A SCHOOL that takes on some of Herefordshire's toughest teaching challenges needs more space, says OFSTED.

Pupils with severe learning difficulties go to Blackmarston School, Hereford. But OFSTED inspectors found that some of the school's classes were too crowded to meet all of the children's specific needs and difficulties.

And putting a soft playroom in a storage area presented safety issues, they said.

Overall, the resulting report shows the school to be serving its challenging charges well. Strong management saw pupils through to considerable improvement in communication and personal development.

The high level of expertise that teachers brought to lessons impressed the inspectors. They said particular progress was being made with autistic pupils while Early Years youngsters had a good start.

There were 'strong links' with parents, other schools and the wider community.

In turn, parents held the school and its head Sian Bailey in high regard.

The report recommended Blackmarston to review its use of space and improve the way specific subject learning was managed and pupil achievement assessed.

Governors support the inspection's findings and praised the 'hard work and effort' of school staff.

"We are very proud of what is achieved at Blackmarston," said chairman of governors Lady Fiona Mynors.