Ofsted Outstanding Provider
Chimes in Sensory Garden

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: All families have been contacted directly with details of when their child is due to return to school in September. Please refer to the email issued to families on 13th July for further information.


Please see our Home Learning pages for a variety of home-based activities. 

Please see our Useful Contacts page for links to family support and information from other organisations provided during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.


Headteacher's Welcome

Thank you for taking the time to find out about our school. I believe it is a privilege for any school to be given the responsibility of educating a young person. I am proud to be leading this 'Outstanding' school and outstanding team of professionals sharing with you our commitment to our pupils.

At Hillside we relentlessly strive to create a learning environment where all pupils can feel safe and are stimulated, inspired and supported in preparation for their future lives.

At Hillside, we see 'The Unique Child' as the starting point and at the heart of everything we do. The highly skilled and experienced staff team work closely with our partners from health and social care to develop personalised learning programmes. The staff at Hillside are dedicated to ensuring the best outcomes for our pupils.

We believe that equality and mutual respect for all is essential. We uphold the British Values embracing those with different faiths, lifestyles and beliefs.

We have high standards and expectations in terms of all round development and behaviour whilst always celebrating achievement and success at all levels.

Lizzi Murphy



Chairman of Governors: A History of Hillside

Hillside School is more than just a building, it is a vibrant education community that has evolved and developed for nearly 40 years to deliver the very best learning opportunities for its students.

I have been involved with the life of the school for many years. I was appointed as the Community Paediatric Physiotherapist for the Sudbury area by the West Suffolk Health authority in November 1982; this included the pupils at Hillside. I ceased to work for the health authority in 1997 and was invited to become a governor two years later, and then chairman of governors. It has been a great privilege to be involved in the school for such a long period of time; to support the development and leadership of Hillside to become first a Beacon school (the highest category before the Ofsted rating of Outstanding started) and subsequently outstanding for the last three Ofsted inspections. Hillside has seen enormous change over the years in its pupil cohort, the educational resources that are offered, the governance and the leadership but always with one aim in mind, that of making every effort to meet the needs of all its pupils; I am sure it will continue to adapt and change as necessary for the pupils now and those that are yet to come.

Hillside School building began life as a junior training centre comprising three rooms and a communal hall for group activities, administered by the County Council Social Care department. Following the 1978 Warnock Report there was a major revolution in the way that children with special educational needs were provided for. It recommended that all training centres should be transferred to the Education Local Authority and that educational opportunities should be given to all children of school age.

Thus Hillside Special School was created; by September 1982 a purpose built assessment nursery had been added, along with a new classroom. There was a maximum of 40 children in the school, including those in the nursery. Since then the school has grown in size and capacity, with the addition of classrooms, a hall, new kitchens, rooms for cookery and art, a computer suite and a hydrotherapy pool.

The school has continued to grow in numbers since 1982 and we are proud to have maintained close working relationships with families, other professionals and the local community throughout the journey.

Pauline Lucas MBE

Chairman of Governors