Specialist school is given rating of ‘Outstanding’

Dawn House School celebrating its 'Outstanding' Ofsted report, Principal Jenny McConnell is pictured with staff and pupils (PHOTO BY: Rachel Atkins)
Dawn House School celebrating its 'Outstanding' Ofsted report, Principal Jenny McConnell is pictured with staff and pupils (PHOTO BY: Rachel Atkins)

A specialist school in Rainworth for youngsters with complex speech, language and communication difficulties has been hailed as outstanding by education inspectors.

Dawn House School, run by the children’s charity, I CAN, provides day and residential education, therapy and care for 70 young people, aged between seven and 19, from across the East Midlands.

Inspectors from education watchdog Ofsted have rated the Helmsley Road school outstanding for overall experiences and progress of young people, how well youngsters are helped and protected, and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

The key findings from the inspection highlighted the work Dawn House’s “accomplished and tenacious leadership team” has carried out to improve school life for pupils.

The newly published Ofsted report says: “Plans are tailored to ensure pupils reach their full potential.

“Residential staff have extensive knowledge, skills and experience.

“They nurture and care for pupils in a way that enables them to thrive.”

A total of 1.4 million children in the UK have long-term speech, language or communication difficulties.

Dawn House caters for those with more severe needs.

JENNY McConnell, principal of I CAN’s Dawn House School, could not disguise her excitement after reading Ofsted’s verdict.

She said: “We are delighted to have the recognition from Ofsted of the school’s hard work towards ensuring our young people enjoy their residential school life while also developing their communication and independence skills.”

The school, which opened in 1974, was also awarded an outstanding rating four years ago.

I CAN is a London-based charity with expertise at helping children develop the speech and language skills that they need so they are not left behind in education and life.