Westfield Arts College

Our vision

To offer each of our pupils an exciting, well-balanced curriculum and outstanding opportunities that support them to achieve their full potential.

Broadening horizons

To hold the pupil at the centre of everything we do by working in close partnership with them, parents and carers, external agencies and the community beyond the school.

To provide a safe and happy learning environment in which our pupils grow into confident, independent young people with the skills they need to make a positive contribution to society. 

To maintain and further develop a superb staff and governor team that is able to offer our pupils education and care of the highest quality. 

Ofsted rating

Outstanding (December 2016)

Read our latest Ofsted report.

Needs supported

We support a range of complex needs including:

  • moderate learning difficulties (MLD)
  • autistic spectrum conditions (ASC)
  • a variety of additional needs

Admission criteria

We admit pupils with an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
Admission is through the local authority panel process.


We deliver a national curriculum which is modified according to the needs of our pupils. All pupils have a learning difficulty and the curriculum is delivered at a level and pace which is suited to their needs. We follow person-centred approaches and offer additional support to those who require a more personalised provision.

There is a strong focus on the arts, sport, creativity and outdoor learning.

We focus on encouraging independence and life skills to give our pupils the best opportunities for their adult lives.


All pupils leave Westfield with a range of qualifications that are best suited to their level of attainment.

Most pupils follow Entry Level courses and gain Unit Awards. Some are able to access GCSE qualifications if they are suitable, although we mostly look at alternative accreditation.

Pupils gain qualifications in a wider range of subjects and areas.

Westfield gave my son the chance to be himself without judgement and plenty of support. He grew in confidence and I am proud of the young man he has become due to the help he received in Westfield.  

November 2018

Wellbeing and therapies

The wellbeing of pupils is at the centre of everything we do.
We have a team of intervention teaching assistants (TAs) who support pupils in a variety of areas where they may be struggling. We have a Pupil and Parent Support Team who provide emotional support and advice.

We're fortunate to be supported by the Swifts team who work with the school and parents on approaches to managing behaviours. We employ a part-time speech and language therapist to work with identified pupils.

Facilities and environment

Westfield is very well-resourced, with specialist rooms for:

  • design and food technology
  • art
  • science
  • IT
  • a drama studio
  • a sports hall
  • a sensory room
  • library
  • other specially resourced areas

Provision for sixth form students is on 2 sites:
  • the school 'bungalow'
  • Weymouth College which gives older students the opportunity to be more independent in a college environment

Next steps and transitions

Special school places are not always permanent. Every year a child or young person's special school placement will be reviewed as part of their education, health and care (EHC) plan review process and will discuss various options including:

  • into adulthood
  • life skills
  • developing independence
  • sixth form choices
  • Local Offer after 16 years and after 19 years

"Elliott came to Westfield aged 8, after struggling to manage in mainstream. He has a diagnosis of ASD and has difficulties with social interaction and communication.

From an early age Elliott was motivated by sport, particularly swimming. He swam competitively nationally and was supported by home to pursue his passion. At the end of year 11 Elliott achieved GCSE art, Level 1 in radio production and Entry Level qualifications in English, maths, science, PE and design and technology.

He also completed a successful work experience at a local leisure centre.

Unsure of what to do, Elliott stayed at Westfield to improve his basic skills and continue with a one day a week placement at the leisure centre. After a term of sixth form Elliott has a full-time job at the leisure centre and is a qualified lifeguard."

Westfield Arts College

Name: Seán Kretz, headteacher
Email: office@westfield.dorset.sch.uk
Tel: 01305833518
Full contact details