Pupils at Richard Cloudesley School will have ‘complex needs’. Children and young people with complex needs include those with co-existing conditions or profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). However, they also include children who have newly begun to populate our schools – among them those who have difficulties arising from premature birth, have survived infancy due to advanced medical interventions, have disabilities arising from parental substance and alcohol abuse, and/or have rare chromosomal disorders. Many may also be affected by compounding factors such as multi-sensory impairment or mental ill-health, or require invasive procedures, such as supported nutrition, assisted ventilation and rescue medication.

Pupils will have  profound or severe learning disabilities, often with more than one disability, the most significant of which may be a profound learning disability (PMLD). All people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities will have great difficulty communicating. Many pupils will have additional sensory or physical disabilities, complex health needs or mental health difficulties. The combination of these needs and/or the lack of the right support may also affect behaviour. 

Before admission an initial assessment of the child's learning and medical/therapeutic needs is carried out. Parents/carers play an important role in this process and are invited to visit the school, talk to the Headteacher, see the class into which their child may be admitted and talk to the appropriate staff.  

Considerable thought, planning and preparation goes into utilising our support staff to ensure children achieve the best outcomes, gain independence and are prepared for adulthood from the earliest possible age.

We have four classes in primary, four in secondary and two in our sixth form. Classes are mixed ability with 8 pupils. Each class has a core of two teaching assistants, with additional teaching assistants allocated to groups depending on pupil needs.

Each class has a Lead TA who oversees the communication needs of the pupils and works with the teacher on planning and lesson preparation. Each department has a Senior (Higher Level) Teaching Assistant who helps lead the TA team and covers teachers for up to two days at a time in any class. 

We welcome the full involvement of parents and carers in the admissions process and the parents of early years children are welcome to spend time in school during the first weeks. Visits and phone calls from parents are always welcome.


For information on how parents can find out about admission arrangements through the local authority click here.


Oversubscription Criteria

As the school is oversubscribed, the headteacher will operate a planning list and inform interested parents and/or the local authority as and when a suitable vacancy may arise. In this instance the headteacher will give priority to children:

  • who are, or have previously been, in care or looked after;

  • who have a brother or sister at the school;

  • who are not currently in education;

  • who have degenerative or life limiting conditions;

  • whose needs can best be matched at that time by the expertise in the school.


Please visit the policies page of this website to read our admissions policy.