Outstanding result for Eastbourne special school

The Lindfield School ... proud achievement
The Lindfield School ... proud achievement

A school for children with moderate and severe learning difficulties has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

The Lindfield School, in Hampden Park, Eastbourne, underwent a two-day inspection in December and the findings were published on January 14.

The report was greeted with delight by staff as it marked the successful end of a journey which started when the school given a notice to improve less than five years ago.

In a joint statement, executive headteacher Remo Palladino and head of school Kirsty McIlhargey said, “This transformative change is down to the exceptional dedication of the staff team, the growing strength of our federation with the South Downs School and the way that all the community have shared in our vision for improvement.”

The pair came in for praise from Ofsted inspectors Matthew Barnes and Jennifer Boyd.

Their report stated, “The executive headteacher has continued to secure rapid improvement to provision. His exceptional leadership is very well supported by the ambition and drive of the head of school.

“Together they have secured an unwavering focus among staff on pupils’ academic and social development. Consequently, staff work tirelessly together to provide an education that is carefully tailored to each pupil’s individual needs.”

Lindfield’s curriculum was described as “skilfully designed with pupils’ career pathways in mind” which had resulted in the children being “extremely well prepared” for the next stage in their education or training.

The quality of teaching was judged to be consistently of the highest standard, while the school’s core values – respect, honesty, trust and kindness – were seen to permeate through the actions of staff and pupils.

As for the pupils themselves, their behaviour was described as outstanding and their attitude to learning excellent.

The report stated, “Pupils are highly committed to their learning because teachers ensure that lessons are engaging and fun. Consequently, they make substantial and sustained progress in lessons and over time.

Mr Palladino and Ms McIlhargey said they were delighted the inspectors had recognised what an effective school Lindfield was, and the fact the pupils loved attending.

They added, “Leaders at the school were very pleased to see that the inspectors recognised an unwavering focus on pupils’ academic and social development which leads to pupils gaining the experiences and qualifications that mean they are ‘extremely well prepared for the next stage in their education or training’.”

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