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Philpots Manor School

Philpots Manor School
West Hoathly
West Sussex

01342 810268

Education Co-Ordinator: Ms Linda Churnside


School holidays for Philpots Manor School via West Sussex council

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32 pupils aged 10—18y mixed gender
55 pupils capacity: 57% full

20 boys 62%


10 girls 31%


Last updated: Aug. 18, 2014

— Other Independent Special School

Religious character
Establishment type
Other Independent Special School
Establishment #
Open date
May 22, 1959
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 535212, Northing: 132080
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.072, Longitude: -0.071432
Accepting pupils
7—19 years old
Boarding establishment
Has boarders
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Mid Sussex › High Weald
Hamlet and Isolated Dwelling - less sparse
SEN priorities
BESD - Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Learning provider ref #

Rooms & flats to rent in East Grinstead

Schools nearby

  1. 0.9 miles West Hoathly CofE Primary School RH194QG (99 pupils)
  2. 1.6 mile St Peter's CofE Primary School RH176UQ (138 pupils)
  3. 2.1 miles Step By Step, School for Autistic Children Ltd RH194HP (23 pupils)
  4. 2.2 miles Turners Hill CofE Primary School RH104PA (137 pupils)
  5. 2.3 miles Ardingly College RH176SQ (901 pupils)
  6. 2.5 miles Worth School RH104SD (576 pupils)
  7. 2.9 miles Balcombe CofE Controlled Primary School RH176HS (135 pupils)
  8. 2.9 miles St Giles CofE Primary School RH177AY (131 pupils)
  9. 3.3 miles Fonthill Lodge RH194LY
  10. 3.5 miles Rnib Sunshine House School RH194ND
  11. 3.6 miles Burleigh Infant School RH104XA
  12. 3.6 miles Crawley Down CofE Junior School RH104XA
  13. 3.6 miles Crawley Down Village CofE RH104XA (321 pupils)
  14. 3.7 miles Coombe Hall School RH194NA
  15. 3.9 miles Greenfields School RH185JD (128 pupils)
  16. 4 miles Cumnor House School RH177HT (390 pupils)
  17. 4.1 miles The Meads Primary School RH194DD (258 pupils)
  18. 4.2 miles Lindfield Junior School RH162LF
  19. 4.2 miles The Brook School RH107JE (198 pupils)
  20. 4.3 miles Danehill Church of England Primary School RH177JB (95 pupils)
  21. 4.3 miles The Links College North RH107RW
  22. 4.3 miles Maidenbower Infant School RH107RA (267 pupils)
  23. 4.3 miles Tavistock and Summerhill School RH161RP (138 pupils)
  24. 4.3 miles Maidenbower Junior School RH107RA (591 pupils)

List of schools in East Grinstead

Philpots Manor School

Independent special school standard inspection report

DfE registration number 938/6219
Unique Reference Number (URN) 126141
URN for social care 372592
Inspection number 364246
Inspection dates 9–10 February 2011
Reporting inspector Anne Duffy HMI
Social care inspector Gaynor Moorey

No. 090070

Independent school standard inspection report


Purpose and Scope of the Inspection

This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under Section 162A of the Education Act
2002, as amended by schedule 8 of the Education Act 2005, the purpose of which is
to advise the Secretary of State for Education about the school’s suitability for
continued registration as an independent school.

1, 2

The inspection of boarding provision was carried out under the Care Standards Act
2000 having regard to the national minimum standards for residential special
schools, in order to assure children and young people, parents and carers, the public,
local authorities and the government of the quality and standard of the service


Information about the school

Philpots Manor School, which opened in 1956, is a co-educational residential special
school for up to 60 students aged from seven to 19 years. Situated on the edge of
West Hoathly, West Sussex, it follows the social and educational principles of Rudolf
Steiner. The aim of the school is that each student develops physically, emotionally,
academically, spiritually and socially to the highest degrees of which they are able.
At the time of the inspection, there were 44 students at the school, with boys

outnumbering girls by three to one. All but one of the students have a statement of

special educational needs and approximately three quarters are boarders. Many
students have had previous negative experiences of school, including sustained
periods of non-attendance. All have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, and
many also have specific learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

The last inspection of the school’s education provision was in December 2006; the

boarding provision was last inspected in November 2009.

