A RESIDENTIAL school for children with autism and challenging behaviour has been praised for its role in "changing society's attitude."

Hill House School, which offers places to students between the ages of 11 and 19, was rated Outstanding following a three-day visit from Ofsted inspectors.

The school, in Boldre in the New Forest, was given the top grade in both education and care.

Lead Ofsted Inspector Elizabeth Farr said leaders and staff work tirelessly to ensure students become accepted and welcomed within the school’s local community. As a result this is a school where everyone plays their part in changing society’s attitudes for the better, she said.

"Events such as the school’s harvest festival bring local people into the school to mix harmoniously and work together with students. Additionally students who have experienced extended periods of isolation from wider society gain access to the community and experience a sense of inclusivity" she added.

Ms Farr said leaders and staff work tirelessly to ensure students are accepted and welcomed in the community and added: "Leaders go the extra mile to ensure that all pupils experience success, realising their personal best. This is a continually improving school."

Her comments were welcomed by head teacher Kate Landells who said she was thrilled with the rating and with the school’s culture being captured during the inspection.

"We are delighted with the outstanding judgement from Ofsted and that the inspector was able to see how we are playing a significant role in changing society’s attitude towards students who experience significant difficulties" she added.

"We work incredibly hard to ensure our students are accepted and welcomed in the local community through training, day trips and work placements."

Hill House School offers 52-week residential placements and is equipped to deal with the needs of a variety of students with a range of abilities both academically and with communication and who have a diagnosis of autism, complex learning difficulties and associated behaviours.