Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 2
The school’s capacity for sustained improvement: 2
Pupil Referral Unit is a good unit. The good standard of care, guidance and support and the success with which their behavioural and learning needs are met enable students to make good progress, both personally and academically. Parents’ and carers’ views are reflected well in the comment: ‘For the first time my child wants to go to school’.
The leadership team has high expectations of what students can achieve and delivers the quality of provision necessary for them to do so. Self-evaluation of the unit’s effectiveness is good. Because school staff are so good at supporting the complex behavioural needs of students, barriers to learning are minimised and students achieve well. The unit has made good progress since the last inspection, sustaining its good levels of provision and making improvements in several areas. For example, achievement in science has improved year on year and students have developed a much greater understanding of life outside the United Kingdom through exciting new international school partnerships. This continuous level of improvement demonstrates clearly that the unit has good capacity to improve further.
Many of the students arriving at the unit have lower than average attainment because of significant gaps in their learning. As their self-esteem grows within the nurturing environment of the unit, they re-engage with learning. Most students enjoy school and are clear about how to stay healthy and safe. Behaviour is good overall because students learn how to control their emotions and make the right choices. As a result of effective transition arrangements, students are well prepared for a return to mainstream school or alternative provision. Attendance is broadly average and improves significantly for many students when they join the unit. However, the attendance of the most vulnerable students does not always increase as much as others. Senior leaders are aware that there is work to be done in this area, particularly through developing closer links with the education welfare service and a small minority of parents and carers.
The majority of teaching is based on good assessment of students’ learning needs and, as a result, all groups of students make equally good progress. However, in some English lessons planning for learning is insufficiently well focused, because assessment data are not used sufficiently well. Consequently, learning does not match the needs of all students and less progress is made. The curriculum is good. It is closely tailored to meet the needs of each student and offers a range of exciting enrichment activities.