School making good progress, says Ofsted

Hampden House teaches boys aged between eight and 14 with special educational needs and is making go

Hampden House teaches boys aged between eight and 14 with special educational needs and is making good progress after a critical Ofsted report last October Picture: THINKSTOCK - Credit: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

Hampden House School, which teaches youngsters with special educational needs and which was criticised by Ofsted is now making good progress, an interim report has said.

Hampden House Pupil Referral Unit at Great Cornard, near Sudbury, was branded “inadequate” by the education standards watchdog following an inspection last October.

It was criticised for poor safeguarding, serious issues with behaviour and substandard teaching methods.

However a report followin an interim inspection last March has praised the school for the prpgress it has made in turning things round.

A letter to headteacher Graham Alcock by HM Inspector John Randall praised how the school had used the poor report as “a ‘lever for change’ and made improvements across the piece, not simply focusing on the areas listed in the previous report.”

He added: “You have brought about significant improvement in pupils’ behaviour and how well they attend the school. Leaders, your management committee and the local authority representatives work well together.”

Hampden House hosts boys aged eight to 14 who all have special educational needs, with each having been permanently excluded from mainstream school or moved from another PRU.

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The school was judged to be good by Ofsted as recently as 2013 but saw its rankings slip - partly, Hampden House felt, because it was having to take pupils who should not have been placed there.

A new policy of only admitting pupils likely to benefit from what the school could offer was now in place, with pupils requiring long-term specialist provision guided elsewhere.

Mr Randall said safeguarding procedures had improved, with additional checks now ensuring they were maintained and processes for checking on the safety of pupils who are persistently absent “much sharper”.

Pupils now had clear expectations over standards of behaviour, while staff were better trained to handle bad conduct. The curriculum had also been improved, along with better support for pupils.

“Your effective processes have resulted in an improvement of 12% in overall attendance since Christmas,” he said.

“Pupils attend more regularly and achieve more than they did at the time of the previous inspection.”

Mr Alcock said: “I am delighted with the outcome of our recent Ofsted monitoring inspection.

“The inspector clearly recognises the swift and effective action we have taken, and the significant improvement made as a result.

“It is particularly pleasing that the inspector saw that we have been proactive in using the disappointing previous report as a lever for change.”

“I would like to thank my team of colleagues for their relentless hard work and commitment, the Governing Body for their dedication and support, and the Local Authority for their assistance, as we continue our journey of rapid improvement.”

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