Evaluation of the School

Philpots Manor School meets its aim and provides a good quality of education.
Curricular provision is outstanding and meets the needs of its students exceptionally
well. As a result of good teaching and assessment, students are increasingly well
motivated and make good progress overall. Students’ behaviour is satisfactory, as is
their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The school has addressed
effectively the small number of unmet regulations which were identified in the last
inspection and almost all of the unmet national minimum standards identified in the
last inspection of boarding. It now meets nearly all of the regulations for




Independent school standard inspection report


independent schools; it meets the large majority of the national minimum standards
for residential special schools. The ethos of the school is reflected in the family
atmosphere and generally good relationships between and amongst students and
staff. However, insufficiently careful adherence to procedures, particularly with
regard to safeguarding and child protection, means that arrangements to promote
the welfare, health and safety of students, and the overall effectiveness of the
boarding provision, are inadequate.

Quality of education

The quality of the curriculum is outstanding and provides students with excellent
opportunities to prepare for the next stage of their education. Based on Steiner
Waldorf principles in the lower school, it is developed extremely well to cater for the
needs and interests of the older students, many of whom attend individually planned
college courses. Each student is entered for Entry Level and/or GCSE English,
mathematics and science as they are ready for them; older students also take Entry
Level art. The school offers GCSE chemistry, information and communication
technology (ICT), Russian, German and business studies on an individual basis
according to the choice and ability of the students. Work in stable management and
riding, creative arts and textiles, gardening, modern foreign languages, life skills, and
other subjects is accredited by the National Open College Network. Since the last
inspection, there has been an increase in the number of students attending part-time
or full-time courses at local colleges while still boarding at and attending the school.
Courses chosen typically have a vocational slant and include painting and decorating,
carpentry, motor maintenance and hairdressing. More recently, media studies, ICT
and modern foreign languages have extended this range. As one teacher rightly said,

‘Our students don’t think it will be someone else who will be taking GCSEs or going
to college any more.’ The curriculum is underpinned by excellent opportunities to

prepare for adult life which are provided by the boarding arrangements and good
support for those students who benefit from the additional therapies on offer.
Students are provided with a good foundation for success in their GCSE, Entry Level
or vocational courses. They make good progress overall, with outstanding success in
some cases. There is good provision for sport, both on and off-site, and students
have ample opportunities to find an aspect of creative education in which they can
excel. The quality of practical work in this creative area is very high. The school’s
grounds and stables provide an avenue for both educational and emotional progress
for students with a high level of need. One student summed up the benefits of this:

‘I like it because it is a school, you get what you need to get done as well as do

things like work with the horses. I don’t want to leave school with no qualifications.’
The quality of teaching and assessment is good overall. Teachers organise lessons
well and their strong subject knowledge, underpinned by an understanding of the
particular ethos of the school, has a positive impact on students’ progress and
attitudes to learning. For example, one girl surprised herself by saying ‘I want to
carry on doing my maths – I never thought I’d say that!’ Expectations are high and

Independent school standard inspection report


teachers and students share a determination to succeed. Where learning is
occasionally less successful, lessons are not sufficiently tailored to the individual
levels of each student and behaviour begins to deteriorate. However, evident
understanding of the emotional needs of each student generally addresses this very
quickly. Teaching assistants work well within the teaching team and are most
effective when they participate actively, providing positive models of good learning
behaviour. Effective support is provided outside lessons and boarding staff place an
appropriate emphasis upon ensuring that academic work is given suitable priority in

students’ busy evenings.

