Top plaudits for special school

MAINTAINING HIGH STANDARDS: Teachers and children at Hillside Special School in Sudbury.
MAINTAINING HIGH STANDARDS: Teachers and children at Hillside Special School in Sudbury.

A Sudbury school for children with severe learning difficulties has been rated as outstanding – for the third time in a row.

Hillside Special School in Hitchcock Place was deemed to excel in every area following a visit by Ofsted.

Inspectors looked at the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, the behaviour and safety of children and the school’s leadership and management.

It is the third time in succession that Hillside has received an outstanding rating – Ofsted’s highest – after similar successes in 2006 and 2009.

Headteacher Sue Upson said she was delighted the school was maintaining its high standards.

“On each occasion, the standards required to achieve outstanding have been raised by Ofsted,” she said. “I am very pleased as this is recognition that Hillside continues to go from strength to strength.”

Inspectors visited the school at the end of January and sat in on 13 lessons.

They were impressed with the care and support pupils were given as well as the imaginative teaching of staff.

“I feel that this is a remarkable achievement and everyone involved with the school should feel very proud,” said Mrs Upson, who has been headteacher since 2005.

“I am particularly pleased that Ofsted recognised the excellent teamwork in the school and its contribution to Hillside’s on-going success.

“We have a highly skilled and dedicated staff team who work really well together to meet children’s individual needs and help them to achieve their full potential.”

Lead inspector Debra McCarthy said: “A lot of outstanding teaching was seen during the inspection and, when it was good, there was very little that could be improved upon.”