School celebrates report success

By Ted JeoryA SPECIAL needs school which has been under Government scrutiny for more than a year has won praise for huge improvements in teaching standards.

By Ted Jeory

A SPECIAL needs school which has been under Government scrutiny for more than a year has won praise for huge improvements in teaching standards.

Doucecroft School in Kelvedon, an independent school run by the Essex Autistic Society, has been told it is no longer under the special measures imposed after a report in 2001 highlighted “unsatisfactory” teaching quality.

Fourteen months ago, Government inspectors found 34% of the teaching to be good or very good, with 43% unsatisfactory.


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But during their last inspection in January, they found a complete turn-around with 70% of teaching now very good and 30% good.

In a letter congratulating the school's staff, parents and governors, David Bell, the Chief Inspector of Schools, also paid special praise to improvements made in curriculum provision, leadership and management and assessment procedures.

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He said: “The progress the school has made is the result of a lot of hard work. Despite the inevitable pain of special measures, I hope you will agree the progress noted by Her Majesty's inspectors been to the benefit of pupils in your care.”

The report also complimented the school's 36 mixed day-pupils and boarders, saying their attitudes to study were good and praised the strong “work ethos”.

It added: “Relationships between staff, students and pupils are excellent.”

Clive Stobbs, who has been appointed the new chief executive of the Essex Autistic Society, said: “I could not be taking over at a more exciting time.

“Although we have just come out of 'special measures', we are aware that the school's building is no longer adequate for our needs and we are now looking at how we can provide its replacement.”

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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