The demands made on special schools are unique, but many of the features of great schools which inform our work with primary and secondary schools, also apply to this distinctive group of schools:
- Building leadership capacity all levels across the school
- Creating a learning environment informed by shared and clearly articulated values
- Effective use of data to inform next steps in learning
- Strong partnerships with families to inform the learning process
Our work with special schools started in 2005 with a collaboration with two innovative and highly regarded special schools in Essex. These schools recognised that to improve their effectiveness and to advance achievement for their students, they needed to build better systems, develop their staff and create an environment in which all students were able to realise their full potential.
That group extended to six schools in the following years and the partnership continues today. Each of the schools has a particular story of success and achievement to tell, such as Southview School in Witham which advanced from an Ofsted category to an outstanding judgement in just a few years; and Glenwood School who advanced from a Satisfactory rating at the outset of the partnership to be judged as outstanding in their past two inspections.