KS3 & KS4

SEN & High Needs Nurture | Adventurous Activities





Headteacher: Kirsty Swierkowski

Assistant Headteacher: Mark Walton


Barnoldswick is the founding TAS school and has been based at our Barnoldswick site since 2011, having first opened in Brierfield in 2007 and then later to Nelson. The school has capacity for 45 pupils, from KS3 and KS4, to support our more challenging pupils in small, nurturing classrooms. Pupils attend TAS Barnoldswick from the local community (15 mile radius) with some pupils travelling from as far as Harrogate to attend.

Kirsty Swierkowski, Headteacher

Welcome From The Headteacher

I am proud to be headteacher at Barnoldswick Alternative School and to be able to work with our pupils. We pride ourselves on our alternative, trauma informed approach to education and thinking outside of the box when it comes to how school should be for our young people. A pupil’s time at Barnoldswick Alternative School is an opportunity for pupils to grow as young people and be supported as they get ready to move onto the next state of their life.

We are an all-inclusive school and have a completely open admissions policy. Diversity is something to celebrate. For many pupils, when they come to us, their education has been challenging, and we hope that in school they will feel at home so they can flourish. Nurture and purposeful enjoyment are at the heart of everything we do. Every day is a fresh start, and we support pupils with the challenges they face through our restorative approach to behaviour, alongside our welcoming and caring pastoral support and dedicated teaching tea.

We look forward to welcoming you to our school.


About Us

The building is the town’s former library and now has five classrooms, two kitchens, a dining space, a library area and a Wellbeing Hub, where meetings and therapeutic sessions are held with external agencies and our counsellor. One of our classrooms is set up to deliver a vocational programme linked to our curriculum.

We have a team of five teachers, who are supported by a part time Arts specialist, an onsite SENCO, a Communications Manager and the Headteacher. The team also includes two therapy dogs, Scout and Boo, who attend school every day.

The ethos of Barnoldswick is to have an outdoor focus and a strong base within the local community by being involved with local projects such as Barlick in Bloom. We have our own TAS allotment and regularly access a local farm. We plan to link up to a local stables to deliver equine therapy this school year. Barnoldswick pupils take part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme as part of their curriculum and also take part in other adventurous activities.

At Barnoldswick, many of our pupils arrive with an EHCP or are assessed with a view to applying for an EHCP. We work closely with educational psychologists and the local SENDO team to support with EHCP applications. For trauma-based support, we also work with behavioural specialists to develop nurturing strategies to support young people. Our TAS SENCO works with the teachers and the head teacher to develop SEN support plans where appropriate. All pupils are thoroughly assessed, with half termly reviews and with personalised timetables and IEPs to meet their individual needs.


  • Phone
    01282 851800 (Option 2)
  • Address
    The Old Library, Fern Lea Avenue, Barnoldswick BB18 5DW