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Council congratulates special schools on Ofsted achievement

24 February 2016

Essex County Council is congratulating the county’s special schools after it was confirmed all 19 are now rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted.

The achievement comes after Ramsden Hall School, in Ramsden Heath, was rated as good by inspectors earlier this month.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Essex has some fantastic schools and I am delighted we are now in a position where every special school in the county is rated as good or outstanding.

“I would like to thanks pupils, staff and parents for their continued hard work and commitment.

“Despite this success, we are not complacent and are working closely with the Essex Special School Education Trust (ESSET) to ensure pupils continue to receive the best possible education and the needs of every child are met.”

Gary Smith, Headteacher at Market Field School, near Colchester, and chairman of ESSET, added: “It has always been a privilege to be part of a brilliant team of schools.

“For all of our schools to be performing at this level is no mean feat and we should all feel very proud; all involved are a real credit to our profession.”

Moving forward, Essex County Council plans to spend about £80million over the next three to five years on creating new special school places across Essex.

Among the new places will be 95 extra spaces at Glenwood School in Thundersley, which the council is looking to relocate to a new state-of-the-art two-storey building on the neighbouring former Montgomerie Infant School site.

The council is also in the process of establishing eight new autism support centres (four primary and four secondary) at mainstream schools in Essex for September 2016, along with four special school hubs. The hubs will offer expert advice and also keep schools updated on innovative practice. 

The autism support centres will offer places for those young people who find the social challenges of mainstream school difficult, as well as providing family support and training for other Essex schools.