Ofsted and school self evaluation
Following their boarding Assurance Visit on 5th-6th October 2020, OFSTED commented very favourably on the safety and care we provide for our boarders and also on the strength of school and boarding leadership.
The visit was partly focussed on our Risk Assessments related to Covid-19 as part of a programme covering all forms of residential schooling during the pandemic, but also encompassed a review of our boarding provision as a whole.
Here are a few extracts from their report:
The care of children
A parent said, ‘I have to say how impressed I am with the provision of activities provided at the weekends since the return to school.’
A staff member said, ‘It is a wonderful place to work.’
One young person said, ‘Being in a bubble has improved the house spirit.’
The introduction of an external counselling service is now embedded in practice. The mental health first-aiders’ strategy has been relaunched. Young people appreciate the various services that are available to them, and say that the staff care about their mental and emotional well-being. It is noteworthy that the external counselling service is available to young people and staff. This has been particularly pertinent during COVID-19.
The safety of children
The designated safeguarding lead is demonstrating sound leadership, ensuring that young people are fully protected. She has ensured that all the recommendations from an external safeguarding audit have been implemented.
Senior leaders have been meticulous in their approach to risk assessments regarding COVID-19. They commissioned external health and safety professionals to oversee their risk-reduction measures and acted on the subsequent recommendations. Senior leaders conduct regular audits to ensure that staff apply the control measures in practice. This is a senior leadership team that uses written risk assessments as effective tools to ensure that the environmental and human behaviour changes that are needed as a result of COVID-19 keep young people, staff and visitors as safe as possible.
Leaders and managers
The senior leadership team’s approach to managing the risks presented by COVID19 is impressive. Standard operating procedures for reopening the school were detailed and included a specific one for boarding.
A parent said, ‘I have been impressed with the boarding provision, particularly during these difficult times. The welcome back after lockdown was wonderful. My child loves being there and is being really well supported during the lead-up to exams this term.’ Another parent said, ‘During this time , the staff have been very accommodating, flexible and supportive, dealing with all issues calmly and efficiently.’
The full reports can be viewed in the download section.