Hill Park School

Who we are

Hill Park School provides specialist education for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD) or moderate learning difficulties (MLD). Some pupils have additional needs such as a diagnosis of autistic spectrum condition (ASC), hearing and or/visual impairment, physical disabilities and challenging behaviour.

The school has two sites in Portslade with a 2 minute walk between each. For 2018-2019 the pupils will remain allocated across the sites as they were in Hillside School and Downs Park School; so pupils with PMLD and SLD will be on the Lower Site and pupils with MLD will be on the Upper Site. From 2019-2020 it is planned that the sites will become Primary and Secondary; with the Lower site being Primary and the Upper site Secondary.

The school also operates a team of outreach teachers who are commissioned by the local authority to support children with additional needs in mainstream schools.

To meet the learning needs of the pupils as effectively as possible, the pupils are grouped into classes and departments specific to their learning need: PMLD; SLD, ASC and MLD. Children are taught in small groups with a high level of support from teaching assistants.

There is a school nurse who specialises in pupils with disabilities and is separate from the mainstream school nursing service. They liaise with medical staff and hospitals, as well as offering support directly to families, staff and pupils.

In addition to National Curriculum based learning, the wider curriculum offer includes physiotherapy programmes, mobility programmes, horse riding and hydrotherapy, depending on the needs if the individual child. There are two elements to the school’s curriculum offer; the individualised targets where the school builds skills and knowledge to enable every child to be as independent as possible, together with a wider curriculum which is delivered through whole class teaching and topics.

The School has four minibuses which allow pupils to take part in offsite activities such as swimming, horse riding , sports, rebound therapy, inclusion opportunities and vocational experiences.

Extended day services are being planned, and once an Extended Day Services Manager has been appointed the Hub will provide after school, weekend and holiday activities at the school. The school runs a siblings group for brothers and sisters of pupils at the school which offers trips out and sessions at Hill Park on a Saturday, where they can enjoy activities and share their experiences of having a sibling with special needs.

Hill Park School is statutorily registered to take pupils between 2 and 19 years; the extended age provision from 2 to 5 years and 16 to 19 years is being developed with the Local Authority to fully deliver on the remit of the school by 2020.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

  • Speech and Language
  • Educational Psychology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Sensory Needs
  • EMAS
  • Nursing and Medical Support including paediatrician support
  • Music Therapy

In addition, Pupils with PMLD or physical disabilities access NHS clinics based at Chailey Heritage and also receive wheelchair support services based there as well.

What training and experience have the staff supporting children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities had or having?

Hill Park School has a very stable, well-qualified and experienced staff team. The majority of teaching staff have initial or post-qualifying training in working with children with special needs. Teaching Assistants are supported to access NVQ/QCF qualifications to support the education and care of children with special needs. The school has an extensive induction and training programme which is focussed at meeting the needs of the school's pupils. Update training is undertaken every year to ensure that staff remain up-to-date with their knowledge and practice. Particular strengths of staff training and knowledge are in the areas of communication development, supporting children with ASC, personal care and meeting medical needs, supporting literacy and numeracy and behaviour management.


  • Accessible toilet
  • Accessible changing facilities
  • Lift
  • Ramp

More information on how we meet the needs of children/young people with SEND at our school


Rachel Burstow


01273 422855



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