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Harrow special school rated outstanding again as it maintains highest standards for a decade

A special school in North London has been awarded its second consecutive ‘outstanding’ rating, following a recent Ofsted inspection.

It means the school, which is said to deliver ‘high ambition with great success’,  has been able to maintain the highest standards consistently over the past decade.

Located on Whittlesea Road in Harrow, Kingsley High School provides specialist education for pupils with a range of special needs, including severe learning difficulties, autism, and sensory impairment.

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It was rated outstanding after an inspection in January, maintaining the standard it set following a previous visit from the education watchdog in 2014.

The latest report describes a ‘deep sense of care and positive energy’ that permeates the school, with staff making sure pupils’ health, care, social and academic needs are ‘forensically planned’. Inspectors said that this makes for a ‘happy school, full of smiles’.

The report states: “The teaching, support and therapeutic staff work in unison to deliver this high ambition with great success. Staff give them guidance to play their part in helping their children reach their goals for the future.”

It adds: “Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes are strong. Staff are adept at noticing the signs when a pupil might have rising anxiety. Pupils, therefore, settle down quickly as they get the care, support and teaching they need right from the start.”

The school leaders have worked hard to continue revamping and developing a ‘highly ambitious curriculum. Based on a pupils’ education, health and care plan (EHCP), staff  create a completely bespoke learning plan which sets out a range of small targets. Once the target is reached, a new one is set and, as a result, pupils’ individual achievements are very high.

Teachers work closely with speech and language therapists as communication is ‘extremely high on the agenda’, using techniques that allow non-verbal pupils to participate.

However, it also offers a range of enrichment activities, including trips to the seaside, playing sports, and art. All classes take part in the annual ‘Kingsley’s Got Talent event’, where last year they made short musicals-based films.

Catering to 124 mixed-sex students between the ages of 11 and 19, the school is committed to ensuring pupils are well equipped for long-term success. When leaving Kingsley High, most students continue with courses at a local college, whilst others go on to other suitable placements.

A London Borough of Harrow spokesperson said: “It’s wonderful to see the hard work of Kingsley’s leaders, teachers and support staff recognised once again. The standards for achieving ‘Outstanding’ status are higher than ever so all staff and students should be particularly proud of this outcome. We look forward to seeing the school continue to go from strength to strength.”

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