Attleborough’s Chapel Road School judged “outstanding”

A south Norfolk Norfolk special school can call itself outstanding yet again after achieving the highest rating from Ofsted.

Chapel Road School, in Attleborough, which teaches children with complex education needs, received a glowing report from inspectors, which highlighted its 'outstanding' quailty of teaching and the 'excellent progress' made by pupils academically and personally.

The praise, which follows a previous outstanding Ofsted report in 2007, comes as Norfolk County Council allocates money to buy a new site for the school, bringing its 30-year dream to relocate to a new larger building tantalisingly close to reality.

Headteacher Karin Heap said: 'We expected to get a good [Ofsted] result, but it was pretty wonderful. It's a bit overwhelming. But what it says to us is that we are delivering, so please give us the school we need. I think it's actually going to happen now.'

Terry Hickman Smith, chairman of the governors, added: 'All the staff performed brilliantly as they do throughout the year. It's not only the very high standards of teaching that so impresses, but the sense of welcome, the humour and cheerfulness which permeates the establishment.'

The 50-year-old school has earned its praise despite struggling with a cramped campus, which provides little space for pupils' specialist equipment and means some have to be transported to other schools to ensure they receive the required curriculum.

The school was scheduled for a re-build on a new site under the previous Government's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, but hopes of a relocation were dashed when the new administration cancelled the scheme last year.

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But staff dusted off their disappointment, and with the help of social entrepreneur Robert Ashton, searched for new ways of funding and potential sites.

Earlier this year, they announced that a new site had been identified next to Wymondham College and now, thanks to the county council, negotiations to acquire the land are under way.

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