Rainbow School for Children with Autism

Primary & Secondary
Post 16
Special school
Spencer Park
48 North Side
Wandsworth Common
SW18 2SL
020 88797700
4 - 19
Other Independent Special School
Mr ofsted
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Independent inspection report

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School Description

Rainbow School is situated in the London Borough of Wandsworth, in south-west London. It opened in 2000, moved to the Spencer Park site in 2002 and was registered in 2003. In 2011, the school opened its secondary department. The school is on two sites. The Spencer Park site caters for secondary pupils and the Garratt Lane site for primary. Rainbow School is run by BeyondAutism, a registered charity. The charity provides education, outreach, training and support to children and families affected by autism across the UK and overseas. The school is registered to admit up to 64 boys and girls aged between four and 19 years. Currently, there are 68 pupils on roll. Children in the early years provision attend on a full-time basis. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan, related to autistic spectrum disorder and related communication needs. Currently, 16 local authorities across London fund the pupils’ placements. The school does not receive any additional government funding. The proportion of pupils who are from minority ethnic groups is well above the national average, with the largest groups being from Black African, Black Caribbean and Asian backgrounds. There are more boys than girls. Inspection report: Rainbow School for Children with Autism, 21−23 June 2016 8 of 11 The school offers a ‘structured programme of intensive intervention’ based on the principles of a commercial behaviour management programme. This programme focuses primarily on developing functional communication and language acquisition and encompasses social, play and independent skills. Off-site training is made available for older pupils to extend their learning experience. Cooking takes place at Lambeth College, gardening at ‘Roots and Shoots’ in Kennington, the Vauxhall City Farm for horse riding, and the snow centre in Hemel Hempstead for skiing. In addition, swimming lessons take place at Latchmere Leisure Centre and gym sessions at the Wandle Leisure Centre. Since the last inspection in July 2013, there have been a number of new appointments. The chief executive officer took up her position in September 2015, two heads of school were appointed in February 2016 and a new chair of governors was appointed in May 2016. The school’s website meets statutory requirements. Pupils are not entered early for examinations. The school’s vision ‘is to empower children and young people with autism to lead fuller lives by providing a life-enhancing education that enables all pupils to achieve their full potential.’ Inspection report: Rainbow School for Children with Autism, 21−23 June 2016 9 of 11 Information about this inspection This inspection took place with one day’s notice. The inspectors observed teaching and learning in 19 lessons or parts of lessons, all of which were jointly observed with senior leaders. They held informal discussions with pupils. There were 36 responses to the Ofsted online survey (Parent View) and 26 responses to the Ofsted free text service. In addition, inspectors took account of the 77 responses to a questionnaire for members of staff. Inspectors held discussions with the heads of school, the chief executive officer, trustees, governors, senior and middle leaders and tutors. Inspectors reviewed key documents and policies, including those related to safeguarding, and scrutinised pupils’ files and the school’s information about pupils’ attainment and progress. At the request of the Department for Education, inspectors were asked to consider the school’s application for a material change to increase the number of pupils on roll from 68 to 76 and to consider the suitability of the proposed new school premises.

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Catchment information

This school is independently managed and its admission criteria may be selective. There is no set catchment area as pupils are admitted from a wide variety of postcodes and, in the case of boarding schools, from outside the UK. Contact the school directly or visit their website for more information on Admissions Policy and Procedures.

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