BROMSGROVE MP and Health Secretary Sajid Javid was at Chadsgrove Educational Trust Specialist College earlier today after it was graded ‘Outstanding’ in all areas.
Mr Javid unveiled a plaque in recognition of the fantastic achievement and – inspectors have said – it is seldom heard of an education provider’s rating being transformed from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘outstanding’.
And the time in between the two gradings, the college also had the Covid pandemic and organising home learning to contend with.
Inspectors rated the ‘overall effectiveness’ as ‘outstanding’ along with the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and provision for learners with high needs.
The independent specialist college provides education and training to young people aged between 19 and 25 with severe and profound special educational needs and/or disabilities, including complex physical, health and medical conditions.
At the time of the inspection, there were 12 learners with education, health and care (EHC) plans who have high needs.
The college has a range of therapies to support learners, such as speech and language, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, and occupational and music therapy.
The report also highlighted the effective use of a therapy dog.
Inspectors said learners encounter a very welcoming, caring and calm environment and develop in an environment which is safe and highly inclusive.
“Leaders and managers ensure that the highly ambitious curriculum meets learners’ individual needs and aspirations very well.
“This prepares learners very well for their next steps into adulthood.”
It added staff had high expectations for learners to succeed and those at the college received excellent levels of support.
The leadership at the college also received high praise.
“The board of directors brings a vast range of skills and expertise in further education and special educational needs and/or disabilities.
“The directors expertly use their skills to provide strategic direction, challenge and support to leaders.”
Tutors were also praised for how they monitored learners’ progress – through photographs, witness statements and videos to evidence clearly and precisely the
improvements they made.
Learners make excellent progress towards greater independence and staff offer a wide and rich range of experiences that develop their character and interests
There are a variety of lunchtime clubs which help develop learners develop their talents and interests.
Staff also promote British values effectively through the curriculum, creating highly engaging activities to develop learners’ knowledge on a wide range of topics, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning identities, and religious festivals.
“As a result, learners develop greater understanding of the wider community and life in modern Britain.”
The glowing report concluded by saying arrangements for safeguarding were effective.
Speaking as he unveiled the plaque, Mr Javid said he first visited Chadsgrove when he was elected in 2010 and had followed the school on its journey.
“Ofsted is independent and hard to please – as it should be – and the outstanding grade is down to everyone here – from the leadership team and staff to parents and pupils.”
Headteacher Deb Rattley said: “Staff, students, therapists, and directors, a wonderful team, have worked unremittingly over the past three years in developing comprehensive curriculum pathways for learners with physical disabilities and complex health needs.
“Our sincere thanks go to this amazing team and the families that have been integral to achieving this recognition.
“Our students deserve to be able to access the highest quality educational opportunities within or near their local communities, and the College is now affirmed as a flagship provision serving Bromsgrove and its surrounding area.
“The College has been enthusiastically supported by our MP, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and we are honoured that he was able to be with us to announce the publication of our Ofsted report.”