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  • Ifield School
    Cedar Avenue
    DA12 5JT
  • Head: Abbie Birch
  • T 01474 365 485
  • F 01474 569 744
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A special state school for pupils aged from 4 to 19 with moderate to profound learning difficulties and autism
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Kent
  • Pupils: 223
  • 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 1st May 2018
    • 2 Full inspection 5th February 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: Outstanding on 9th June 2011
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

The school is bright, clean, full of personality and colour, and equipped with facilities you usually only see in independent schools. Some learning takes place in the school’s own offsite woodland – they go there to pond dip, make charcoal, and make up stories, and to work on confidence and team-building skills. How often do you hear of children at special schools going on overseas trips? At Ifield the attitude is ‘why not?’, and its pupils go on…

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What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Executive head

Since 2017, Abbie Birch. She had big shoes to step into, taking over from the much-loved head Pam Jones, who gained an OBE for services to education before retiring. Under Birch's watch the school has already produced another Ofsted outstanding; sometimes a tricky task after a change in leadership, but as a former Ofsted inspector, Birch knows better than most what is required.

Her career has spanned 14 years in both mainstream primary schools and special education. Before her stint at Ofsted, Birch was a headteacher for eight years and then executive headteacher of a federation of schools in areas of deprivation.

Academic matters

The school sits in a deprived area, and has higher than average numbers of pupils on free school meals, and for whom English is an additional language. But...

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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

Ifield School is a District Special School catering for 138 pupils with Special Educational Needs and is fully equipped to support the National Curriculum from Year 1 to Year 11. The School has been re-designated as the District Special School for the Gravesham Cluster to take pupils with more profound, severe and complex learning, communication and interaction difficulties from September 2004. The School aims to provide an attractive welcoming and stimulating environment that can develop pupils through the effective and appropriate delivery of the National Curriculum. The School seeks to develop in all a respect for the individual and an appreciation of quality. The School understands that every child has natural talents and abilities that can stand outside of their general underlying ability and seeks to support these. The staff see that the successful re-integration of pupils, when appropriate, is of the utmost importance. Staff endeavour to create, within classes, a well organised, conducive and ordered environment. The School aims to provide a happy and cheerful ethos that enables children to develop their confidence through success and praise.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
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
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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