An “inspirational” Wolverhampton school in which pupils thrive has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
Inspectors visited Penn Hall School last month and found that the school’s leadership team had maintained the “outstanding quality” of education since its previous inspection in 2013.
They described Penn Hall, which caters for 80 pupils with physical disabilities, as an “inspirational organisation” providing a “rich and diverse” learning experience. Pupils enjoy strong outcomes across each phase of learning, making “substantial and sustained progress”. Since the previous inspection, every pupil who has left Penn Hall moved into further education, employment or training.
Leaders and governors “understand the strengths of the school exceptionally well” and the quality of teaching has “improved even further” since the last inspection thanks to “excellent staff training”.
Staff at the Vicarage Road, Penn, school are “focused relentlessly on meeting the specific needs of every child to ensure they make the best possible progress”, both personally and academically, while teaching assistants understand the needs of pupils “exceptionally well” and “play a very valuable role” in supporting their progress.
Parents and pupils were “overwhelmingly positive about school life”, with one parent telling inspectors that “staff go above and beyond for pupils” and that they were “extremely fortunate to be part of the Penn Hall family”.
There was also praise for safeguarding standards at the school, while governors were commended for offering “strong support and challenge to leaders”, and for the way they monitor improvements carefully through regular meetings.
Inspectors said the City of Wolverhampton Council works closely with the school, reviewing progress and brokering reciprocal support from other schools, which had “helped leaders accurately review their overall strengths and areas for development”.
The Outstanding judgement is Penn Hall School’s third since 2010 and Headteacher Dave Parry said: “Penn Hall School is a unique and outstanding provision that all of Wolverhampton should be proud of, and the governors, staff, parents and pupils have all worked extremely hard to achieve another Outstanding Award.
“To remain outstanding over such a long period of time is a great tribute to the professionalism and hard work of the large multi-disciplinary staff team. It is a privilege to be part of such an outstanding school. I retire at the end of term and to gain three Outstanding Ofsted awards since 2010 will be a record that I will always be very proud of.”
Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “This is an outstanding report in every way and one that everyone associated with Penn Hall School should be very pleased with.
“To maintain an Outstanding rating for three inspections running is an excellent achievement and demonstrates the fantastic work of the leadership team, teachers, support staff, governors, pupils and their parents and carers.”
Penn Hall School’s residential hostel was inspected at the same time by social inspectors and was judged to be Outstanding for the 11th time in as many years.