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  • The Avenue Special School
    Conwy Close
    RG30 4BZ
  • Head: Symon Cooke
  • T 0118 937 5554
  • F 01189 015 558
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A state special school for boys and girls aged from 2 to 19. Type of SEN provision: MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty; PD - Physical Disability.
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Reading
  • Pupils: 172
  • Religion: Does not apply
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
    • 1 Short inspection 25th September 2019

    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.

  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

The central space is open plan with a comfy library and the beginnings of a role-play high street. So far there is a small fruit and veg stall set up, but the plan is to have every shop imaginable; a hairdresser, a shoe shop, a café etc, so pupils can learn and practice skills at school. Every year for the last ten years the school has taken part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival, and last year a music group performed at the Royal Albert Hall ...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2017, Symon Cooke. Joined The Avenue in 2001 as a PE teacher and after just 11 weeks he took on a leadership role. Went on to become assistant head, then deputy, and after overwhelming support from staff, took on the role of headteacher.

Originally from South Wales, Cooke studied primary PE at Reading University and taught at a mainstream school before joining a special school in London. He has never looked back. Passionate about The Avenue, he became visibly emotional when talking about the school and pupils. It is his second home and ‘the best job in the world'. Keen to meet parents and listen to their views on improvements, he is driven to make this school the best it can be. Parents told us, ‘The head is...

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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

The Avenue School is a community school catering for pupils from two to nineteen years who have severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties including physical disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs. The school has an Investor in People award and is involved in the Healthy Schools Initiative. Local achievements include Reading in Bloom gold award 2005 and Pride of Reading 2005. There are links with the community and other educational establishments.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
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 Y
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability Y
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

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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