No glass ceiling for pupils at North Devon special school which is ‘close to outstanding’

Posted on: 13 July 2018

A North Devon special school has been rated good again by education inspectors who say it is close to outstanding.

Pathfield School in Barnstaple was judged to be a good school in 2013 by inspectors from the school standards agency Ofsted.

They have rated the school good again following a return visit earlier this year.

But senior inspector, Steffi Penny, added: “I am of the opinion that the school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in certain areas.

“This may indicate the school is improving towards being outstanding.”

Ms Penny says that –  no matter what their learning needs or difficulties –  pupils and students are thoughtfully cared for and protected by staff.

She continues: “Children, pupils and students are provided with a rounded and interesting range of experiences and activities.

“(The school) provides a curriculum for pupils and accredited courses for students which are individualised and highly effective.

“The dreams, desires and aspirations of pupils and students are the foundation base for their individual learning pathways.

“Staff ensure there is no glass ceiling for pupils’ ambitions.”

Ms Penny says students are well prepared for life after school and Pathfield’s high quality provision and practice should be more widely shared with other schools.

Head teacher, Claire May, said: “I am extremely proud of our pupils and it is a privilege to work with such dedicated staff who are so committed to achieving the best outcomes for the pupils and students.

“It is a great achievement for Steffi Penny to have recognized that our staff ensure there is no glass ceiling for pupils’ ambition at Pathfield School.”

Chair of governors, Rosemary Mitchell, said: “This report reflects the wonderful work of the staff to help pupils to gain the skills and knowledge which will make a real difference to their lives.”

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