Muntham House School in West Sussex has achieved Centre of Excellence status.
Muntham House School is a boarding and day school for boys aged (5-18) catering for a range of Special Educational Needs including ASC, ADHD, MLD, SLCD and conduct disorders. Muntham House School has a reputation of excellence regionally and nationally for outstanding inclusive practice. Pupils and their families from across 22 different local education authorities are supported by the school. The school also supports local special schools and mainstream primary and secondary schools across West Sussex.
Develop, Achieve and Succeed
The school achieves outstanding outcomes for pupils irrespective of their starting points; every pupil at Muntham House School goes on to develop, achieve and succeed. The school is outward facing and offers a whole array of free support, advice and guidance to many local schools. Also, providing free training for their network of schools within West Sussex. Regional Engage in their Future and NASS, National Association of non-maintained and independent school meetings are held at the school to share good practice and promote inclusion with other special schools. The school has significant influence both nationally and internationally.
All Pupils are Included
The Muntham values ensure that all pupils are equally included within the school community ensuring they are safe, happy and are well cared for. These values underpin everything across the entire school community ensuring that pupils learn new behaviours, enabling them to go forward successfully into their own local communities. Muntham House School is a non-maintained residential special school and therefore does not use ASP, or FFT data. The school is inspected every year by Ofsted and has been graded nothing other than ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’ over the past 20 years of school inspections.
Most recent social care Ofsted inspections were as follows:
• 2020 Outstanding.
• 2019 Outstanding.
• 2018 Good.
• Education Ofsted 2019 – Good.
“Pupils blossom in this setting. Each pupil has their needs thoroughly assessed prior to admission. As a result, they receive high quality support which helps them on their journeys to success and self-reliance.” Ofsted 2020
“The management of behaviour is tailored to meet individual needs. This means that the members of staff have an excellent understanding of each child’s idiosyncrasies and specific traits. In turn, the pupils learn to develop their skills and resilience and behaviour improves steadily to the point at which they are able to take part in education and social activities successfully. This is impressive when bearing in mind their starting points.”
“The sense of community and acceptance at this school is excellent. Tolerance and appreciation of everyone’s unique character and needs thread through daily life. Pupils are supportive and inclusive and their unique identities and personalities are enjoyed and celebrated as being part of a rich and safe community.”
Enrichment opportunities are offered as much as possible throughout the curriculum. There are a wide range of educational visits which usually take place throughout the week to support the curriculum and stimulate pupils’ interest in learning:
• Weekly reward trips for good behaviour.
• Curriculum trips to take learning outside the classroom.
• Museum visits.
• Outdoor Education trips.
• Team building trips for every class.
• Kidzania visit for primary pupils.
• Art Gallery visits.
• Regular employer visits.
• Framing visits to support the Food 4 Life scheme.
• Pre Work/Experience visits.
• Ongoing Work/Experience visits.
• Media company visits.
• Employment fairs.
Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the school. They also stress that staff go above and beyond for their children and value staff’s patience, care and understanding.
When asked how the school has supported the family responses included:
• Life changing.
• Helped us to work with our son and guide him through his most turbulent years.
• He is now a healthy and happy young adult, I really don’t know where we would be now, had he not come to this school.
• The support to find additional college placements was just above and beyond.
• Nothing is an obstacle.
A Balance of Support and Challenge
The Governing Body has also been on a journey of improvement over recent years ensuring increasing presence in school, with specific link Governor roles. This has enabled Governors to verify what is reported by the Leadership Team and ensure their balance of support and challenge is right, authentic inclusion across the entire setting.
Extremely Passionate and Dedicated Staff
It very quickly became clear throughout the IQM assessment that staff are extremely passionate and dedicated about the school and indeed, the ethos of inclusion shone through with everyone encountered. Their sense of drive and determination to improve the outcomes of all pupils through knowing each individual story came through strongly. Exceptionally strong teamwork amongst the staff is at the core of their relationships.
I had the opportunity to meet with students during the assessment who spoke with real pride and overwhelming positivity about their school. Some of the comments made include:
• I get a really good education; our teachers are very focussed on individual pupils.
• I love the small classes.
• There’s a really calm environment.
• The staff are very understanding – they have really helped with my anxiety.
• Everyone is kind here, there is no one not nice.
• I felt out of place at my old school but here, I feel like I belong, I am not weird here.
• Everyone gets me and I get them.
• Always someone who I can trust and talk to if I am worried.
• I used to be a pupil who wouldn’t do work and I hurt kids and adults, now I have calmed down.
• Everything feels good, everyone feels good for who they are – so you don’t need to bring anyone down.
• I’ve made so much progress here in one year.
• I can feel very confident about my future.
• Most of the learning is fun – we have a therapy dog, I have done equine therapy and I am now doing drama therapy, it is really helping me manage my feelings better!
• The school has brought my family together.
The only suggestions for improvements made by pupils were:
• I would like a climbing wall in school!
Effective Safeguarding Procedures
Safeguarding procedures are effective with rigorous and compulsory online and face to face training in place for all staff and robust safeguarding policies. The school uses an effective and secure reporting system. The DSL has completed extensive recent training including NSPCC safer recruitment training, DV, Prevent, CYP Mental Health, FGM, Violence & Extremism, CSE and Domestic Abuse. The DSL also carries out specific pieces of work with pupils around keeping themselves safe.
Inclusion Shines Through
In summary, the ethos of inclusion shines through in all that is done at Muntham House School. This is an incredibly individual and unique setting where a true feeling of “family” is promoted and the best interests of every individual pupil are held in mind. It was a privilege to spend the day (albeit virtually) with such a passionate and committed staff team.
Find out more about the IQM Inclusive School Award
If your school is interested in obtaining the IQM Inclusive School Award or you wish to talk to a member of the IQM team please telephone:
028 7127 7857 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
or email: email@example.com for further details.
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