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  • Swiss Cottage School
    80 Avenue Road
    NW8 6HX
  • Head: Vijita Patel
  • T 020 7681 8080
  • E [email protected]
  • W www.swisscotta…
  • A special state school for pupils aged from 2 to 19 with complex learning, communication and physical difficulties
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Camden
  • Pupils: 236
  • 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 3rd May 2017
    • 2 Full inspection 30th January 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 12th March 2010
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Parents were appreciative that pupils are encouraged to become independent and not reliant on a teaching assistant. ‘There is actual learning here, they are learning to read and write,’ said one parent. ‘My child likes the activities and has friends and is very happy and wants to come to school each day - even in the holidays!’ Pictures of the pupils on their school trips, not only in London but also to the countryside or seaside on residential stays for horse riding, rock climbing and sailing. No mollycoddling of these children, who are encouraged to be resilient and independent. Pupils higher up the school are developing attitude and confidence from interactions and responsibilities - ‘I serve drinks and cakes to parents. I am good at welcoming and being friendly’...

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What the school says...

Swiss Cottage is a highly successful Specialist SEN School for Cognition and Learning with a national and international reputation. We cater for children with a range of complex difficulties; primarily learning, communication and physical. We are listed in Ofsted's 'Hall of Fame' after four 'outstanding' inspections and we are a Champion Investors in People Organisation. ...Read more

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2016, Vijita Patel (40s), previously deputy head since 2012; hails from the States, where she took her first degree initially in maths and sciences, though converted to primary education after meeting a child with autism at risk of exclusion. Her dissertation on legislation and barriers to schooling for children has been a constant interest and may explain her involvement in London Leadership Strategy and input in the DfE SEND policy, which has given her a chance to visit other schools and look at priorities and good practice. She did her teaching practice in Brent and then worked for nine years at Woodfield School, where she grew from class teacher to head of English and maths, eventually becoming assistant head. Having taken her NPQH, she came to Swiss Cottage School as deputy head and...

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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

All children will have learning difficulties within the moderate range as their core need (as identified by an Educational Psychologist) and one or more of the following as their secondary need/s: *Physical difficulties, which can be managed within the existing level of resourcing in each department. *Social communication difficulties, secondary to their learning difficulties. *Moderate sensory impairment. *Speech and language difficulties, over and above their global learning difficulties, and which will respond to the existing level of support available in the department. *Medical problems, which can be managed within the existing resource levels. *Emotional and behavioural problems, secondary to their other difficulties. Nov 09.

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
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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