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About Us

In April 2017 South Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust were awarded the opportunity to open Glendinning House in Newton Abbot, South Devon.  Working with Devon and Torbay County Councils, our new school responds to the lack of specialist school provision for students with social communication and interaction needs, including those on the Autism spectrum, in Newton Abbot and the surrounding area. 

At South Dartmoor Academy we believe that every child should have the opportunity to attend a school in their local area that enables them to flourish and achieve their potential. We currently have 7 schools within our trust providing education to children and young people age 2-19 in mainstream school. We are therefore delighted that we have been successful in our bid to open Glendinning House which will be a much needed, new and innovative school designed for children with social, communication and interaction needs.

Our children will be working outdoors every day using nature and theme based learning to cover the national curriculum. We are working closely with Devon and Torbay Local Authorities to ensure that our school meets the needs of the community. We hope you enjoy looking through our website and finding out more about Glendinning House.

Executive Head Rachel Shaw and Chair of Trustees SDMAT

Graeme Cock


Glendinning House plans to open to students in September 2020. 

We are a school for children aged from 7 to 19 (key stage 2 to key stage 5) with social interaction and communication needs including those on the Autism Spectrum.  Initially we will open with up to places for 48 children, growing to 120 students by 2024; this will include 12 sixth form places.  Our students will all have Education, Health and Care Plans.

Glendinning House will provide a personalised supportive environment with a curriculum set in the context of nature. Students will use outdoor learning to access the National Curriculum, developing communication, interaction, social and emotional skills.  Working in partnership with our students, and their parents/carers, Glendinning House will support our students academically and in their journey to independence.  These partnerships will play a vital role in ensuring our students enjoy, succeed and achieve. 

Lower school, years 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, will follow a project based learning approach.  Nature and the outdoors will be the basis for all learning, complimented by a personalised enrichment programme.  Pupils will work in groups of between 6 to 9, based on stage not age where appropriate, with a class teacher and 2 teaching assistants per group.  Year 9 is a transition year when students consider qualification options and begin to consider certain subjects individually.  Group sizes will rise to 9 students, with a class teacher and 1 or 2 teaching assistants.  This ratio will remain for Key Stage 4.  During years 10 and 11 students work towards personal qualifications alongside their communication, interaction, social and emotional curriculum.  Some of our students may choose to remain with us at Key Stage 5 for years 12 and 13, whilst others will be supported in their selection and transition to other colleges and places of training. 

The design of our new school creates the foundation for our curriculum providing both indoor and outdoor learning environments.  The needs of our potential students have been paramount in the development of our plans.


Timeline to Planned opening



As we head towards our planned opening in September 2020 we will achieve exciting milestones including the design and build of our new school, the appointment of our Head Teacher and staff team, the recruitment of school governors and development of relationships with the local and wider community.

Branding and Website Design

Admissions Statement Developed

Building design process begins (approx)

Website launches

Design & Build Technical Advisors assigned

Recruitment for Head Teacher begins

Building work begins (approx)

Staff Team Recruitment

Head Teacher starts in post

OFSTED pre-registration inspection

Readiness to open meeting

Glendinning House plans to open to first cohort