Gold standard school opens for SEND pupils

Coombe House School

Coombe House School in Donhead St Mary, Shaftesbury, threw open its doors to the first intake of 50 pupils and parents on 16 May, with the aim of becoming one of the most inspirational learning facilities in the UK for children with Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), only to shut them again a week later.
Set among 55 acres of beautiful countryside and with over 165,000 square feet of buildings, Coombe House School cost Dorset Council £10m and is expected to be the cornerstone of The Dorset Centre of Excellence (, with professional learning and development skills designed to inspire or train further those who join either as staff, students, or partners within the community.
Once fully operational, Coombe House aims to accommodate up to 280 children and 200 staff, providing schooling for children with autism and emotional and mental health issues. “The school will help children flourish and find their future paths as independent adults for the future,” said headteacher Katie Charles.
However, unable to comment further to the NBVM ‘due to meetings’, the school unexpectedly remained shut for at least three days at the time of going to press without a clear explanation. “Parents have been very understanding”, said a member of the school office.
For further information, contact Coombe on 01747 449820, or visit

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