Advanced search

Our SN area is not a substitute for expert advice. While many Mumsnetters have a specialist knowledge of special needs, if they post here they are posting as members, not experts. There are, however, lots of organisations that can help - some suggestions are listed here. If you've come across an organisation that you've found helpful, please tell us. Go to Special needs chat, Parents with disabilities, SN teens, SN legal, SN children, SN recommendations.

Northease Manor School

(195 Posts)
Lozzie12 Sun 02-Mar-14 15:43:56

I am looking for a secondary school for my DS with HF ASD, he is currently in mainstream primary with a 1:1 TA but we have been advised he won't manage secondary. His main problems are anxieties and SpLd. I am going to look at Northease Manor School, does anyone have any knowledge / experience of this, many thanks.

BigBird69 Mon 03-Mar-14 08:45:27

Hi, have you viewed it? I have no first hand experience but was on my short list. When I enquiries (last year) they wouldn't take my son until he's ten (now 8) so we had to make other arrangements. Heard good reports though. Don't know where you are based, but Slindon college also in Sussex. Similar, all boys.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Mon 03-Mar-14 15:39:12

DS1 goes to Frewen. He has HFAsd, SpLD and anxiety. Another mother at his school chose Northease first but then switched to Frewen.

Lozzie12 Fri 07-Mar-14 18:46:11

Thank you both, he's had a trial. His consultant suggested Frewen were moving away from ASD, so we haven't looked there.

midlifer Tue 15-Apr-14 11:02:23

I've looked at both Northease and Frewen and really liked both. Have also looked at Slindon and More House School. My son sounds very similar to yours - and has had the same level of support in primary. We decided to try him in secondary but it's been a disaster - not academically - but socially. His anxiety levels have escalated and self-esteem has plummeted. We are going to move him at the end of the year.

All of the above schools are good - but it depends on what's right for your son. My views:
Frewen - very nurturing and gentle - really liked it
Northease - ditto - but slightly less gentle
Slindon - liked it but a bit isolated in our view
More House - impressive - but more for dyslexia rather than a boy with anxiety or lack of social skills.

Good luck with your search.

Imreadyforyou Thu 17-Apr-14 22:16:27

Frewen is very supportive for fragile children. Northease has problems with supervision so I've been told from other parents there. Slindon we didn't look at and More House I found was for less complex needs. Good luck in your search.

alwaysrushing Tue 22-Apr-14 21:41:44

You may have read my previous post but I'm still looking for schools for my bright sweet 15 yr old asd DS ( STILL...) and some good posts here. Northese and Slindon don't have an a level program - my DS very science/ maths aware- socially- not so much. More house looked amazing but sadly full, same st David's. Bredon dithering about the social provision they can offer- I'm reading it as a "no". Seaford came straight out with no, as did shiplake. Quaker schools uninterested. We need a place for September - any of you knowledgable posters got any bright ideas.? I'm having so many sleepless nights...

midlifer Wed 23-Apr-14 15:38:30

You've probably all come across this link - but I hadn't... It lists all the special schools....

oldtimer3 Tue 29-Apr-14 09:36:20

I would look carefully at the most recent Ofsted boarding report for Northease which cites the provision as 'inadequate'. There's an article in Last Thursday's Brighton Argus that 's well worth a read.

Angela93 Tue 29-Apr-14 23:51:50

The current report for northease has been retracted by ofstead and a new visit is being made the report should not have been published when it was as it contained errors.

Dontgothere11 Thu 01-May-14 14:59:28

Don't go there, the ofsted report was removed as I believe the school have complained. However the content (see the argus report on their web site) confirms what the inspectors found when visiting, following 2 very serious complaints about the school. READ carefully and look at the high turnover of staff, particularly in the senior management team. What does that tell you? It received an inadequate report, plenty more school to choose from.

