Pioneer School

Essex, United Kingdom

Location: Essex, United Kingdom
Type: Special Needs
Funding status: State - Academy
Gender: Mixed
Age range: 3 - 19 years

About Pioneer School

  **Please scroll to the bottom of this page to view our live vacancies**  

We are a successful, purpose built, mixed special school providing for children and young people between the ages of 3 – 19 with severe and complex learning difficulties, although we also aspire to support young people to the age of 25.

With the exception of those pupils occasionally admitted in the Foundation Stage on an assessment basis all pupils have a statement of special educational need, falling principally into the categories of severe and complex or profound and multiple. A smaller number of students have moderate learning difficulties and a significant number have an additional diagnosis of autism.

The school experiences a variable pattern of referrals and admissions and whilst it is usual for children to be admitted at the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 age there are a significant number of children that are admitted at other ages. Admissions also take place regularly throughout the school year. 

Although the catchment area for the school extends beyond the geographical boundaries of Basildon the vast majority of pupils live in the local area.

In January 2009 the school moved to new purpose built premises, which were further extended in September 2011 to provide even more specialist spaces. The school now has facilities that are second to none within the UK and we are regularly visited or consulted on matters of special school design.

Our vision is to continue developing and improving the quality of provision available to our students and governors, parents and staff are enthusiastic and committed to the proposed plans.  We believe that our proposals will enhance the education and quality of life for the children and young people currently in the school and lead to better outcomes for them in adult life.

Our most recent successful Ofsted inspection recognised that we are a good school with many outstanding features, one of which was our capacity to continue to improve.  This is shown by our decision to convert to academy status and our ambitious plans to further extend our provision.

Values and Ethos

We are committed to providing all our pupils with an excellent educational

experience that supports them in becoming confident, respectful and caring individuals.

We do this by providing:

  • A stimulating and exciting curriculum
  • A safe, stimulating learning environment offering therapeutic, sensory and
  • medical interventions when needed
  • Skilled staff who have access to high quality training
  • Partnerships with parents and positive links with the community
  • An environment where everyone is of equal worth and is treated with dignity and respect

Community Code

We have a Community Code that underpins our values.

Care for each other

  • Be helpful to others
  • Be generous in thoughts and actions
  • Give consideration to the needs of others
  • Be charitable
  • Show compassion and kindness

Show respect

  • Show understanding and tolerance towards each other
  • Be kind and polite
  • Value the views of others
  • Demonstrate fairness in your actions

Have confidence

  • Be self assured                
    • Show dedication and the will to succeed
    • Trust in those who support you
    • Have the courage to persevere


Entitlement - all children are entitled to equality of opportunity and high quality learning experiences;

Empowerment - all children are people first and have a basic human need for realising their self-worth and raising self-esteem;

Enablement - all children have potential to learn from quality learning experiences.

It is the aim of Pioneer School Staff, with the help of our multi-agency partners, to provide children and young people with the highest possible standard of education and care through recognition of their individual needs, thus enabling them to realise their full potential.

We are committed to offering our pupils access and entitlement to a broad differentiated and relevant curriculum which meets their individual needs and which prepares them realistically for the future.

Our Curriculum

To view our curriculum please click here 


At the recent Ofsted inspection (19 – 20 June 2014) inspectors found that pupils make good progress and learn important skills for their future lives. They felt that those with the most profound needs made outstanding progress because of the quality of joint working between school staff and specialist therapists. They also said that the pupils make outstanding progress in their social and personal development as a result of the very considerable care and respect afforded to them by all staff. Relationships between pupils and with staff were also considered to be outstanding.

The report also complimented the way that teachers and teaching assistants met the wide range of needs within classes and found that teaching was consistently good and occasionally outstanding. They also commented on the good provision at the Early Years and Foundation Stage and at post 16, which they felt prepared students effectively for when they transfer to the next stage of their education or training.

Inspectors were also impressed by the attitude of the students, describing them as keen to learn and well mannered, stating that misbehaviour was uncommon. They felt that behaviour management was excellent with a positive approach from staff that got the best form pupils. The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure was also felt to be outstanding.

Inspectors also commented that the school accommodation and resources are of exceptional quality and support the curriculum very well.

To improve further the inspectors feel we need to raise pupils’ progress and attainment by ensuring more teaching is outstanding. They also say we need to ensure the school improvement plans focus on the most important areas of pupils’ learning

The inspection team was led by the Chief Inspector for SEN & Disability and his endorsement of the very good work of the school and the many positive comments within the report is cause for congratulations to all concerned.

To view the full Ofsted report please click here.

Our Trust 

We are proud to be part of Academies Enterprise Trust.  

We are a national network of over 60 primary, special and secondary academies. We are passionately committed to inspiring children and young people. 

We’ve undergone considerable change over the last two years. Bar the name above the door, everything about AET has changed: our leadership; our governance; our financial controls; our school improvement and our curriculum support. 

AET is well on its way to becoming something rather wonderful – we are a family of schools that is dedicated to education that paves the way for our young people go on to lead remarkable lives. And it’s our people who are making that a living and breathing reality in our academies.


Each and every child inspired to choose a Remarkable Life.


To gather and motivate inspirational people committed to delivering an excellent education that launches children into remarkable lives.



At AET, we choose to be unusually brave. We're not afraid to challenge wrongs, to make the right call, even when it's both unusual and difficult to do so.


We are on the search for discovering what's possible. We look to create 'eureka moments' for our students, helping them discover a world of possibilities and opportunities.


We always strive to push the limits. We don't settle for less than excellent and we won't allow our students to either. We resolve to overcome any self-imposed limits.


We commit to being big-hearted. We choose to treat each other with kindness, warmth and care, believing that everybody matters and believing in one another.

AET is also an approved Apprenticeship Training Provider (through the ESFA) which allows us to deliver a wide range of apprenticeship programmes across the Trust and our school network. To find out more about what we offer click here

We also offer School Direct teacher training programmes across our network. For more information please click here.

To find out more about about AET please visit us at

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Address: Pioneer School, Ghyllgrove, Basildon, Essex, SS14 2LA, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 1268 243300