What is ACE (Alternative Creative Education)

ACE is a range of bespoke personal development programmes that engage and inspire learning.

We support young people who may have fixed term or permanent exclusion from mainstream schools or pupil referral units; are repeatedly absent without permission; are too anxious or phobic to attend their schools; have an education health and care plan or have social emotional or behavioural difficulties. ACE provides high quality alternative provision that offers creative access to education and provides equal opportunity for achievement and accreditation. We implement early intervention programmes for vulnerable learners, improving communication across services and schools in order to impact positively on the outcomes for young people.

“Gorse Hill Studios is an incredibly warm and aspiration learning environment. Their ability, not only to engage the most vulnerable and ‘hard to reach’ pupils, but to make them feel part of a family has a real impact on student’s self-image. I can honestly say that attending the celebration event in the summer term has been one of the highlights of my time as Virtual Head and I was immensely proud of the achievement of our young people. It was great to see all their artwork on display and to watch the music and dance performances. The film ‘Gore Hill’ showcased some incredible talents, not least their blood curdling media makeup skills. I look forward to working together with Gorse Hill Studios in the coming year and witnessing the incredible achievements of the children and young people they work with.”

Lynsey Burridge
Virtual Head for Looked After Children, Trafford MBC

Ryan’s Case Study

(identity has been changed)

Ryan’s referral came via an Education Welfare Officer from Manchester City Council, the main reason for referral was a diagnosis of ADHD, compounded by school refusal and behavioral issues. Ryan was 10 years old (Year 6) and had attended a number of primary schools. Ryan’s parent was instrumental in securing the support for their child and working with all professionals to best support Ryan.
Ryan struggled to adapt to mainstream education and had outbursts of anger and rage. Initially Ryan was introduced to the ACE programme one day per week, whilst still attending mainstream school for 4 days per week.
A bespoke timetable was introduced, involving script writing and film making, working with a videographer Ryan wrote and created a short film. Ryan was able to concentrate, engage and learn new skills; he quickly achieved his Bronze Arts Award. Youth work staff supported Ryan to understand the triggers for his behavior and work towards building strategies at stressful and difficult times at school. During PEP meetings the school reported that Ryan’s behaviour had improved and he was able to concentrate for longer periods in lessons and interact positively with his peers. Ryan was nearing the end of Year 6 and had attended the ACE programme for 9 months, he was supported by both schools and Gorse Hill Studios with the transition to high school.
Ryan’s education health care plan included continued support during Year 7 from the ACE programme, Ryan attended one day per week to allow for flexibility and support to be in place if needed. After an initial positive start, during the autumn term the large, busy mainstream school was difficult for Ryan to adapt to full time. In addition to this Ryan received additional diagnoses; autism, dysgraphia, and began to struggle with his behavior during lessons. Ryan began attending the ACE programme 3 days per week, which has progressed to 4 days. This includes a timetable involving maths, english, physical activities, film making, group work and a project involving care of animals.


Gorse Hill Studios accept referrals at any time, we are able to respond quickly to all referrals and arrange to meet young people for an initial consultation. We work with referring agencies and will arrange each individual young person’s alternative provision as flexibly as possible. Following the consultation we are able to quickly implement a timetable and begin the ACE programme.

Please contact us for further information, referral forms and costings:


Telephone: 0161 866 8356