A SCHOOL for youngsters with special educational needs has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted just months after opening its doors to pupils.

Inspectors delivered a glowing report of Clay Hill school, which in an independent co-educational day special school for pupils aged between five and 19 and which opened in April.

The inspection team praised the achievement of pupils at the Priory grouprun school in Lyndhurst, all of whom have some sort of special needs in relation to autism and associated learning difficulties.

The report said: l Activities and approaches are tailor-made for each pupil. These are based on the extensive understanding staff have of autism and their careful discussions with, and observations of, individuals.

l Pupils’ academic achievements, especially in literacy, communication and mathematics, are given a high priority. Although none of the pupils have been at the school long, they are all achieving well.

l Strong teamwork contributes to effective teaching and care. Staff at all levels frequently share observations and experiences. Ideas from all staff are used to develop sensitive and extensive programmes for all the pupils.

l Pupils behave well because they feel listened to and because the anxieties and challenges they face are supported effectively.

Systems for safeguarding are fully in place.

l The school is led and managed well. There is a strong emphasis on teaching and achievement. The proprietors have close contact with the school and make sure that all requirements are in place.

l Parents are happy with the school and are positive about all that it offers to their children.

Principal Karen Gaster said: “I am extremely proud of everyone involved in the education we provide at Priory Clay Hill School. The very positive report is testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and the engagement of the pupils and their families and carers and highlights how far we have come since opening.

To achieve the most positive outcomes possible for our children and young people is at the heart of everything we do and to receive independent verification of that school from Ofsted is incredibly rewarding.

“However, we will not rest on our laurels and are continuing to look for innovative ways top enhance our provision even further and achieve our ultimate aim of achieving outstanding outcomes for the children and young people.”

To become an outstanding school inspectors recommended improving the use of visual communication systems and for managers to ensure that fine detail in documents is properly understood.

l To read the report in full log onto dailyecho.co.uk/education.