Side By Side School

Name Side By Side School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 06 March 2018
Address 9 Big Hill, London, E5 9HH
Phone Number 02088808300
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Hackney
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Pupils with SEN Support 23.8%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Side By Side School is an independent special day school serving the Jewish community in North London. Pupils experience a wide range of difficulties, ranging from profound and multiple to moderate learning difficulties. Many have additional complex medical needs. Pupils with education, health and care plans currently stay on roll to the age of 16 or 19. However, the school does not offer separate sixth-form provision. Those without SEN and/or disabilities move into mainstream education prior to their fifth birthday. Children in the Nursery Year attend full time and are taught ‘side by side’, regardless of their ability or needs. Pupils come from a range of ethnic backgrounds. A small proportion of pupils speak English as an additional language. Some are bilingual, speaking English and Yiddish, or English and Hebrew, at home. Most pupils are from an Orthodox Jewish background. The school is currently operating outside its registration agreement. This is because its registered maximum capacity with the DfE is 80. There are currently 89 pupils on roll. The school’s trustees have purchased new premises. They plan, depending on gaining the relevant planning permissions and the duration of building works, to relocate the school to these premises in 2019. The school makes no use of alternative provision. The school’s last full standard inspection was in December 2014.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The headteacher leads this unique school for pupils who have a wide range of complex needs with passion and drive. He, his team and the governors have ensured that the school meets all the independent school standards. The curriculum is balanced, relevant and appropriate in meeting pupils’ special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities. The quality of teaching and pupils’ outcomes are good, including in the early years provision. Teachers, therapists and learning support assistants work together effectively to meet pupils’ varied and complex learning needs. As a result, pupils make good progress. Safeguarding is effective. Pupils are well looked after. The multi-disciplinary staff team cares deeply about pupils. Parents and carers trust the school’s staff to keep their children as safe as possible. Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding; they love their school. Pupils were eager to show inspectors what they were learning, and are very proud of their achievements. Parents and carers are extremely positive. They say that the school excels in communicating with them and that their children are safe, stimulated and happy. Leaders are improving their assessment system. It is designed to track pupils’ progress as robustly in all subjects as it does in English and mathematics. Leaders acknowledge that they have not paid enough attention to detail when documenting safeguarding concerns, referrals, and communication with external agencies. They also now know that they must seek permission from the Department for Education (DfE) to change their registration agreement. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school meets the requirements of the schedule to The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.