Special school praise

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PUPILS and staff at a South Yorkshire special school are celebrating after it was rated as outstanding by Ofsted inspectors.

Barnsley’s The Robert Ogden School for autistic children aged from five to 19 was praised for an environment in which youngsters made outstanding progress.

The school takes in pupils from around the country, provides education and care all year round and has 80 students and 188 staff.

Inspectors said: “The school successfully meets its aims, providing an environment in which young people feel at ease.

“The quality of the curriculum, teaching and assessment are all outstanding. The curriculum is highly personalised so that it meets individual students’ needs exceptionally well.”

Inspectors also praised pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and the provision for their welfare, health and safety.

They were impressed by the calm and productive atmosphere for learning and singled out the innovative sixth form café and sessions that allow students to follow their interests - from a percussion group and an ICT club to therapeutic hair and beauty sessions.

New executive principal Dr Jacqui Ashton-Smith said: “I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication of the staff and students at the Robert Ogden School, that has led to the school achieving this outstanding Ofsted result.”

Former principal Gillian Roberts, who worked at the school for 28 years, praised her successor and said she would be a ‘great asset to the students, staff and parents’.

n See www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/106965 for the full report.