A school which helps children with dyslexia and associated conditions back into mainstream education has been rated outstanding.

The Unicorn School, in Abingdon, is the latest special school in Oxfordshire to be given Ofsted’s highest accolade.

Following a recent inspection, the independent school was given an outstanding rating in every category.

At least eight special schools in Oxfordshire now have Ofsted’s highest rating, including Northern House School, in Summertown, Oxford, where pupils have behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, Swalcliffe Park School, near Banbury, which looks after children with autism, and Penhurst School, in Chipping Norton, where many of the children have complex medical needs on top of profound learning difficulties.

Unicorn headteacher Jackie Vaux said: “It’s really the input and personal development of the staff, the parents, the governors and children which has raised us from good to outstanding.

“This is a community and I think it is the joint effort of that community that has brought it about, so we are absolutely thrilled.”

Inspector Tom Fisher-Smith described children’s behaviour as exemplary and their attitudes as “unfailingly positive”.

He said: “Daily sessions of individual teaching by specialist support teachers enable every individual to manage their condition of dyslexia with a growing confidence.”

There are currently 66 pupils at the school, for which fees are £15,555 per year. Bursaries are available and some places are funded by councils.

Mrs Vaux said on average children spent about two years at the school before they were able to return to mainstream education.