Background Information

John Hassell

During my tenure of headship (headteacher,  Glyne Gap Special School, 1989–2013) the school was fully inspected four times and received a three further HMI ‘aspect visit inspections’ (on creative learning, curriculum innovation, communication language and literacy). All inspections over that time were graded as outstanding (or equivalent).

Glyne Gap School was identified in the first 100 schools to be given Beacon status and was in the first cohort of ‘specialist’ (cognition) special schools.

In 2009 Glyne Gap was identified as one of the 12 best special schools in the country by OFSTED/HMCI (12 Outstanding Special Schools).

Glyne Gap was a curriculum and assessment innovator being a core source of the national target setting publication for identifying attainment in pre level 1 learners  (known as the ‘P’ scales). The school subsequently published extended and adapted ‘P’ scales and further extensive curriculum materials.

Further school innovation included a preschool service for children from birth to school age,  a  purpose-built inclusive nursery (the school raised £¾ million to build this), a professional studies and development centre,  a co-located further education faculty in a newly built sixth form college and extensive ‘extended school opportunities’.

The school was a ‘converter’ Academy, converting to Academy status (independently of any sponsor) in April 2013.