School earns outstanding rating for work with autistic

Ofsted praise for Swalcliffe Park school, near Bloxham

Ofsted praise for Swalcliffe Park school, near Bloxham

First published in Education Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

A SCHOOL which provides an education for autistic boys has been rated “outstanding” by Ofsted for helping its pupils overcome and understand their difficulties.

Residential school Swalcliffe Park, near Bloxham, has 45 pupils and includes a sixth-form. Its headteacher, Kiran Hingorani, was delighted that inspectors recognised the differences between its teaching and that of a mainstream school.

Mr Hingorani said: “For a school like ours, where the boys come with a whole host of difficulties, my concern was we would just be judged on academic progress – but the work we do is so much broader.

“We are pleased the inspectors made reference to outstanding academic and personal progress, which to me is particularly important because personal progress is what changes lives.”

In his report, inspector Frank Price said: “The high level of personalisation and support ensures that no student is disadvantaged.

“The school goes the extra mile to reduce any hindrances to learning and the outstanding residential provision ensures students are well-prepared and receptive to learning.”

He pointed to how intervention groups had improved social, thinking and verbal skills and highlighted a role-play activity where children had to work out appropriate communication methods for formal and informal settings.

Mr Hingorani said: “The boys who come to us have generally had disrupted and unhappy experiences of education and have quite often been through a number of settings before they get to us.

“One of the first things is to make sure we have a thorough understanding of the complexity of their needs.”

Major renovation work is being carried out to the residential facilities at the school.

Work is due to be finished in 2014.

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