Brantwood School exterior


Headteacher: Eric Knutsen
Designated Safeguarding Lead: 
Digby Brown
Senior RSW: Joanne Wilson
Director of Schools: Tara Gratton
Chair of the Board of Directors: 
Helen Kippax
Aonghus Gordon
Age range: 
Local Authority: 

Statement of Purpose: Download the school’s Statement of Purpose
Local Offer: Download the Local Offer document
Policies: View the school’s policies and procedures
SEN Information Report: Download the report here
Covid-19 Safety: View our Covid-19 procedures

Ofsted Reports:

Download the latest Ofsted Education Report

Take a virtual tour of Brantwood Specialist School

Who we are

Brantwood Specialist School opened in 2011 by Ruskin Mill Trust. Our students’ complex needs include Autism Spectrum Conditions, Pathological Demand Avoidance and Attachment Disorder and can lead to them experiencing high levels of anxiety. They have struggled to cope in a range of settings and many have been school refusers prior to joining us. Their placements are funded by Local Authorities. Using our therapeutic and practical skills curriculum, we successfully support students to re-engage with education and as a result of this support, they can re-imagine and realise their potential.

At the heart of the school’s offer is the understanding of human phasic development that underpins the Waldorf curriculum that is used in Rudolf Steiner schools across the world. Our core approach is the Practical Skills Therapeutic Education method, using natural materials and meaningful learning opportunities. Young people learn from skilled craft tutors to create products of purpose, value and beauty.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child – thank goodness we found the right ‘village’ in Brantwood for our son!”

– Parent of one of our students at Brantwood

Two students drawing in a lesson at Brantwood Specialist School

The experience of working directly with the material and the master-apprentice relationship with the tutor both help to re-shape their sense of themselves and their potential. This transformative process can create a virtuous circle, enabling them to re-apply themselves to subjects they have under-performed in previously such as Maths and Science and to consider different career paths. Teachers then capitalise on opportunities to help the students generalise and apply their learning e.g. using scientific knowledge to develop a furnace. We are proud that some of our young people who spend a significant portion of each day on craft and land-work are now exceeding age-related expectations in Maths.

Therapeutic insight weaves throughout the school’s offer and individual students benefit from a range of therapeutic intervention according to their assessed needs. These include the impact of the craft and land work activities, the availability of speech and language and occupational therapies as well as specialist movement, art and massage therapies.

Although we are inspired by Rudolf Steiner, we are a non-denominational school and our calendar of celebrations reflects the diversity of both the local and global community.

“My daughter is a different person since coming to Brantwood, so much more confident! The creative education is amazing”

– Parent of one of our students at Brantwood


Brantwood Specialist School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare and safety of all pupils and staff and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

We are fully committed to ensuring that consistent, effective safeguarding procedures are in place to support pupils and staff at school.

Any concerns are passed to the members of staff who are part of our school safeguarding team, led by our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Digby Brown

The school will, in most circumstances, endeavour to discuss all concerns with parents and carers about their children. However, there may be exceptional circumstances when the school will discuss concerns with Social Care and/or the Police without parental knowledge (in accordance with Child Protection procedures). The school will, of course, always aim to maintain a positive relationship with all parents and carers.

More information including our Safeguarding Policy can be found on our dedicated safeguarding page.

Pupil Progress

At the end of 2019-20, we reviewed our progress tracking system and have launched a new academic progress tracking framework for 2020-21. The Nine Steps Framework offers a robust method to track students’ progress against the core areas of learning in Linguistics, Mathematical and Scientific, as well as capturing progress across the remaining areas of learning through the craft and outdoor experiences that underpin the curriculum driven by the Ruskin Mill Trust method.

Destinations of students after leaving us

In the last three years, 100% of our school leaves have moved on to education or training. Some examples of our leavers’ successes within three years of leaving Brantwood are:

  • Studying subjects including art, catering, music, chemistry, psychology and photography at local colleges
  • Attending Freeman College, a further education provision also within Ruskin Mill Trust
  • Studying land and wildlife management at a residential college
  • Attending University to study for a degree in Psychology
Close up photo of hands with a bundle of sticks

Further Information

The school’s policies, including the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy can be found on our policies page. Other key policies covering the entire Trust are available on this website under the ‘policies and procedures tab’.

If you would like hard copies of these posting to you free of charge or have different access needs, please contact Dawn Mirfin, Brantwood Specialist School, 1 Kenwood Bank, Sheffield S7 1NU, by email at or by phone on 0114 258 9062

Additional information about the school and the way it operates can be found in the following documents

• Practically Minded, an exploration of the value of practical activity for school-aged students
• The specialist therapies available at BSS.


Read our latest report on the Ofsted website

Read Report


Read about Brantwood in our latest prospectus



Speak to our team about admissions at Brantwood

View Admissions

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