Downs View Special School


Name Downs View Special School
Website http://www.downsview.brighton-hove.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 13 June 2012
Address Warren Road, Woodingdean, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 6BB
Phone Number 01273601680
Type Special
Age Range 3-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 218 (68% boys 32% girls)
Local Authority Brighton and Hove
Percentage Free School Meals 50.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 15.1%

Information about the school

Downs View is an average size special school for pupils with severe learning difficulties who have very complex needs including sensory needs, autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). The number of pupils with ASC is proportionately larger than those with other needs. All pupils have statements identifying their special educational needs. There is post-16 provision at the link college on a separate site. It caters for students in Years 12, 13 and 14. The school provides for a very small number of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage. A larger than average proportion of pupils are known to be eligible for free school meals. Nearly a third of pupils are looked after children. The school has a small proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language.

Key findings

Downs View is an outstanding special school which is extremely effective in meeting the complex and diverse needs of its pupils. The sixth form, known as the Link College, is also outstanding. Parents are overwhelmingly positive in their views of the school. One parent summed up the views of all: ‘Every child, whatever their challenges, achieves their potential at Downs View.’ Pupils make exceptional progress helped by exemplary care, guidance and support, which parents and carers assert is extended to the family as a whole. Pupils’ excellent progress is demonstrated in vast improvements in communication skills, mobility and, for those for whom it is appropriate, outstanding improvement in behaviour. Teaching is unfailingly at least good and outstanding overall as a result. Teachers plan comprehensively to meet the individual needs of pupils and deploy additional adults in the classroom expertly enabling all pupils to flourish. The school has developed a range of assessment data so that the pupils’ outstanding progress is very clearly demonstrated. Behaviour and safety are outstanding and pupils show first-rate attitudes to their learning. The outstanding curriculum and exceptional promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness leads to pupils’ exemplary personal development and well-being. The senior leadership team works exceptionally well together and has a very clear understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for improvement. The rigorous management of teachers’ performance and excellent use of assessment information enable action on identified development areas to be prompt and effective, ensuring that all groups of pupils make equally strong progress. Since the last inspection the school has developed very strong middle management. These lead teachers have pioneered innovative approaches to enable pupils to make outstanding progress through fully engaging in their learning, which they plan to roll out across the school to enable even further improvements for all pupils.