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  • Polam Hall School
    Grange Road
    County Durham
    DL1 5PA
  • Head: Kate Reid
  • T 01325 463383
  • F 01325 383539
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A state school for boys and girls aged from 4 to 19.
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Darlington
  • Pupils: 714; sixth formers: 47
  • Religion: Christian Inter-denominational
  • Fees: Day free; Boarding; £10,164 - £10,785 pa
  • Open days: October, November and January
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Requires improvement 1
      • 16-19 study programmes Requires improvement 1
      • Early years provision Good 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Requires improvement 1
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Requires improvement 1
      • Personal development, behaviour and welfare Requires improvement 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Requires improvement 1
    • 1 Full inspection 19th April 2018
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Crucially, there is a sense of a shared, warm, caring community throughout with staff and pupils clearly proud of the school they have created here. Remaining true to its Quaker roots, there are few formal rules but very clear guidelines as to sanctions; high standards of courtesy and behaviour expected and delivered, based on respect for self and others. A broad cross-section of abilities, backgrounds and cultures here in a community that welcomes diversity. Accommodation not luxurious but rather…

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What the school says...

As a Free School, Polam Hall is funded by the state, while remaining fully independent in all the areas that matter. Day pupils are admitted without fees in accordance with the national admissions code. Like academies, the School is independent of local authority control, with our own governing body. Our distinctive curriculum, pastoral values and ethos have all been enhanced and improved in line with our new vision and we continue to offer boarding for 60 pupils. Boarders do not pay fees for tuition; they will pay for board and lodging only. Find out more at ...Read more

What the parents say...

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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Excellent performance by Boys taking History at an English Independent School (GCE AS level)

Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

School associations

State boarding school

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2017, Kate Reid, previously vice principal of Liverpool College. Degree in English from Leeds; taught in Essex and Cheshire before joining Liverpool College, where she helped to guide its transition from independent school to state academy. She oversaw teaching, learning and curriculum development from EYFS to sixth form, and is a passionate advocate of all-through schools.

Head of junior school is Catherine Lawton MEd (Man) BA (Sunderland) PGCE (Liverpool) NPQH. Specialist in maths, ICT and music, has taught the whole primary age range.

Head of infant department since 2014 is Linzi Mawson. She has a BEd in biological science and PE from the University of Derby. Joined in 1995 as year 2 form teacher and creative curriculum coordinator. A fully qualified swimming instructor, she enjoys teaching...

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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.

Special Education Needs

Experienced, specialist staff offer SEN and EAL provision in both the Junior and Senior School. Our Learning Support Unit caters for a wide spectrum of special needs. Our SEN staff are supported by classroom assistants and a number of local outside Agencies.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
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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