The school tracks the progress of each student well on an individual basis, in both
school and boarding, and reviews students’ progress very thoroughly with regard to
their statements of special educational needs. However, this information is not used

as well as it could be to monitor the impact of the school’s work as a whole and to

ensure that any differences in progress are analysed and action taken to address
inconsistencies. Nevertheless, the school can point to a number of examples where
students who have previously found learning difficult have moved on successfully to
further or higher education.

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students

Students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is satisfactory. A range of

activities both in and out of school provides good opportunities for students to
develop self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. There is a strong sense of
community and students’ spiritual development is enhanced by the ethos of the
school. As a result, they learn to distinguish between right and wrong and begin to

demonstrate respect for other people’s beliefs and values. Some students make

tremendous strides in improving their behaviour. However, for a few, their
experience of life at the school and in boarding is affected either by their own
negative feelings or those of others, and the number of exclusions has increased
over the past year. Behaviour overall is satisfactory. Most, but not all, students enjoy
school and attend regularly. A few students have poor attendance; despite concerted
effort, and often due to circumstances beyond the school’s control, attempts to re-
engage these students are not consistently effective. However, a move into boarding
often supports increased stability and ensures more regular attendance.
Through themes explored in the ‘Main Lesson’, students learn about other cultures as
well as their own and this supports an atmosphere of racial harmony. Students’
understanding of those with other backgrounds or experiences is further enhanced

by the school’s celebration of the wide range of languages spoken by the staff as

well as a few of the students. Good development of key skills such as numeracy,
literacy and ICT, as well as cookery and other life skills, supports students’
preparation for adult life well. A wide variety of work placements attended by
students throughout the year include those at garages, hairdressers, local farms,
veterinary centres, leisure centres and ICT companies. Coupled with visits to local
libraries and other institutions, these help students to understand the world of work

Independent school standard inspection report


as well as gain an appreciation of public services. Opportunities to grow produce,
care for livestock and make things for their houses encourage students’ contributions
to their community and provide further work-related experiences. Taking part in the

village’s tidy up day and the planting of bulbs in the autumn enhances their

contribution to the local community.
Regular house meetings allow students to express their views about boarding but

students’ responses during the inspection showed that they would like more

opportunities to tell staff what they think about school. This was a suggested area
for improvement at the last inspection.

Welfare, health and safety of students

The overall quality of the provision for welfare, health and safety of the students is
inadequate. All staff are committed to enabling students to have a safe and
productive stay at the school. However, procedures are not rigourous enough to
ensure that this will undoubtedly be the case. As a result, the well-being of students,
particularly in boarding, has not been consistently safeguarded.
Some arrangements, such as those for first aid and emergencies, are sound, and
regular fire checks and practices take place. There is a good balance of enjoyable,
healthy and nutritious food at mealtimes. This generally helps students to build up a
positive approach to healthy eating, although some expressed dissatisfaction at what
is provided. The extensive grounds and a range of off-site activities promote active
lifestyles effectively. Students are aware of the guidance they receive about other
aspects of safe and healthy living but not all demonstrate that they are able to put
this into practice with regard to their own behaviours. The school has an appropriate
plan in relation to its responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as
amended, showing how it intends to improve facilities for adults and students with

Suitability of staff, supply staff and proprietors

The school checks all staff to ensure their suitability to work with children and
maintains the required single central register. Residential co-workers from other
countries who receive training at the school are also appropriately included on the

Premises and accommodation at the school

The premises generally provide an appropriate environment for learning and living.
There are, however, some inadequate security arrangements. Classrooms are of a
reasonable size and specialist teaching areas for vocational and creative subjects are
used well. The large gardens provide an extensive area in which students can study
horticulture and the stables offer a well-maintained and popular resource.

