All students have a statement of special educational needs. Sandside Lodge admits those having severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties. Around a quarter of students have additional learning difficulties associated with autism or communication. Currently, there are very few children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and they are placed in the first of the primary classes. Around a quarter of the students are girls. The proportion known to be eligible for the pupil premium funding is close to the national average for all schools. The pupil premium is additional funding for pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and children that are looked after by the local authority. The very large majority of students come from a White British background reflecting that of the local district of South Lakeland. A small number of students undertake some aspects of their education at other local secondary schools so they can utilise specialist resources. There is no alternative provision. The headteacher was appointed in September 2011. Other changes in staffing have also taken place, including in the senior team. A major review of posts held by teaching assistants is currently under way.