Shropshire Star

Telford special school rated 'good' by Ofsted

Ofsted inspectors have praised a Telford special school for its positive relationships between staff and pupils, and its ‘ambitious’ curriculum.

Ofsted praised the relationships between Queensway’s staff and pupils

Queensway Special School, which operates on two sites in Hadley and Dawley, has been awarded a rating of ‘Good’ following its latest official inspection – the highest rating it has ever had.

The school, which is part of The Learning Community Trust, caters for children and young people on the autistic spectrum and for those with social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

Headteacher Julie Bravo welcomed the report findings and said the rating was a direct reflection of the commitment and dedication of pupils, staff and families at the school’s two sites.

“We pride ourselves on our positive relationships with families and professionals, so to see our efforts recognised in this report is heart-warming and a real affirmation of the work we’re doing," she said.

“Our aim is to build a cohesive network ensuring each child is given the tools to reach their potential and to help them achieve a happy and successful future.”

The Ofsted report said the leadership team at the school was ‘tenacious’ in working to get the best outcomes for all pupils, and praised the new curriculum as ‘ambitious’.

Inspectors said: “Behaviour across the school is positive because relationships between staff and pupils are calm, purposeful and nurturing.

“Pupils behave well in lessons, during break times and around the school, and staff act quickly where needed to ensure pupils can focus on learning and get the most from lessons.”

Ms Bravo added: “We were particularly pleased that Ofsted recognised our personal development – especially the 184 trips over the last year that gave students access to wider opportunities beyond the curriculum and helped them develop social and emotional skills.

“We have now set our sights on continuing our journey, to move from Good to Great.”

The report said leaders and staff were committed to overcoming the barriers to learning that pupils experience as a result of their individual special educational needs and/or disabilities, with all staff trained as mental health first-aiders.

“Staff work hard to ensure that pupils are ready for the world around them. Social education lessons develop pupils’ awareness of the risks in society, such as gang culture and county lines,” the inspectors said.

“Visits from police community support officers and guest speakers develop this understanding, and pupils said the experiences had helped them deal positively with difficult situations out of school.”

The Ofsted grade comes on the back of Queensway’s best ever GCSE results, with more than 90 per cent of students achieving five or more qualifications.

Learning Community Trust chief executive Dr Gill Eatough said: “We’re very pleased that the hard work our team puts in at Queensway has received such a constructive and encouraging response from Ofsted.

“We expect our pupils to be the best they can be, and it’s encouraging to see that the inspectors believe that Queensway is on the right track.”

The Learning Community Trust was established in 2017, with the backing of the Department for Education, and now has 10 schools under its wing.

They include Hadley Learning Community, Ercall Wood and Charlton secondary schools; specialist education centres such as Queensway and Severndale in Shrewsbury; and primary schools Wrekin View in Wellington, Crudgington, and a new primary school at Allscott which is due to open next year.