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  • Colnbrook School
    Hayling Road
    WD19 7UY
  • Head: Caroline Aplin
  • T 020 8428 1281
  • F 020 8421 5359
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A special state school for pupils aged from 4 to 11 with autism, learning difficulties and speech and language difficulties. 
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Hertfordshire
  • Pupils: 101
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Outstanding 2
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Outstanding 2
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 2
    • 1 Short inspection 7th March 2017
    • 2 Full inspection 24th October 2013

    Short inspection reports only give an overall grade; you have to read the report itself to gauge whether the detailed grading from the earlier full inspection still stands.

  • Previous Ofsted grade: Outstanding on 4th December 2008
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Colnbrook is able to cater for and support the full spectrum of academic ability. A couple of ex-pupils have been able to attend university, and one went on to a music degree, having received the highest grades possible on his qualifying course. Many mothers start out as helpers and are later employed by the school. ‘It’s like the mafia. Once you’re in, there’s only one way out!’ Older children are formally trained to be play leaders where they learn how to teach other children to play constructively. They wear a tabard and hat and it is then their responsibility to organise games ...


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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2018, Caroline Aplin. Joined from Grangewood School, a primary for children with severe learning difficulties and physical and complex needs, where she was assistant head. Degrees from Roehampton (BAQTS, theology) and Kingston (MA, SEN). Worked in infant schools before joining Grangewood as a class teacher in 2010.


Children must have an EHCP. Around half of the pupils have have autism spectrum disorder, 40 per cent learning difficulties and 10 per cent speech and language difficulties. Requests for places have to come through local authorities. Children travel in from a 20 mile radius. Pupils can join at any stage: mid-year and mid-term if there is a space.

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Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

Colnbrook is a Primary School for children with moderate learning difficulties. At present, the school can cater for up to 80 children between the ages of 4 and 11 years with an additional 10 places in the Autism Base. At Colnbrook we aim to provide a stimulating, happy, secure educational environment for our children in order to encourage them to develop social and academic skills in accordance with each individual's ability. We aim to help our children make the most of their capabilities. We believe that children learn best when they are happy and satisfied and we make every effort to ensure that they find their work both interesting and rewarding. We believe that the children learn best when they have a positive self-image and this is only achieved through a child having successful learning experiences. Colnbrook is the first Special School in Hertfordshire to have been awarded the Basic Skills Agency's Quality Mark for its teaching of Literacy and Numeracy. It has recently become the first Special School in Hertfordshire to reach the standard for the School Self Evaluation Award. Colnbrook was judged to be an “outstanding school” by Ofsted in their report dated October 2005 Nov 09.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory Y
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

most years
quite often
sometimes, but not in this year

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