An independent specialist setting
for students with autism and anxiety
01905 349915


At Lokrum Fields, we are passionate about enabling students to reach their full potential and achieve personal and academic success.  We work hard to offer students an individualised education in a calm and supportive environment, ensuring their needs are met and helping them to recover from previous negative school experiences.  We are delighted that Ofsted has recognised and commented on our: effective safeguarding practices; “individualised approach” to education and bespoke lesson planning; “strong focus on developing pupils’ self-esteem and self-confidence” and the provision of opportunities based on students’ interests and talents; “positive learning environment”; the positive behaviour of students and their attitudes towards equality and diversity; and the way staff act as “good role models”. 

Lokrum Fields was developed to cater for students who are academically able, including supporting students to achieve a range of GCSEs.  Our key stage 4 curriculum is provided in partnership with Interhigh, except where an alternative approach has been agreed in consideration of individual needs.  We believe the use of Interhigh offers advantages to our students, including the possibility of revisiting recorded lessons, accessing lesson materials in advance, interacting online with a wider peer group, and being able to choose from a wider range of GCSE options.  The use of Interhigh is carefully monitored and supported by in-house staff, including our own subject specialists, ensuring the additional needs of our students are met consistently across the whole curriculum.  We are pleased that Ofsted has endorsed this approach.    

As a new setting, we are continuing to welcome new students throughout the academic year.  Our students often require an extended transition period, during which time we focus on helping them to feel safe and secure, building trusting relationships and supporting their ability to communicate their thoughts and wishes to us.  The level of academic challenge provided during transition is tailored to each student’s needs, enabling them to experience early success and to work towards full-time attendance.  We review the level of academic challenge with each student on an ongoing basis, in co-production with parents and therapists, to find a balance which supports both their ability to attend and access the curriculum and the academic success that will facilitate their individual aspirations.  It often takes time for students to develop the resilience to face increased academic challenge, but our individualised approach is designed to make the most of every opportunity for learning. 

Lokrum Fields benefits from a wealth of teaching experience, with several staff having prior experience in senior teaching and leadership roles.  We are pleased that Ofsted noted the care which our teachers take to plan bespoke lessons and carefully monitor progress.  With just 10 students on roll, all receiving individualised education, the collation of standardised whole-school data has not been a priority.  Any analysis of whole-school data would currently be statistically spurious; however, we recognise that a centralised approach to data will be beneficial in the longer term.  In advance of the visit by Ofsted, we had identified software which records individual steps of progress while also providing a whole-school overview.  The roll-out of this software is currently in progress.         

Ofsted noted that the proprietor, governors and leaders have an ambitious vision for the school.  In order to fulfil this vision, we believe it is vital to have a culture of continuous review and to be willing to make changes where necessary.  Prior to any students joining Lokrum Fields, we had planned for key stage 3 to follow a topic-based curriculum, in a class of 6, taught primarily by the key stage teacher.  In practice, we have found that many of our current students are more successful when timetabled in smaller groups, with greater individualisation, and that they have been able to build relationships with subject specialists rather than depending on a key stage teacher.  We therefore responded to this by recruiting additional subject specialists and revising our curriculum plans.  Although the revised curriculum was not fully embedded at the time of the Ofsted inspection, we are pleased that Ofsted noted the commitment of the leadership team to identify and address any weaknesses and endorsed the changes we have made and the plans we have for future developments. 

It is standard practice, and a statutory requirement, for schools to consult with stakeholders in respect of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE).  However, it is also a requirement for schools to publish their RSHE policy in advance of being open to students, at which time there are no parents with whom to consult.  During the 2021/22 academic year, we have been focussing on providing students with structured opportunities to support the development of natural friendships and on helping them to understand the foundations of friendship.  This has been consistent with students’ needs and reflects the priorities articulated by parents.  As Ofsted noted, we have planned to implement a formal RSHE consultation before the end of the year.  We remain committed to ensuring our RSHE provision reflects students’ needs, with appropriate regard to any gaps or delays our students may have in relation to friendship skills. 

We currently have 18 members of staff with an on-site presence at Lokrum Fields, in addition to contracted therapists, and we are continuing to recruit across Wider Ambition sites in preparation for more students joining.  Our vacancy for a Speech and Language Therapist remains a priority and we acknowledge that the nationwide skills shortage in this area is frustrating. We will continue to devote time and effort to ensuring that all new recruits are of a similarly high calibre to our current team. We recognise that introducing new staff creates an additional challenge for students and so we allow time for gradual introductions and familiarisation.  We also recognise that students are affected when staff leave; this academic year, we have said farewell to 3 members of staff, which inevitably created an additional sense of change.  We are committed to high levels of staff wellbeing, and we are pleased that Ofsted noted that “staff feel part of a cohesive team”.  We are proud to have such a highly qualified and experienced team at Lokrum Fields and we recognise that their passion for delivering our ethos is crucial to students’ ongoing success.  We are very grateful to staff for their commitment to student wellbeing, their expertise and their support.  Wider Ambition’s parent company enjoys excellent staff retention, and we anticipate similarly stability at Lokrum Fields.    

It has always been a priority at Lokrum Fields to work closely with parents and to recognise parents as experts.  Many of our staff have personal experience of the challenges involved in finding the right educational provision for children with complex needs, including understanding the related strain on family life and finances.  We also appreciate that students will experience ongoing challenges and emerging needs throughout their placements and that open communications, joint planning and shared expectations are key. We actively seek and always welcome information from parents about the needs, thoughts, wishes and feelings of our students and we seek the opinions of parents, recognising their expertise and unique knowledge of their child, when planning provision for their children. We recognise that our students will often need to communicate with us via a parent and that this is empowering for our students, whose social camouflaging has often impeded their ability to communicate important information in the past. 

We support families during the admissions process by seeking their views first, being transparent about any communications with Local Authorities, signposting to additional sources of advice, attending SEND Tribunals and keeping in touch throughout the process.  At the start of a student’s transition, we work closely with parents to understand the finer details of the student’s needs and preferences and to develop individualised plans.  Parents are invited to remain on site whenever students need them to be present.  Conversations with parents occur frequently throughout transition and the student’s arrangements are routinely adapted to reflect feedback.  On an ongoing basis, we communicate with parents at school pick-up or drop-off, as well as through regular individual emails and phone calls in relation to any changes, feedback or arising needs.  Where students experience an additional difficulty or need further support, we arrange meetings with parents, therapists and key staff to agree plans in genuine co-production.  Meeting notes are routinely shared with parents.  In common with all aspects of how we work at Lokrum Fields, we are continuing to review how we work with parents, and we always warmly invite constructive suggestions.  We are very happy to discuss the Ofsted report and our ongoing plans with parents of current or prospective students individually – please do ask if you would like an individual phone call or meeting. 

You can access our latest inspection report here.​

You can access the report from our pre-registration inspection here.