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Kent Special Schools and Units


Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH), including Behaviour

Bower Grove SchoolMaidstone. Learning difficulties and associated social, emotional and mental health needs, autism spectrum conditions and social communication difficulties. 

Age range 4-16. Twelve place satellite based within West Borough Primary School for pupils in years 3 -6 with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition and are cognitively able to function academically alongside mainstream peers with appropriate strategies and support.Modernised  buildings.  

Bower Grove Ofsted Performance
Sep 2019 Full Outstanding
Jan 2018 Short
Improving Towards
Feb 2014 Full Good

For September 2019, Designated Number 183, Commissioned Places 214; Total Roll 203.


Elms School, Dover. Complex needs, with main identified need type either SEMH or ASD.  types of need include  SEMH, ASD, MLD, PTSD, ADHD, ODD, FASD, OCD, attachment difficulties, personality disorders and specific learning difficulties. Previously called Harbour School; changed name in 2015  'following a period of leadership and staffing turbulence' (Ofsted 2017) which saw the previous headteacher depart rapidly. Elms has traditionally taken some of the most challenging pupils in the area, including some who have not been successful in independent provisions.  The school serves a wide catchment area; children come from Dover, Deal, Folkestone, Ashford, Thanet, Canterbury, Romney Marsh and neighbouring villages.

Years One to Eleven. Designated Number 96, Commissioned Places 158, Roll October 2019 is 146 children. 

Elms Ofsted Performance
Oct 2019
No Formal
See Below*
Oct 2017 Full
Jan 2014 Full Outstanding

 * Concerns with Ofsted about aspects of the effectiveness of leadership and management in the school (including governance), and behaviour and attitudes of pupils at the school. The Inspection found that the school was safe, and the quality of education was generally good, but there were two main concerns. 'Sometimes, a pupil’s behaviour is so challenging that they could put themselves, a peer or a member of staff in danger of harm'. and 'In addition to regular absence, a significant minority of pupils on roll do not attend the school full time or at all for a variety of reasons'. Critically: 'the local authority did not have a strategic overview of the high numbers of pupils who were not receiving a full-time education for various reasons at the time of this inspection'.


Goldwyn SchoolGreat Chart, Ashford with four additional inclusive centres, Goldwyn Folkestone, Goldwyn Education Studios, Ashford & Folkestone and Goldwyn College, Ashford & Folkestone. Social, emotional and mental health needs (Behaviour).

Outstanding Ofsted (Short) again. Currently (April 2020) consulting on extending age range and numbers from 11-16 years to 11-18 years in order to add sixth form provision and to increase the designated number from 115 places to 195 places (35 key stage 3/4 and 45 post-16). In practice the school had 150 pupils aged 11-16 in October 2019.  

Goldwyn Ofsted Performance
Dec 2017 Short Outstanding
Jun 2014 Full Outstanding
Feb 2011 Full Good
Orchard School, The, Canterburydesignated for 83 pupils who have  have social, emotional and mental health  Needs. The school caters for children in key stages 2, 3 and 4 (exceptionally omitting KS1). The school website probably wins my prize for the most unwelcoming, impersonal of any Kent Special school (2020). It currently (October 2019) has a pupil roll of 114 children.
Two excerpts from 2016 Ofsted Report, explaining Improvements (although this is itself four years out of date): 'The headteacher is a force with which to be reckoned! Her level-headed optimism and ability to build consensus with pupils, staff and parents alike, have paved the way to rapid improvements all round'; and 'Following a period of marked turbulence since the last inspection of the school, the headteacher has transformed pupils’ and teachers’ belief in what they can achieve'. 
Orchard Ofsted Performance
  InspectionType Outcome
Jul 2016 Full Good
Jan 2014 Monitoring
beginning to take
effective action
Oct 2013 Full Requires Improvement


Portal House School, St Margaret's at Cliffe, Dover. Behaviour, Emotional & Social Difficulties (Behaviour)

Portal House

Age range 11-16, Capacity 80 pupils current role September 2019 is 71 pupils. Ofsted 'Since the last inspection, the school has remained on the same site but moved into a purpose-built building. The new school was creatively designed to meet the complex needs of the pupils.' 


Portal Ofsted Performance
Jan 2018 Short Good
Jun 2013 Full Good


Rowhill School, LongfieldApproximately two thirds of pupils are of secondary school age; All pupils have a statement of special educational needs that is primarily for their behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. However, a significant number of pupils also have additional needs associated with, for instance, their autism or speech and language difficulties. The school is designated for 106 pupils, currently with 121 on roll.  

Rowhill Ofsted Performance
Jun 2016 Full Good
Apr 2014 Full


St Anthony's School, Margate. Specific behavioural and learning needs, such as SEMH, ASD, FAS and DAMP. Although many students come from the Thanet, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Canterbury areas the school also attracts pupils from across the whole of East Kent. 112 Designated Places, with a current roll of 114 pupils (October 2019). Although the school doesn't mention on its website the age range of pupils, the 2019 census shows they have pupils from Year Two to Year Eleven. 

St Anthony's Ofsted Performance
Jul 2019 Short Good
Jul 2015 Full Good
Oct 2011 Full Good

Next Page: Schools catering for children with Profound, Severe and Complex Needs

Last modified on Sunday, 26 July 2020 17:35
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