Our School

Education at iMap School provides both 38 week day placements and education for those placed in our residential services aged 7 – 19.

Andrea Nelson, School Principal

01829 741869

My name is Andrea Nelson and I am delighted to be Principal of iMap School.

I have been an educator who has over 20 years’ experience working within the education system in various roles. I am passionate about inclusion, as I possess a first-class honours degree in Psychology, which has given me an excellent foundation in understanding of different disabilities and the uniqueness of the human brain. I was able to utilise my previous studies to become an outstanding SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator), which I have undertaken for over 16 years. Having held senior leadership positions in a range of settings; from mainstream, alternative, supplementary, resourced provision and special schools, means that I possess an excellent understanding of the education of pupils with SEND. Over the past four years, I have held the roles of headteacher and acting headteacher, meaning that I have been responsible for the strategic and operational management of a school. I am also a parent of two young people with special educational needs, I know and understand the challenges that parents/ carers face when attempting to obtain the right advice and support for their child. Over the past year, I have worked at the Powerhouse running the Easter and summer playschemes, running a youth club for young people with SEND and providing support for parents/ carers of SEND children and young people. I am passionate about ensuring that all learners make outstanding progress regardless of their differing starting points.

No. of complaints recived throught the school year Sept 2023 onwards

With our company ethos being “through understanding we will empower each individual to achieve their aspirations”, we shorten this to Understand, Empower, Aspire and display these icons as reminders across all services. No where stands out as a better example of this ethos than our school.

Education at the iMap school is bespoke and tailored to each individual’s needs, preferences, qualities, abilities, interests, challenges and learning style. With a low arousal structured school environment, we provide learning spaces adapted to meet sensory preferences that are personalised for each pupil. We take the utmost care in the personal well-being of each student and members of our school community.

This is because our specialist trained staff have a technical knowledge and Understanding of evidence-informed approaches associated with good autism practice, and we are able to adapt these approaches so that we can provide our bespoke, person-centred support and education.

This Empowers them to excel in whatever strengths that they have and supports them through any difficulties. With a focus on long term results and success, we encourage reflection with the students on their past achievements as well as future achievements and Aspirations.

We understand each individual is different and has different aspirations, and from an outside perspective, someone may judge that one aspiration is better than another. At iMap we understand that an aspiration is an aspiration, whatever it may be, and it is important and valuable to that individual, whether it is getting into higher education or just being capable of living more independently we will support that individual to achieve it and never disqualify their ambitions in life, yet we will always encourage them to aim as high as possible.


Our school is part of the iMap Centre group, it is based in a beautiful 84 acre site in Barrowmore, rural Cheshire. The school provided high quality inclusive education for young people with Autism, complex learning, communication and sensory integration needs. The curriculum support is personalised to ensure that each student can achieve their academic, social and life skills potential. We offer education provision from the age of 7 to 19 for up to twenty pupils.
We promote excellent personal development and academic achievement alongside progression in communication skills, choice, independence and social skills. Our education team work to create a structured learning environment where students can reach their full potential.
The school strives to provide a curriculum that is diverse and stimulating, and often having to find new ways to engage learners.  School aims to engage with the local area as much as possible, and this has been explored through Coffee Mornings, Charity fun days and work experience.
We aim to create levels of independence for all pupils, and therefore work on upskilling them in their living skills, from cooking, paying bills, applying for jobs, to even creating a mock polling station to allow them to vote.

  • To empower each individual to achieve their aspirations
  • To enrich through a broad, balanced curriculum
  • To provide skills, knowledge and understanding
  • To achieve individual EHCP outcomes
  • To prepare students for life following education at iMap
  • We are adaptable and cater for a wide range of abilities within the school population,
  • We are person centred, intuitive, and responsive to individual need and ‘spikey profiles’,
  • We provide full access to the national curriculum, scaffolding appropriately to enable all,
  • We deliver and monitor though highly qualified teaching staff and teaching assistants,
  • We provide routine, use concrete language, direct teaching and provide minimal sensory stimulation.
  • We provide frequent and regular opportunities for students to repeat, retrieve and generalise knowledge and skills across contexts,
  • We offer opportunity for real-life application of knowledge and skills to prepare pupils for increased independence,
  • We are sensitive to differences in sensory stimulation and communication,
  • We see and play to the strengths of neurodiversity.

A constant cycle of plan, do, review informs our intent, implementation and impact. Therefore, the assessment of our impact is the essential key to identify the success of our intent and implementation. We establish this though a variety of means;

  • Where appropriate, the success of accreditation and qualifications,
  • Confidence and self-worth assessed through student voice and multidisciplinary meetings,
  • Communication skills gained evidenced through regular pupil review meetings,
  • Life skills measured by the opportunities our students access post iMap,
  • Emotional regulation, identified through our PBS informed tracking systems with guidance from our clinical lead.
The curriculum covers seven areas of learning:
  1. Linguistic
  2. Mathematical 
  3. Scientific
  4. Technological 
  5. Human and social
  6. Physical 
  7. Aesthetic and creative

In meeting these areas, where appropriate, we access the Equals Curriculum and/ or the adapted National Curriculum depending on the needs of the learner.

The school follows a range of accreditation routes from:

ASDAN in Personal Progress and Personal, Social Development, ranging from Entry Level 1 to Entry Level 3.

NOCN Functional skills in English, Maths and ICT, Level 1 to Level 3.

We work in partnership with local colleges, employers and community projects to extend the curriculum into vocational subjects and offer work experience opportunities.

14+ education

The school caters for young people up-to the age of 19, where we ensure that we deliver a bespoke curriculum that meets their needs, and prepares them for the transition to adulthood, and independence.

The focus is on developing a range of functional skills, including social interaction, communication skills, financial awareness, leisure activities etc. We make use of our local community’s facilities as much as possible to ensure a practical hands-on experience.

"iMap school is a place where individuals are understood and thrive. I am so proud of our inspirational community."

Andrea Nelson

Principal of iMap School
“iMap have helped to fund and build a village school in Burkina Faso, Africa. The school now educates and feeds some 150+ children.”
Martin Mckevvit

Martin Mckevitt

Proprietor of iMap School

Other iMap Services

"Teachers and support staff have excellent relationships with pupils and manage pupils' learning effectively...even the most reluctant learners re-engage with learning"
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Report 2019
"Pupils' behaviour shows excellent improvement from the time they arrive at the iMap Centre"
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Report 2019

Prospective parents and students are welcome to come and visit the iMap Centre. Please contact us for an appointment.

  • iMap School Unit 4a Barrowmore Estate Barhouse Lane Great Barrow CH3 7JA
  • 01829 741 869
  • schoolenquiries@imapcentre.co.uk

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    Contact Details

    Barnhouse Lane, Great Barrow, Chester, CH3 7JA