Independent school standard inspection report


The school has had a programme of renovation of the buildings and facilities in the
past two years and has improved many facilities. Shortage of space for science
currently means that practical scientific activity is rather cramped. However, there is

a schedule of improvement and repair of the physical aspects of the estate and the

school rightly has plans to extend the facilities for science when funding becomes

Provision of information

The school provides accurate and up-to-date information in its prospectus and on its
website. The reporting system, which includes annual reviews and reviews for
children who are looked after, helps parents, carers and local authorities to be

informed about students’ progress. The majority of parents or carers who had

responded to the questionnaire by the end of the inspection agreed with the views of
placing authorities that the school generally meets the needs of students well.

Manner in which complaints are to be handled

Procedures for dealing with complaints are available and are compliant with the
regulations. At the time of the inspection, some minor omissions were identified
which were immediately addressed by the school.

Effectiveness of the boarding provision

The quality of boarding is inadequate overall. One aspect of this provision, helping
students achieve well and enjoy what they do, is outstanding. The provision that
boarding makes to support students in being healthy and to make a positive
contribution are good and the boarding environment is satisfactory. Organisation and

the provision’s contribution to ensuring that students stay safe are inadequate. At

the time of the inspection, key aspects of risk assessment had not been addressed or
followed and records were not monitored with sufficient rigour. A child protection
incident had not been reported or recorded as required and some aspects of security
are inadequate.
Four of the five recommendations made at the last inspection have been addressed.
Recommendations met include obtaining and retaining on file written permission for
each young person for the administration of first aid and non-prescribed medication,
and staff now have access to these. A majority of renovations to residential houses

has now been completed and a system of staff appraisal is now in place. The final

recommendation concerned fire safety; this inspection found all fire checks for each
residential house were being undertaken regularly with fire records up-to-date.

The catering facility at the school is good, enabling the young people to enjoy a
healthy, balanced diet that generally meets their needs and choices. There is very
good liaison between various healthcare professionals to support the staff in meeting
the young people's health and emotional needs. Health care plans detail the specific

Independent school standard inspection report


care required to meet the young people's health needs. The school medical co-
ordinator has introduced good medication procedures and first aid is well managed.
Appropriate child protection procedures are in place. Training in safeguarding
children is provided for all staff; new staff and co-workers undergo an induction
process which includes training on child protection, positive handling strategies and
familiarisation with boarding routines. Examples of other training received include
first aid and guidance in epilepsy. Students know who they can complain to and
records kept of their complaints and comments are good. Young people are further
protected by a robust and thorough recruitment procedure. However, not all child
protection procedures are followed consistently in practice. For example, one serious
incident had not been reported to the appropriate authorities as required and records
held on this matter were inaccurate.
Students have opportunities in the residential houses to feed back their views and
opinions in both formal and informal forums. Activities offered are varied and give
students an opportunity to expand their life experience. The excellent choice and
clear structure of activities means that students find boarding both interesting and
enjoyable. Older students are given excellent support with independence skills and in
preparing to leave the school. Interaction between boarders and staff is seen to be
relaxed and warm. Within the boarding community, members of staff are very aware
of each student’s needs. If bullying occurs, the students are clear that the staff will
deal with it and offer support to the victim and advice to the perpetrator. Students
feel that sanctions are fair and say that they are encouraged and rewarded for
behaving well. Although most students go home at weekends, they can contact their
families and friends via mobile telephones, email and the school's telephone during
the week.
Accommodation for boarders is comfortable and clean. Students are able to
personalise their rooms and their privacy is protected. The school’s grounds are
extensive and have numerous facilities. The school has suitable risk assessments in
place, although there are occasions when these are not followed. A lax approach to
ensuring the safety of boarders while in their houses potentially places these
vulnerable students at risk. Additionally, residential staff report that they occasionally
work extended hours and at times work for up to two weeks with one day off. The
school endeavours to make suitable arrangements to avoid this or to ensure that
time off in lieu is given.
Fire drills, testing of fire safety equipment and other safety checks are carried out
regularly. A clear policy is in place for staff to follow in the event that a student is
missing. Records show that this is effectively followed if needed. Records such as
those of sanctions and restraints are kept within boarding and checked by a senior
member of staff. However, such monitoring is inconsistent so that it is unclear
whether some key documents have been reviewed or signed off.

