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Clay Hill School in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, has been praised by the independent education watchdog Ofsted following a recent inspection.

In the report, Ofsted were impressed with how pupils ‘flourish’ and how lives are transformed at Clay Hill School. The inspectors said: ‘Pupils benefit from attending Clay Hill School. They flourish because they feel safe and well cared for. They appreciate how adults support them to learn at a pace that suits them. This helps pupils gain confidence and engage in learning in a way that they have struggled to do in the past. Some parents describe how this has transformed their child’s life after long periods of time away from education.’

The inspectors went on to say: ‘Adults understand pupils’ learning, social and emotional needs very well. Leaders are highly ambitious for what pupils can achieve academically, as well as personally. The school’s work is planned carefully, taking all of these needs and ambitions into account. Great use is made of the school and local environments to stimulate pupils and engage them in learning. As a result, pupils participate fully in their education and are prepared well for the future.’

The environment at Clay Hill School continued to be praised throughout the report: “Clay Hill is a happy place to be. Pupils and adults interact respectfully, showing genuine care for each other. Classrooms are calm and purposeful, with pupils sensitive to each other’s needs. At breaktimes, warm relationships are evident.”

Clay Hill School is part of Aspris Children’s Services and has been rated as ‘Good’ overall and in all of the assessment categories by Ofsted. Located within a picturesque setting in the Hampshire New Forest, Clay Hill School provides specialist education and care services to young people aged 5 to 19 years with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) and associated complex needs.

Giovanna Marabese, Head Teacher at Clay Hill School, said: “It is a privilege to lead such a committed staff team, who are inspirational in everything they do. My staff team here do a brilliant job in helping young people to make progress in all areas. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work. I also want to pass on a massive thanks to our young people and their parents/guardians for working so closely with us to make this such a great school community.