A NEW independent special school on the Isle of Wight has had much to reflect upon in its first year — including its achievement of a 'good' Ofsted report at the first time of asking.

New Forest Care Education's (NFCE) establishment in Faulkner Lane, Sandown — Forest Edge — supports children with social, emotional and mental health needs on the Island.

Its Ofsted in February achieved a 'good' rating, but was awarded 'outstanding' on three out of four areas inspected.

Managed by Nikki Peace, Forest Edge, established in February last year, currently has eight children registered, but has plans to treble that figure within the next six months.

Inside Forest Edge special school in SandownInside Forest Edge special school in Sandown (Image: Forest Edge)

“NFCE is extremely proud of the hard work and commitment to drive the school forward. We are excited at what we can achieve in the next 12 months to further support education on the Island.” said Mark Fry, director and proprietor of the school.

Using its years of experience, from running outstanding schools and alternative provision, NFCE aims to provide the same individualised programmes, alternative environments, understanding of behavioural needs and child-centred approach for children on the Island.

In 2020, NFCE started to explore ways in which it could help with the growing number of children who needed specialist support on the Island, but progress was halted by Covid-19.

But last year, NFCE, in partnership with OEA — an alternative provision and newly registered school — say it is making "education accessible to children in a way they can engage, maintain attendance and ultimately achieve".

Together, they have continued the development of Forest Edge and Newport's Riverway, as its 'alternative provision', which supports students to maintain their mainstream school attendance, or as part of an EOTAS (educated other than a school) programme.

The Newport facility has been open for several years and currently supports 25 to 30 children per week.