Telephone Headstart School: 01424 893803
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Welcome To Headstart School

About Headstart:


Headstart School was established in 1999. It has a proven track record of success with learners on the Autistic Spectrum including those with complex needs. Places are available for students from age 7 to 16 and following onto our Post 16 courses up to the age of 21. 

Headstart School has the benefit of two sites: both situated in the East Sussex countryside, one on the outskirts of the village of Ninfield and the other at Golden Cross. The school admits up to fifty students across both sites complimented by a large qualified experienced staff team. This high ratio of qualified staff to student and our unique approach is what we believe to be our strength, and the main reason for our success with students who have struggled in other academic environments.

For those students with Statements of Special Educational Needs or Education Health Care Plans (EHCP’s), we follow the requirements set out in these documents and hold Annual Reviews accordingly. More information is available on a one to one discussion basis with the Head Teacher on request.

Particulars of Academic performance for the preceding school year are available on request. Headstart School is a unique environment with a unique approach where we invite you to book a visit through our administration team at



Headstart Telephone Number - 01424 893803

Headstart Mission Statement:

Headstart School aims to give every student the opportunity to:


  • Build self-esteem and self awareness

  • Take ownership of their learning and build independent learning skills

  • Gain accredited qualifications and vocational skills

  • Acquire the necessary social skills to integrate into society


New Post 16 Course Options

Ofsted Report

View the latest Headstart School Ofsted report

Recent Feedback:

This school has transformed my daughter's life. She is flourishing educationally and socially and the school is amazingly responsive to each child's needs. Sports days and Christmas shows are emotional occasions because there is also a lot of love at this school and it shows! Every year I am blown away by what individual children have achieved, the staff are fantastic and never seem to give up or give in.

Our foster son has been out of school for over two years, and he was difficult to place but now we have found Head Start he is growing as a person and finally enjoying school. I feel this is down to the ethos, fine teaching skills and behavioural management of the truly exceptional teachers and staff at Head Start school. Well done and keep up the excellent work!

I think what this school offers young students is nothing like i've heard before, it is unique in its environment, care and teaching. Headstart school I believe is a lovely environment to grow and learn in. A huge part of why this school is truly one to recommend is clearly because of the passion and devotion from the teachers and head teachers.

I have had personal dealings with Headstart school because of my son and his needs. This school has enabled not just my son, but also myself, to access parts of normal life we never thought possible and for my son to succeed. The school and it's staff have enabled us to have the mother son connection we could not access because of his behaviour prior to coming to Headstart. I cannot thank Headstart enough.


Headstart School is more than just a school. It has become out extended family. My son has been at the school for 4 years, he entered the school being told he would never achieve and there was no future for him, by mainstream school and county, but not by Headstart who always see the potential in our children. A boy with no social skills. We shed so many tears of sadness, we now cry tears of joy. He is achieving beyond any expectations, words I never thought we would hear he's taking GCSE's and BTEC's, yep the boy who would never achieve is achieving, this is because of the amazing staff at Headstart, the staff attitude of never giving up and always finding a new way for our children to learn. Socially they have taught him so much. His life is full of enrichment and the school is giving him experiences he would never have been able to have a go at before. At mainstream his attendance was poor, at Headstart his attendance is 100% again something he would never achieve. Staff are the most amazing people we have ever met, always looking for new ways to help the students, always encouraging, always full of pride of all the students achievements. The vision Nicky Dann had 16 years ago has been the making if so many children, we can't thank Nicky and the rest of the staff for not only giving our son a future but also the support and a future for our family. The staff do not work there for a job they are as part of a future, to give our children a future, to nurture and to be part of our lives. Staff are as proud as parents of all the children's achievements.

So far our experience of Headstart School has been a positive one. My daughter started in May this year and has made improvements educationally, emotionally and socially. The care and understanding of her needs are second to none and I would recommend this type of schooling environment for any child no matter what their needs.

Headstart school offers students the opportunity to be able to study and learn in an environment seldom found in traditional conventional specialist provisions.
The approach and methods practiced and school ethos, teamed with excellent, kind and dedicated staff, provide a successful recipe for students to progress and achieve.
I speak from experience, whereby my child (not suited to the natural progression of special schools offered), has finally found a school where she is understood, supported well and is welcome. She is happy, learning and achieving.

Headstart -
Built by inspiration, created from a dream. Each building block planned to bring confidence and esteem

Hi Caroline, Thank you for chatting to us today and for showing us round, we will be in touch if we are lucky enough to get the LA to agree to the school of our choice, we loved the way you were so passionate about the work you and your school do.

Dear Caroline, I would like to thank you for the inspirational training session you led today for the University of Brighton undergraduates. Your presentation was engaging and full of useful strategies for trainee teachers to employ on their placements. The wealth of knowledge and experience that you bought to seminar will stand them in good stead as they embark on their journeys to becoming outstanding practitioners.

The school provides a caring and purposeful working atmosphere where pupils and staff respect one another, and where pupils can work in a good humoured and enjoyable learning environment. Pupils achieve well and make good progress. This is because of good teaching and the use of an effective curriculum.


Headstart Links:

  • Ofsted
  • AQA
  • FLSE
  • Edexcel
  • National Autistic Society