North Hill House, a residential school in Frome, Somerset for children with autism, has been praised by the education watchdog for its “outstanding” residential care and its “outstanding” outcomes for residential pupils.
In its latest report, Ofsted said access to activities in the school and the wider community provided “excellent” opportunities for personal development and fulfilment among its students.
North Hill House, run by the Priory Group, is an independent residential school for boys and girls aged six to 19.
Inspectors said its students “benefit from the fantastic commitment and dedication of staff. The school places the well-being of students at the centre of their practice. Students are provided with an excellent range of facilities and resources to experience purposeful and enjoyable activities”.
They added: “There is an extensive wealth of knowledge and experience amongst the staff across the school. Such skills are a significant factor in contributing to the excellent progress students make.”
Ofsted said students lived in an environment where health and safety was “exceptionally well” promoted, there are good staffing levels, and the leadership and management of the school was good. Staff were also “highly skilled” in understanding students with autism and complex needs.
The school had worked innovatively and closely with the local police to increase knowledge of autism and Asperger’s syndrome, and with it students’ understanding of the justice system. Police community support officers were now encouraging other schools and colleges to “adopt this excellent practice”.
Overall, the school was rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted.
Mark Underwood, Chief Executive Officer of Priory Education Services, said:“This hugely positive independent report is a reflection of the considerable efforts made by staff, residents, and their families every day. Working together, including with the local community, for the most positive outcomes for our young people is at the heart of everything we do.”