HIGH aspirations have led to “exceptional” outcomes for children as a special school in south Essex, according to Ofsted.

Ramsden Hall Academy, in Billericay, has been rated “outstanding” in all areas after a three-day inspection last month.

Inspectors noted how the residential special school provides highly effective services which consistently exceed the standards of good.

The report said: “Residential and teaching staff work together exceedingly well.

“Children’s education outcomes are enhanced by having access to education staff each evening in residence.

“Teaching staff provide activities that are linked to their subject area, such as design technology and physical education.

“Access to such activities helps children to further develop their academic progress.

“There is a whole-school approach to review and analysis of children’s emotional and social needs and educational attainment.”


At the time of the inspection there were 102 children at the school. They were all boys aged between 10 and 16 with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties.

Parents were also full of praise for the school.

The report added: “Responsive strategies are exceptionally well considered and highly tailored to children’s needs.

“Consequently, there is evidence of exceptional progress in children’s behaviour, social understanding, health and well-being.

“One parent said about their child, ‘His whole demeanour and social skills have changed for the better since going into residence. To say that they have improved him 100 per cent is not enough. The pastoral care is amazing. I have nothing but praise for the staff.’

“Children unquestionably benefit from excellent relationships with committed staff who understand their needs. As a result, children trust the staff completely.”

Ramsden Hall Academy was also praised for its safeguarding practices.

Ofsted inspectors added: “The proactive and creative practice of staff has led to children finding alternative strategies to manage difficult feelings in positive ways.

“Consequently, children in residence have not gone missing from the school or required the use of restraint.”