Sunnydown School is a community special school located in Caterham. Mr Jensen has been the Head of the school since 2014. He would like it to overcome the austerity challenges and therefore the school has continued to spend money in a deliberate approach to ensure that its young autistic men continue to receive access to the best possible education available. The National Autistic Society have published statistics (2016) that only 16% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid employment, and only 32% are in a form of paid work.
Recently the schools ‘Best Practice Article. was included in ‘The Parliamentary Review’ and recognised by Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett.
Money has been generated by the school in various ways and a vast majority of the work is undertaken by the students themselves. The school has acquired its own Burger Van which regularly services local events including the Caterham Beer Festival, Caterham Carnival and The Rotary Half Marathon. 100% of the profits are re-invested in visible projects at the school, including a bike maintenance workshop, a mountain bike track, and an outdoor gym. The latest investment is the establishment of an outdoor landscaped chess set and decking area, complete with its own Pizza Oven and BBQ.
The education in Caterham in many regards, suffers from the same pressures as all maintained schools Nationally do however Sunnydown has approached this as a challenge to be overcome. Despite difficult financial times, Sunnydown graduates continue to exceed expectations with GCSE results outcomes and as a result 100% of the schools graduates, for the last two years have been awarded their first choice of post 16 pathways. They leave with smiles on their faces, friends by their side, and with hope of a bright future where they are contributing to the wider society.