KARON Nougher, a parent governor whose son Leon attends the school, said: “From the moment I looked around Montacute School I knew it was the right place for Leon. It is a warm, welcoming, happy place with staff dedicated to getting the best out of the children. My son is really happy there and progressing well.”

PAM Henderson, chair of governors whose son was a pupil for 17 years, said: “He loved it. His abilities were maximised and his health problems dealt with expertly. My husband and I felt very supported in the difficult job of bringing him up. I love the school and what it gives to special children.”

CHARLOTTE Dowding, 16, said: “I particularly love doing art and different art projects. I helped design a new logo which I enjoyed. The teachers here are very helpful and supportive and I have got good friends.”

CLAUDIA Taylor, 19, said: “I feel happy when I’m with my friends and I’ve got good friends here. I like band music and I work alongside the boys from the grammar school. I also like swimming at the Dolphin swimming pool.”

SALLY Pugh, a post-16 teacher, said: “I love the fact we are preparing these guys for the real world and the fact that we really make the most of our local community facilities.”

RUTH Payne, assistant head of the upper school, said: “We offer the children a huge range of opportunities, from horse riding to the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. “We’ve also taken children abroad to Europe, which has helped them with their independence in a different context. I’ve been here for over 20 years, it’s just a wonderful place.”