Our history

The school was originally built in 1957 and opened in September that year as ‘Thieves Wood School for Very Severely Handicapped Children’. Originally the school catered for some 150 pupils, half of which were 7 day ‘boarders’ from the surrounding region. The most common disability at the time was Polio.

The school was built on this particular site in order to be near to Harlow Wood Hospital which was an orthopaedic hospital across the road (now a housing estate) and Portland Training College.

In 1980 the school was amalgamated with Park Hall Special School which was in Mansfield Woodhouse and was renamed ‘Fountaindale School’.

In 2014 the school was totally rebuilt with funding from the Priority Schools Building Programme.  This allowed us to design a 75 place school to meet the very specific needs of pupils with complex physical, medical and sensory needs, aged 3 to 18 years.

The school has stuck to its specialist roots and in 2007 gained designation as a ‘Specialist SEN School’ for children with physical and sensory needs.

Since 1995 the school has developed and managed a Physical Disability Support Service for the Local Authority. This service provides mainstream schools who have children with physical needs on their roll with advice, assessment support and equipment to support their inclusion. In 2011 the school was fully commissioned by the LA to provide this service.

In 2012 the role of the school widened still further when it was offered the opportunity to be commissioned by the LA to manage the Health Related Education Team. This team provides education to children across the county who are in hospital or are too ill to attend their own school.

The school continues to develop its role towards its ultimate vision of becoming a centre of excellence in its provision of education and support of children and young people with physical, medical and sensory needs across the region.