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Each goal is a tiny step towards a social or functional end (eg indicating a piece of clothing) as a first step on the journey to dressing yourself. ‘Everything with my child takes forever’, sighed one mum. ‘The patience and resilience is unbelievable’. The teaching emphasises functional skills in an individual timetable. ‘Generalisation is the thing the kids have most difficulty with,’ said the head. We witnessed a high-energy assembly with singing and signing; remarkably, none of the children appeared hypersensitive to the whooping choruses. One boy sang solo...

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What the school says...

Rainbow School uses Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behaviour (VB) to educate children and young people aged 4 to 19 years with autism and related communication disorders. The school is located across two sites in Wandsworth, South West London and was founded in 2000 by parents of children with autism. Rainbow School teaches children and young people with autism how to learn and empowers them with the life skills they need to live as independent a life as possible – from speech and language, self-care and motor skills, right through to reading, writing and maths. ...Read more

What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since February 2016, David Anthony BA PGCE NASENCo. Education includes a degree in fashion promotion from the London College of Fashion, a PGCE in media from the Central School of Speech and Drama and a masters level award in SEN co-ordination, management and leadership from the Institute of Education. Posts at Centre Academy London between 2005 and 2015 included deputy head and SEN co-ordinator; he joined the Rainbow School in 2015 as head of sixth form. He has extensive experience and knowledge of key stages 4 and 5 and designing and implementing curricula for young people with autism to gain the skills required for adult life.

Head of lower school since September 2016, Kieran Bird BSc PGCE. He has worked in both mainstream and SEN education, specialising in understanding behaviour and...

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Special Education Needs

Rainbow School teaches children and young people aged 4 to 19 years with autism and related communication disorders. We’re an independent, non-profit day school, registered with the Department of Education as an Approved Independent Special Needs School. Rainbow School has two sites (primary and secondary) in Wandsworth, South West London. However, we take pupils from all over the city. We use ‘intensive intervention’ to structure our programme, using the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and B F Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behaviour (VB). Teaching with ABA/VB reduces challenging behaviour and helps pupils to build on their social, play and independence skills read more at

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
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 Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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