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  • Dawn House School
    Helmsley Road
    NG21 0DQ
  • Head: Mrs Jenny McConnell Bsc, Npqsl
  • T 01623 795361
  • F 01623 491173
  • E enquiries@dawnhou…
  • W
  • A special independent school for boys and girls aged from 5 to 19. Type of SEN provision: ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder; Aspergers; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders; Dyscalculia; Dyslexia; SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health; SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication.
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Nottinghamshire
  • Pupils: 94
  • Religion: Does not apply
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 2
    • 1 Short inspection 29th June 2023
    • 2 Full inspection 11th March 2014

    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: Good on 6th April 2011
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Some children need certain props, such as a prompt key ring, to keep them focused. It’s part of life at Dawn House, the children are as likely to remind others not to forget their wobble cushion or whatever as staff. More academically able students attend lessons such as English language and English literature at partner mainstream schools, supported by Dawn House staff. One child did maths A level with help from an external tutor who came to the school ...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2018, Jenny McConnelll. Interestingly, she has a therapy background, rather than an educational one. Says that this brings knowledge ‘about how these young people learn best’.

Joined Dawn House 24 years ago as speech and language therapist. In 2000 became speech and language therapy co-ordinator, which included leading on behaviour and safeguarding. Promoted to head of therapy from 2010, before becoming vice principal in 2016.

Previous head only stayed for about 10 months, and Mrs McConnell was made acting principal in 2017, before her appointment was finalised in 2018. Parents approve of the appointment. One who had been worried about the previous head leaving after such a short time, said, ‘I do think they’ve got the right head in place now’. Others say that she is ‘dedicated’...

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Please note: 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

Dawn House School is committed to the highest quality education, therapy and care for day or residential pupils with a communication disability. Children and young people work towards external accreditation (GCSE, CoA, Youth Award Scheme), national awards for academic, sporting and personal achievements while developing their communication skills and growing in confidence and experience. The Ofsted inspection report commented: ‘A very effective school, where teaching and learning are very good. Pupils make very impressive progress in developing their speech, language and communication skills, as well as their personal and social development. Pupils demonstrate outstanding attitudes, behaviour and social skills, which are the result of highly positive and thoughtfully structured support that always seeks to encourage independence.’ Dawn House School's FE provision, in partnership with West Nottinghamshire Further Education College, enables students aged 16 to 19 to access mainstream college opportunities whilst receiving specialist support. Please note: the school will cater for mild emotional and behavioural difficulties where this emanates from the communication difficulty. School has experience of other genetic disorders eg Worster Drout which have associated communication difficulties.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dyslexia Y
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
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 Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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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