Good-rated special school on track to become Outstanding

Good-rated special school on track to become Outstanding

A Wolverhampton special school has been rated Good by Ofsted – and is on its way to becoming Outstanding.

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A Wolverhampton special school has been rated Good by Ofsted – and is on its way to becoming Outstanding.

Inspector Linda McGill found Penn Fields School had “demonstrated strong practice in certain areas”, which she said “may indicate the school is improving towards being outstanding”.

She said Headteacher Elaine Stanley, together with other leaders and governors, “have made sure that the school’s many strengths have been sustained and built upon”, with a close focus on improving teaching and learning.

Pupils follow a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum, with teachers ensuring pupils are given appropriately challenging work. This has led to children and young people making “strong progress… both in their academic achievements and in their personal and social development”. She added that there is “clear capacity for even further improvement”.

Miss Stanley and her team “know the school and its strengths very well and are ambitious for the pupils”. Governance is also strong, with governors playing a full part in moving the school forward.

Penn Fields is a “happy, relaxed and friendly school”, with pupils “polite, respectful and responsive”. Relationships between staff and pupils are “strong and mutually respectful”, and when asked what they like most about their school, “the first thing that pupils mentioned was their teachers”.

There is a very strong safeguarding culture at the Boundary Way, Penn, school, which has made protecting pupils and keeping them safe “a key priority for everyone”.

Mrs McGill found that Penn Fields is constantly seeking to extend the skills and knowledge of its staff, so they can improve the education they give to their pupils. Staff have received training in emotional literacy and speech and play therapy, leaving them “well placed to meet the wide range of pupils’ needs”.

At the same time, the school is keen to guide and support others, with the expertise of staff at Penn Fields “often sought by other schools”, particularly through its highly regarded outreach programme.

Miss Stanley said: “‘The Ofsted judgement recognises that Penn Fields is a good school and is hopefully moving towards an ’Outstanding’ judgement.

“This is a testament to the hard work and efforts of the pupils, staff, parents, governors and everyone associated with the school.

“I am very proud of the whole school community for achieving such a glowing report.”

Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “This is a wonderful Ofsted report which demonstrates the excellent work which is taking place at Penn Fields School – and shows that it is well on its way to becoming an Outstanding school.

“I would like to congratulate Elaine Stanley, her staff and governors, parents and pupils on their success and wish them well on their journey from Good to Outstanding.”

The inspection was the first of Penn Fields School since it was judged to be Good in 2012.

Nearly 90% of schools in Wolverhampton are now rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted. To find out more about education in the City, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/education.