

Term dates

Our Students

We provide for vulnerable young people with complex educational needs, who often have multi-agency involvement. This include those who have been excluded from mainstream school or other pupil referral units, pupils with an EHC plan (Education, Health and Care plan), and school refusers.

We work closely with schools, parent agencies and professionals to meet the needs described in existing EHC plans, as well as in our own initial assessment process. This approach meets the new SEN (Special Educational Needs) code of practice, which places young people at the centre of the planning process.

Our Offering

Our school day runs from 09.00 – 15.00, Monday to Friday during school term times. We provide the following:

  • Qualifications: We offer Functional Skills in English and Maths; BTEC Science courses; Arts Awards; NOCN and AQA Units. From 2018, we will be offering GCSEs in English and Maths. 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 include short courses in History, Georgraphy, Science, MFL and RE within our programme.
  • Creativity: We emphasise creative expression. This includes weekly art and music lessons, and theatre and film projects with community partners. These projects help students to develop their own voice and confidence through expressing themselves creatively.
  • Personal and social development: This includes one-to-one support from outside agencies and internal mentors. We provide sessions in key areas, including Drugs and Sex and Relationships Education, as part of our core programme.
  • Work-Related Learning: We are part of education charity Inspire!, who provide young people with experience and understanding of work. Because of this, we are able to offer work experience, enterprise projects and vocational learning opportunities to our students.
  • Healthy living: We offer a free lunch and breakfast club for all pupils, weekly PE sessions, and lessons in health and personal care.
  • Projects: Inspire! has an extensive network of business and community partners. Through this, we provide projects including film-making, music production, construction, fashion and bike maintenance.
  • Enrichment: We offer an extra-curricular enrichment programme including writing, film and music clubs. We seek to organise additional activities in response to areas of interest suggested by our learners.

Admission Policy and Referrals 

The Inspired Directions School has an 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, assessing the suitability of our provision for the young person’s needs. Admissions are based upon:

  • Information received from commissioning organisations and external agencies, including details of EHC plans
  • 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 support 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.


The Inspired Directions School was awarded independent school status by the Department for Education in June 2014. Our latest Ofsted Report in 2018 received an overall rating of ‘Good’. Ofsted Reports can be downloaded below. 

Ofsted Report 2018

Ofsted Report 2015

In June 2016 we received an external inspection from the North London Children’s Efficiency Programme (NLCEP) who also awarded us an overall grade of ‘Good’. Download a copy of the final report here.

Results and Progression

Out of our 2016-2017 cohort, 100% of our students who sat a Functional Skills exam achieved at least one full Qualification in Functional Skills English, Functional Skills Maths or ICT.

In total, 33 Functional Skills full qualifications were gained in Maths, English and ICT for the academic year 2016-2017.

Term dates

Autumn Term 2019

  • Start – Thursday 3 September 2020
  • Half Term – Monday 26 October – Friday 30 October 2020
  • End – Friday 18 December 2020

Spring Term 2020

  • Start – Monday 4 January 2021
  • Half Term – Monday 15 February – Friday 19 February 2021
  • End – Thursday 1 April 2021

Summer Term 2020

  • Start – Monday 19 April 2021
  • Half Term – Monday 31 May – Friday 4 June 2021
  • End – Friday 23 July 2021


You can find information on and contact details for our teaching staff here.

Please contact the Inspire! CEO, Sue Maskrey, for more information and referrals. 

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