Angela93 Sat 03-May-14 09:09:32

Please could you exspandable on the plenty more schools to choose from in East Sussex area? Needing to move my child spld dyslexia hearing spl

Dontgothere11 Sat 03-May-14 09:31:54

Not recommending- but there is frewen college, slindon
And look at the Crested website, it lists all dyslexic

alwaysrushing Sat 03-May-14 10:59:18

Also mark college near Bath if you're thinking that a levels may be on the cards. Slindon don't do a levels and some of the others are limited with their 6th form program's...

alwaysrushing Sat 03-May-14 11:01:31

Mark college are specifically set up for spld's. mainly dyslexia. I'm going to see it tomorrow- having investigated many of these others. Pm me if you would like to know more...

imeverywoman Sun 04-May-14 11:00:11

Regarding Northease. My daughter goes to Northease and she has SPLD and DID have poor social skills which led to being rejected by many schools that said they specialise in dyslexia and SpLD.
She has flourished at Northease. Their recent ofsted on the boarding has been retracted by ofsted as the inspection was carried out incorrectly. How can a school go from outstanding to inadequate in less than a year? Ofsted are to make an apology. Should be a first!
Northease lawyers are all over it, as there is a belief by some that there was a hidden agenda in the inspection.
My daughter is a day pupil but her female friends who are boarders are very very happy at the school.
I have complete confidence in Northease and I expect the truth regarding the last ofsted will come out soon.
I would say anyone who has any concerns to go and visit the school and see for themselves. Don't rely on rumours, make your own judgments and check the facts.

imeverywoman Sun 04-May-14 11:04:44

There are Frewen college and Northease that I know off. My daughter was accepted at Frewen , but we (husband and I) didn't like the "feel" of the place and funnily enough didn't like the boarding facilities.
I'm a fan of Northease. But I'm biased because I have seen my daughter flourish there.
Good luck in your search

Woowo91 Sun 04-May-14 18:24:36

have read the report. Most of the negative findings by Ofsted are things such as inadequate records, inadequate training or qualifications, care plans and risk assessments not done. I.e factual verifiable things. And 2 significant child protection incidents that were referred to the authorities There are only about 100 children in the school so 2 incidents at that level seems like a lot. The reality is these children are very vulnerable in a residential school. Parents often don't want to complain to the local authorities for fear of losing their funding. It has already been mentioned that staff turnover has been very high. Why? If there are problems at Northease ( and Ofsted did publish the report finding it inadequate) it is in the public interest for it to come out. I don't find it very reassuring that their "lawyers are all over it".

Dontgothere11 Fri 16-May-14 16:19:13

Ofsted have republished the report today, all areas are now inadequate. So despite the schools lawyers 'being all over it' ofsted have again agreed that the boarding school is totally inadequate. Looking at the staff list as it appears head of boarding has gone and its now being run by one of the houseparents, very worrying. I think that sums it up if your considering the school for your children, very worrying.

anameescapesme Mon 19-May-14 14:19:12

My son attends Northease Manor, its an amazing school - he has had his life transformed since being here.
I am yet to find a member of staff who isn't caring, supportive and who genuinely believes in the children.

We fought for three years to get him here - and he is one of the youngest at only just 10. He has complex medical needs with a genetic physical disability, and is profoundly dyslexic and dyspraxic.

I cannot understand some of the above comments, unless they come from disgruntled parents who have an ulterior motive. Ofsted hate Independent Special Schools. This school was rated by them 12 months ago as Outstanding on every level.

When we were fighting the LA over a placement we were told the Maintained Special Schools in this area were in desperate need of 'bums on seats' to enable them to stay open - as everyone was choosing the Independent Schools. One of the closest MSS was placed onto Special Measures - but this has now changed....

Dontgothere11 seems to be very well informed, of course the schools legal team would be investigating a complaint if they felt it had been wrongly made.

I would say to anyone considering this school to go and visit. The children are happy, learning and supported in every way. My son had PTSD from his experience at mainstream, his self esteem is now at its highest, his belief in his own ability not just to learn, but to cope with all life throws at him has rocketed.

I read this report and it certainly does not in any way show the school that my son attends. As a child on a reduced timetable I see this school at all hours of the day, and not just pick up/drop off.
I am furious at how this amazing school is being portrayed.