Independent school standard inspection report


The school prospectus provides a good description of the services provided. The
promotion of equality and diversity is good and opportunities are offered to the
students to enjoy cultural activities. Levels of staffing are good and the students
report that they have easy access to advice and support. The school ensures that
students receive good support from professionals within school, while experts from
outside the school such as psychologists and therapists are engaged when
necessary. Students’ individuality is clearly understood and support is tailored well to
meet their idiosyncratic needs.

Compliance with regulatory requirements

The proprietor has ensured that the school meets The Education (Independent
School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010, schedule 1 (‘the Regulations’), with
the exception of those listed below.


The school does not meet all requirements in respect of provision for welfare, health
and safety of students (standards in part 3) and must:

  • ensure that arrangements are in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of
    boarders which have regard to the national minimum standards for residential
    special schools (paragraph 8)
  • ensure that there are adequate security arrangements in place for the grounds
    and buildings (paragraph 23(d))
  • ensure that arrangements are in place to ensure the security of boarders which
    have regard to the national minimum standards for residential special schools
    (paragraph 23(t)).
    In order to meet the national minimum standards for residential special schools and
    associated regulations, the school should:
  • ensure that all child protection incidents are reported to the appropriate
    authorities (breach of NMS 5.4 Appendix 1)
  • ensure that effective precautions are taken to ensure the security of the school
    from access by unauthorised persons (breach of NMS 23.6)
  • ensure that all risk assessments are acted upon to safeguard the students who
    board at the school (breach of NMS 32.2 and NMS 26.3)
  • ensure that all records are monitored and signed by a senior member of staff
    (breach of NMS 32.2)
  • ensure that all records of allegations or suspicions of abuse and their outcomes
    are clearly recorded (breach of NMS 32.2 Appendix 1)
  • ensure that the school's premises and grounds (including windows and doors
    which present a risk to children or offer intruder access) have clear risk
    assessments that are followed by staff (breach of NMS 26.3)
    Independent school standard inspection report


  • ensure that staff's long working hours are risk assessed and do not impact on
    the safety of the children (breach of NMS 28.3).

What the school could do to improve further

While not required by regulations, the school might wish to consider the following

points for development:

  • develop and use a system whereby the progress made by students and the
    impact of the school’s interventions are monitored over time and the
    information used effectively to address any inconsistencies
  • work with the students to consider ways in which they can more regularly
    contribute their views of the school.
    Independent school standard inspection report


Inspection judgements
good satisfactory inadequate

The quality of education

Overall quality of education
How well the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs
and interests of students
How effective teaching and assessment are in meeting the full range
of students’ needs
How well students make progress in their learning

Students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

Quality of provision for students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
The behaviour of students

Welfare, health and safety of students
The quality of boarding provision

The overall welfare, health and safety of students
Effectiveness of boarding provision

Independent school standard inspection report


School details

School status Independent
Type of school Steiner Waldorf residential special school
Date school opened 1956
Age range of students 7–19
Gender of students Mixed
Number on roll (full-time students) Boys: 33 Girls: 11 Total: 44
Number of boarders Boys: 22 Girls: 8 Total: 30
Number of students with a statement of
special educational needs
Boys: 32 Girls: 11 Total: 43
Number of students who are looked after Boys: 5 Girls: 0 Total: 5
Annual fees (day students) £53,550
Annual fees (boarders) £53,550
Address of school

West Hoathly
West Sussex
RH19 4PR

RH19 4PR
Telephone number 01342 810268
Email address linda.
Education Coordinator Linda Churnside
Care Coordinator Andrew Duncan
Proprietor Philpots Manor School Ltd

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