The Loddon School

Name The Loddon School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 10 July 2018
Address Wildmoor Lane, Sherfield-on-Loddon, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 0JD
Phone Number 01256884600
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 8-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 25 (84% boys 16% girls)
Local Authority Hampshire
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No, we only have catchment area data for schools in England
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The current headteacher joined shortly after the last inspection. The Loddon School is a special school that provides year-round education and care for pupils with autistic spectrum disorders compounded by extreme and challenging behaviour. Many pupils have additional disabilities such as epilepsy and very severe communication disorders. Pupils’ attainment is well below that typical for their chronological age. The school only admits pupils who have the most severe learning difficulties. Every pupil has an education, health and care (EHC) plan. All pupils have been excluded from their previous special schools, or their previous school has been unable to meet their current needs on their EHC plan. The school was established as a charitable trust in 1988 and currently has 28 pupils on roll. Almost all are boys. All pupils are funded by their home authority. Almost all pupils are children looked after. The aim of the school is to provide for the needs of the pupils through a multi-disciplinary approach so that pupils can achieve as much independence in adult life as possible. The school is set within 10 acres of grounds, which include animal paddocks, an orchard, allotment, outdoor exercise gym and play equipment, a sensory room and playground, and a nature and cycle trail. There is an indoor swimming pool. The school does not use alternative provision. The school was last inspected in July 2015.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school Pupils thrive at Loddon. They make exceptional progress in all aspects of their learning. Consequently, they are very well prepared for life beyond school. Leaders are highly ambitious for pupils. They expect and get the very best from staff. Leaders have made significant improvements to the curriculum since the last inspection. They are putting in place an even clearer way to ensure that all staff have the highest expectations of pupils. Pupils’ personal development is exemplary. Highly knowledgeable, multidisciplinary teams make life-changing differences for pupils. Pupils make significant gains in their physical and mental health. Pupils’ behaviour improves significantly over time. Highly effective teaching ensures that pupils learn the appropriate communication strategies that they need to thrive. Leaders have ensured that all independent school standards are met. Staff have exemplary insight into the abilities of individual pupils. Assessment is outstanding, including the analysis of pupils’ unwanted or unsafe behaviours. There is nothing that leaders and staff do not think about or provide for pupils. Safeguarding is highly effective. Trustees, leaders and staff have absolute clarity about the additional vulnerabilities of Loddon pupils. Leaders have created a culture where adults are able to contribute fully and challenge each other where they feel things could be improved. Older students are fully integrated into the school. Thus, all of the exceptional features of the school apply equally to the sixth form. Large numbers of staff join the school to train and learn each year. New staff are not as confident or effective in their interactions with pupils. Established staff play the role of ‘experts’ exceptionally well. 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.