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‘I can truly say our son is loved. It’s not just education, it goes beyond that,’ says one grateful parent. Around half of the parents are managing the difficult situation where the child’s needs are such that they need to be accommodated at the school year-round. It’s all very lah-di-dah with horses and stables, indoor and outdoor riding arenas, and 28 acres to roam. Riding is available for all pupils …

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Acting head

Since October 2016, Mr David Keeton, following the departure of the previous headmaster, Clive Padgett, for personal reasons after less than two years in the role. Mr Keeton has worked at the school for more than 20 years. As deputy head, he oversaw the move to its current premises, and had a key role in supporting the education team through all three previous outstanding Ofsted inspections.

After this triple crown, early in 2017 the school received a shock inadequate rating from Ofsted, with concerns raised around safeguarding, behaviour management and aspects of learning. Keeton explained to us that this was a result of Ofsted's view that a pupil in the process of transition to an alternative placement when his needs became greater had not been moved quickly enough, plus...

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Special Education Needs

The Forum School is an independent, residential special school, part of Cambian Education Services, catering for pupils with autistic spectrum disorders. The school aims to provide a 24 hour curriculum approach and to effect this, living accommodation is provided in small family house groups. The school has extensive grounds and good facilities including a sensory room, outdoor swimming pool, an adventure playground, bike area, play area, large grass field, gardens etc. In addition, the school has its own horses and stables with both indoor and outdoor arenas for horse riding. A range of therapies are available and used where beneficial. These include: aromatherapy, music therapy, riding therapy, and speech and language therapy. The school holds a number of awards including Artsmark Gold and Artsmark Healthy Schools. Following inspection, Ofsted commented, 'The Forum School is an outstanding school which provides an outstanding level of care and education.' All children admitted to the school have a reference to an autistic spectrum disorder on their statement of special educational needs. Unless the child is to attend as a private placement, local education authorities and/or social services departments make formal requests for placements; parents are advised to involve their local authorities at an early stage so that visits by appropriate professionals can be arranged to ascertain the suitability of the school. Prospective parents are welcome to visit the school by appointment.

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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