Sunnyside Academy is a larger than average sized school which draws its pupils from a wide area. It was built 40 years ago to educate pupils with special educational needs alongside mainstream pupils. Over one third of the pupils have learning difficulties and/or disabilities and one tenth have an Educational Healthcare Plan. These proportions are much higher than in most schools. The school offers specialist provision across the Tees Valley area.
There are specialist staff and facilities to teach pupils who have hearing or vision impairments. In addition our base for pupils with learning difficulties was re-classified as a High Needs Base in January 2014.
Most pupils come from White British backgrounds, though a small number are from other ethnic backgrounds, are learning English as an additional language and are hearing impaired. These children learn British Sign Language.
Recently pupils are taking more responsibility for their own learning. Staff ensure that all pupils receive clear and detailed guidance on how to improve their work.