Welcome to New Direction, a person-centred provision for life-long learning and education, based at Ringer Villa, Clowne, Derbyshire. There are three facets to New Direction: –  an independent special school, a post-16 centre which offers individualised programmes for learning-disabled adults and an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy service.

The provision is set in the grounds of a small farm and equestrian facility with a range of resident animals including; horses, Eriskay Ponies (a rare breed), sheep, and birds. We are a small  community with a strong focus on the care of the individual, both people and animals.

Our website has been designed to give you an insight into all that makes New Direction a unique place for people of all ages  to be able to develop and learn.


At New Direction we work with young people in a small, nurturing environment to support their personal growth and Development. Uniquely integrating equine therapy into a holistic educational experience, providing a broad and balanced education.  Enabling young people to grow, becoming successful independent Individuals.

New Direction School specialises in helping  young people who have difficulties in accessing mainstream eduction due to either learning disabilities or behavioural problems. New Direction is  very different  to mainstream schools. Teaching is based on personalised learning taking careful account of the needs of each pupil as well as their EHCP targets. We have small class sizes (between 5 and 6 in a class), Have 30 minute lessons with frequent sensory breaks every hour to help enable students to regulate and access learning. Our curriculum has been carefully adapted to enable students to access core subjects such as Maths, English, Science and ICT supported by a range of subjects to help support students to understand the world around them, improve their self regulation and to be independent. These include our Equine curriculum of Horsecare and Pony Club, Forestry, PSHE, Cooking, Princes Trust, Creative Arts, Zones of Regulation and Reading. For our KS4 students we also offer two ASDAN courses, ASDAN Employability and ASDAN Personal and Social Effectiveness. If a student has a particular interest we will always look to adapt the curriculum to meet this where possible.

We have a range of expertise in counselling and therapeutic interventions which help us understand the needs and aspirations of our pupils. These, along with the close-knit nature of our community, help to support our pupils back into learning. At New Direction we strive to do this in a way that makes every young person realise the value of learning.

The post 16 programme caters for learning disabled adults who need a safe, secure and purposeful provision. New Direction aims to give them the life-skills to manage their own lives. Again, we are able to tailor our provision to the needs of the individual person, whether they be vocational, educational or social.

New Direction specialises in the use Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. This plays a significant role in our support for all members of our community and is also available as a separate service.

If you are looking for information regarding our independent school for children, then click the school icon below. If you are looking for information regarding what we can offer adults with learning disabilities then please click on the post 16 icon.

Independent School for Children with learning problems

centre for adults with learning disabilities

For all other enquiries, including information regarding reporting a safeguarding concerns please head over to the contact page and get in touch.

We are open 8:30am to 4pm Monday to Friday during our term times (Please see our term dates for when this is).

Our school hours are 9am to 3:45pm Monday to Friday equating to a total of 35 hours and 45 minutes every week. Our Term dates can be found under the links section.

Due to the longer school day we operate on a 35.4 week school year, one of which will be dedicated to inset days for staff training. Due to the nature of staff training these will be booked throughout the year and we will strive to give as much notice as possible for these. This puts our teaching hours across the year on the same level as in a maintained school.