A pupil referral unit in Wolverhampton has been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, which it found helps students make “informed choices about their future”.
Inspectors visited the Midpoint Centre in Parkfields, which supports Key Stage 4 pupils in years 10 and 11, last month, and said it has maintained a good quality of education and is taking effective action to make further improvements.
Executive Headteacher Jo Wood has provided “strong leadership and a clear vision, which has led to high aspirations for staff and pupils”. Ably supported by her leadership team and a strong management board, she has created “a calm and solution-focused environment in which pupils can thrive”.
Teaching from the “knowledgeable and passionate staff” continues to improve, and teachers and pupils enjoy positive relationships.
Attendance and behaviour are both improving; many pupils had very high absence rates in their previous schools, but thanks to “effective strategies to re-engage them in education”, the vast majority improve their attendance – with parents full of praise for the school’s work in this area.
Ofsted found that leaders recognise that persistent absence is one of the biggest challenges to improving pupils’ progress, and that there are robust systems in place to investigate unauthorised absences.
Pupils who attend regularly are making good progress, enjoying a curriculum which is “broad and balanced, and adapted to meet the needs of different cohorts and individual pupils”. Learning is supported by a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities, including theatre visits. Outcomes in English, art, construction and science are strong, and progress in mathematics has quickened.
The vast majority of pupils move onto further education or training when they leave the school, and some “credit the school with helping them to lead purposeful adult lives”.
Inspector Simon Mosley was particularly impressed with the Midpoint Centre’s “awe-inspiring” art room, filled with high quality work celebrating pupils’ success.
Head of Centre Bob Callaghan said: “We are all delighted with the outcome. The staff and students have worked hard to maintain the judgement of Good and the report reflects this progress.
“The areas for improvement contained in the report helps the Centre on its journey to becoming an outstanding provision.”
The Midpoint Centre is one of four pupil referral units in Wolverhampton which provide education for children who are excluded, sick, or otherwise unable to attend a mainstream or special school.
Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The Midpoint Centre provides an invaluable service to keep young people in education, and to ensure that, as far as possible, the fact they are not in mainstream education does not limit their chances of succeeding in life.
“This is a very positive inspection report which captures the excellent work that Bob Callaghan, Jo Wood and the team are doing with the pupils at the Midpoint Centre.”