An outstanding community special school in Ellesmere Port said to provide world class education is a joy to be part of, Ofsted found.
HMI Pippa Jackson Maitland made the comment in a letter to Liam Dowling, head at Hinderton School on Capenhurst Lane following a short inspection of the Whitby school.
The school, described as ‘fantastic’ by parents, was also judged to be outstanding in March 2013. Ofsted says it continues to be outstanding, it’s fifth outstanding report.
The 42 place primary school meets the needs of youngsters with a range of autistic conditions and social communication difficulties. Children travel from Chester and Neston to attend along with local children from Ellesmere Port.
'Joy to be a part of'
Confirming leaders at the school have maintained its outstanding quality of education, the inspector told Mr Dowling: “Hinderton School is a joy to be a part of, whether you are a pupil, parent or member of staff.
“You make sure that everyone, from the youngest pupil to the most experienced teacher, gets the help they need to be the very best they can be.
“Together with your senior leaders you have taken the school from strength to strength since the previous inspection. Your professional curiosity means that you never rest on your laurels.
“You keep up to date with the latest developments, nationally and internationally, so that you can bring the very best practice to Hinderton. You will not settle for second best.”
As a school, says the inspector ‘you invest heavily in the highest quality professional training’.
This pays dividends as the ‘consistently strong teaching’ across the school achieves outstanding outcomes for the children. “There is no glass ceiling for your pupils,” suggests the inspector.
“You make sure that from their very first day every pupil follows their own personalised pathway through the school. You make sure that those pupils who have the potential to reintegrate into a mainstream school are given every chance of success.”
The school is alert to any potential barriers for pupils and leaders ‘refuse to be thwarted’.
“They work tirelessly with staff, pupils and their families to find solutions so that every pupil realises their full potential,” says the HMI.
She continued: “Hinderton’s success is a genuine team effort. You make sure that everyone has a chance to share their ideas and air their views. No one works in isolation.
“Consequently the school’s effectiveness is not diminished by any staff changes. Many of your team have built their career at Hinderton, others aspired to work at Hinderton long before they secured a post.
“Hinderton‘s success is built on firm foundations.”
Since the last Ofsted visit the school has made improvements ‘which go well beyond those suggested by the inspector’.
Online information makes sure that senior leaders, staff and parents all have the information they need at their fingertips.
“At Hinderton you have focused on meeting the needs of every pupil,” says the inspector.
“The changes you have made since the previous inspection have ensured that every pupil succeeds.”
Safeguarding arrangements are thorough and record-keeping is meticulous. Staff are alert to any bullying and take decisive action when needed. Parents and staff agree that pupils are safe and well cared for.
Mr Dowling has devised a curriculum which meets the needs of pupils ‘extremely well’ which contributes strong outcomes for pupils.
Not a moment is wasted in the school day and governors recognise the challenge they have keeping up with the school.
They make sure they have the right skills, experience and expertise to contribute to the school’s improvement and are committed to getting the very best for Hinderton’s pupils.
Governors check on the effect of their decisions by inviting pupils into their meetings and ask pupils to report on new initiatives.
To mark the outcome pupils celebrated with a special ‘outstanding’ party. Each youngster was given an ‘outstanding’ T shirt, an ‘outstanding’ balloon and had an ‘outstanding’ cake.
Mr Dowling said: “We are delighted to be able to come together to celebrate a fifth outstanding grade from Ofsted.
“Hinderton offers a world class education to our pupils and we are so proud of the efforts of the whole team of dedicated staff.”