Dontgothere11 Mon 19-May-14 14:40:52

Just seen a report about the school on the BBC south east lunch time news, well worth watching. It includes an interview with the reputable Norman Baker MP. All the information is available on websites such as ofsted , are we saying we should not listen to Ofsted inspectors?

imeverywoman Mon 19-May-14 17:34:49

Hello all
I've just returned to this discussion after being surprised by a bbc reporter who was loitering at the exit of Northease this morning.
Dontgothere- I hope I don't offend when I say this. But you seem to have a real problem with Northease. What is your relationship with the school? You haven't stated that in your messages. I can only speak from the point of view of a parent who has a child at the school. And as I have stated earlier, my daughter has flourished since she has been there. Her self confidence has improved so much after being bullied and teased in both mainstream and Independant schools.
I am a parent who is paying the fees without Local authority statement funding. We looked long and hard for the right school for our daughter. There were some schools that really impressed us, but would not accept our daughters learning needs. There were also schools that accepted our daughter but we were not happy with them.
In Sussex, there are so few schools that cater properly for children with additional needs. And I truly don't understand this "campaign" to tarnish the reputation of such a good school.
My earlier comment about "lawyers being all over it" was obviously careless. I spoke to a member of staff who told me that lawyers had been consulted.
Again, I think prospective parents should visit the school. Ask the questions, interrogate for in depth responses and make their own judgements.
I would hate to see a school which is so specialist, disappear, because a few parents had complaints that was not dealt with properly.
Whatever the issues those parents have, I implore them to work it out with the school. The issues raised by ofsted, I'm sure will be addressed.
My reasons for being pro Northease are totally selfish I admit. I live in East Sussex. There are 2 schools in Sussex that cater at this level for children with special needs in Sussex. We didn't like the other choice. But many will. We self fund our daughters education. If not Northease, then where would we go, without disrupting our daughters life again. There isn't as many special needs schools that cater for girls as there is boys. Therefore, we would have to travel extremely far to find a suitable school with small classes and specialist staff. We would not be able to afford that. We can just about afford Northease and that's by both of us working full time, doing loads of overtime and giving up a few luxuries.
I'll stop rambling, because this whole situation is very upsetting for me. I know the months of stress my husband and I have had moving our daughter from one school to another and seeing our daughter lose all self confidence. And we really don't want to go through that all again.

Woowo91 Tue 20-May-14 00:02:18

As the parent of a child in a similar school, I fully understand how few choices of school there are. However, as private schools there is surprisingly little regulation of them and they have very vulnerable children in their care. They have to be safe. There are some things about this school and the ofsted report which are very troubling
- The BBC southeast story aired today included an interview with Norman Baker (M.P. for Lewes and a minister in the coalition government) who said that a number of parents, staff, and governors had come to him with complaints over about 3 years mostly about bullying and actions by management. I am sure many of these people tried to resolve their issues with the school before approaching him.

- Norman Baker also mentioned that one of the boarding staff had no CRB check. This is absolutely required. Why would the school take this kind of risk? And why would they employ a matron with insufficient training fr the role? Why was their safeguarding guidance out of date? Why are boarding staff levels minimal with insufficient supervision? Why are the children allowed to self medicate? Why are safeguarding concerns not properly recorded and risk assessments not done when needed? All of these criticisms are in the Ofsted report.

- What do Ofsted mean by saying there have been 2 significant child protection incidents but "senior staff could not satisfactorily identify effective protective measures, learning or action reduce such risk occurring again".?

- Last year Stanbridge Earls closed when it came to light that a child had been raped in the boarding accommodation and the school had essentially done nothing about it other than expel her. That school was also rated outstanding consistently by Ofsted even just months before the story of the abuse came out. In fact in 2012 the same Ofsted inspector found both Stanbridge Earls and Northease to be Outstanding!

Parents should be wary and asking some serious questions. It is very easy to be deceived by beautiful surroundings, good facilities and slick marketing

anameescapesme Tue 20-May-14 16:03:42

The only 'slick' thing here is the obvious vendetta the above 'dontgothere' seems to have against this school. She should be asking herself why the 'lady' who appeared on the interview calling for the dismissal of the Head, Governers and certain staff still sends her child to this school. She should be asking herself why the very same woman was Head Chair of the Friends Commitee for 10 months only resigning last Friday. If this school was anything like as she tried to portray it any self respecting parent would have withdrawn their so called 'at risk' child from there months ago. As for Norman Baker being 'reputable' - please!
This school achieves fantastic results, educates and supports children with care and respect. Asking if I trust Ofsted - no! Do I trust this school - totally. Do I trust your views when you seem so biased and keen to push forward so quickly any information relating to this investigation before anyone else has heard about it - no. Why anyone would think you were orchestrating it - surely not?!

Dontgothere11 Tue 20-May-14 16:36:20

I can hear your are very passionate about the school. However I am only reporting the facts and quoting Ofsted. Perhaps read woowo91 comments and the ofsted report again

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: