Liverpool’s secondary education centre for challenging pupils has received a glowing report from OFSTED.
The centre in Netherley has up to 56 students – most aged between 11 and 14 -who are at risk of, or have been, excluded.
It was inspected by the education watchdog just three months after it opened on the former site of Hope Special School, and has been rated as ‘good’ overall, with some outstanding features.
It marks a huge turnaround for the pupil referral unit, which was placed in special measures in 2008 following a damning inspection, which prompted a complete re-organisation of the service.
During the most recent inspection, OFSTED noted that:
Despite students arriving with high levels of absence and poor behaviour, they make good or outstanding progress
Progress in reading, writing and mathematics improves “rapidly”, as do attitudes to learning
Behaviour is good and “often outstanding” with students having “high social and moral standards”
The report says that most students make such good progress, they quickly return to mainstream education or move on to other schools.
Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for education, said: “This is a fantastic report which clearly demonstrates the amazing work that is being done to support some of our most challenging young people and get them back in to mainstream education.
“It is all too easy to write off young people who are behaving badly or who have poor attendance, but the success of the Secondary Education Centre shows that you can make a major difference and get students back on track.
“Congratulations to all the staff for their hard work and commitment to making a massive difference to our young people.”
The leadership and management of the centre is praised for being good or outstanding, and it also notes the collaboration with mainstream schools, as well as the investment in the new site by the city council.
Headteacher Debbie Buxton – described as inspirational by inspectors – said: “This is a huge vote of confidence in the whole team.
“I am absolutely delighted for all of the staff who work so hard to win the trust of students and help them achieve their potential.”