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There is a gracious dining room, painted in Farrow and Ball type colours, with a grand fireplace and paintings. When we visited pupils were enjoying a menu of butternut squash and coconut soup, and spicy Thai fishcake. If you’re thinking such things would never pass your autistic child’s lips, prepare to be amazed. The ethos always to maximise opportunities means they are bold about the experiences pupils are offered, as one parent explained: ‘Their attitude to risk management is…

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2014, Sophie Clarke, previously the school’s deputy for seven years. The first head we’ve met to have ‘pop star’ and a number one single in the dance charts on her CV. It’s been a circuitous route to the role, but one that brought her right back home – mother was also head of a special school (Tankerville, in Eastleigh, Hants). She started her working life helping out at Tankerville, then diverted off to work on electronic pop albums, including singing on White Town’s number one album.

But Tankerville had given her the bug for autism, and deciding the music industry wasn’t a nice one, she took a post as a TA at Lankhills special school in Winchester, and then as an unqualified teacher at Osborne School also in Winchester, where...

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Special Education Needs

Purbeck View School is a residential school specialising in the care and education of students with a diagnosis of autism, or whose difficulties place them on the autistic continuum. Our students often have complex needs, associated learning difficulties and challenging behaviours. Purbeck offers both 38 and 52 week placements for 48 pupils between the ages of 9 and 19. For students living close to the school there is flexibility for day provision. Admission can take place at any time during the school year. Purbeck View is a part of Cambian Education, the largest provider of specialist residential education and care for young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in the United Kingdom. Purbeck View draws upon a proven programme of Specialist Education, Specialist 24-hour Care and a wide range of Clinical and Therapeutic Inputs, including Speech & Language Therapy, Behavioural Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychiatry and Psychology. Multi-disciplinary teams and high staff ratios ensure intensive individual support. We offer extensive community-based programmes, vocational training and further education opportunities. Purbeck is located in the beautiful south coast town of Swanage, Dorset, giving students access to all the amenities of the local community plus the Purbeck Hills and coastline trails.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers 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 Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
Not Applicable
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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