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  • Colnbrook School
    Hayling Road
    WD19 7UY
  • Head: Caroline Aplin
  • T 020 8428 1281
  • F 020 8421 5359
  • E
  • 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: 99
  • 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. Over the past decade, with approximately 17 leavers per year, two have been able to attend university. One recent ex-pupil is about to embark upon a music degree, having received the highest grades possible on his qualifying course. Close-knit school in which parents are very involved. 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!’ One-to-one support is given...

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What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2018, Caroline Aplin. Joins 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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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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