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Another glowing Ofsted report for Pontville School

20 January 2023

Staff, pupils and parents from Pontville School are celebrating following the publication of their latest residential report.

Located in the North West, the residential provision has been judged as outstanding again, demonstrating the incredible difference the school continues to make to its pupils and their families. 

The report was glowing in praise for the overall experiences and progress of children and young people, how well they are helped and protected, and the effectiveness of leaders and managers. It noted: 

The residential special school provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good. The actions of the school contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people.

The report also noted:

  • The promotion of children’s independence is integral to their experience in the residential provision. All parents spoken to said that they had seen a marked improvement in their child’s independence skills.
  • The residential accommodation is of a very high standard.  The addition of a new interactive sensory room has helped children with their anxieties and independence skills, and aids their learning. For example, children who have anxieties in crowds or need help with budgeting skills, can take a walk around a virtual supermarket. Children can experience what it is like being on an escalator or on an aeroplane for the first time.
  • Children receive excellent individualised care and support to meet their changing needs. They very much enjoy staying at the residential provision, often waiting with anticipation to return after the school holidays. One child said, ‘If everywhere was as good as it is here, all children would be happy. We like our staff, and they like us, so why would we want anything different.’ Another child said, ‘I love going home but I miss my friends and the activities we do in residential. The holidays are too long sometimes, and I am always eager to return.’ 
  • The staff are successful in building positive relationships with the children. As a result, children make exceptional progress as they learn to trust the staff and listen to the advice and guidance that they are given.
  • The children have a clear and strong voice at the school and are encouraged to voice their views, wishes and feelings. Children are very positive about the range of activities on offer, such as going swimming, attending boxing lessons, and trips to the beach. Some children volunteer at a local charity shop and are learning skills for future employment. In addition to this, the school has extensive grounds with a farm area, a forestry school, sports pitches and a gym. Children can access these areas of an evening, and often complete assessments, qualifications and certificates in these areas. This supports their education, life skills and employment opportunities.     
  • Children know how to keep themselves safe. They talk knowledgeably about bullying, the forms this can take, and what to do if they are worried about anything. During discussions with the children, one child said, ‘This is the best place I have ever attended. It is like a second family.’  
  • Leaders and managers are inspirational, enthusiastic, and want the very best for the children. They encourage challenge and welcome new ideas and views from a range of people. They have an ethos that no problem is insurmountable or dream too high to reach.  

Justine Sims, Head Teacher proudly commented:

"This report is an absolute pleasure to read. It charts all of the hard work and dedication from our super-talented staff team and it so lovely to have our young people and their families speak so highly of our residential provision. We are all so proud!"

Cathryn Moore, Head of Care, commented;

"We are absolutely delighted with the report. We work exceptionally hard as a staff-team because our young people deserve the very best and they are a pleasure to work with." 

Click here to view the full report.

Well done, everyone.

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