Passion and commitment of staff benefit students

Posted on: 15 January 2018

A North Devon special school has again been praised for the quality of its residential care.

Last year education and social care inspectors from Ofsted rated Marland School as good across nine different categories.

Now social care inspectors have re-visited the school to check on its residential provision again.

And, they say, it continues to be good across the board.

Marland is a residential school at Peters Marland for boys aged from 10 to 16 with special educational needs associated with social, emotional and mental health issues.

A lead inspector spent three days at the school before Christmas and the report has just been published.

Lead inspector, Clare Davies, says the overall effectiveness of the school is good and so are the overall experiences and progress of the students, how well they are helped and protected and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

She concludes: “The residential provision is managed exceptionally well with good evidence of repeated action to improve the quality of care.

“Children build secure, positive relationships with staff that enable them to feel safe in the residential environment and have some fun.

“(They) benefit from being looked after by staff who demonstrate that they care for them.

“Staff are passionate about their role in promoting the learning and well-being of the children in their care.”

Ms Davies says one child told her: “I really love this school. I don’t want to leave it.”

She says the passion and commitment of the staff team are evident.

“Children benefit from the strength of relationships among all of the staff at the school,” she says.

“They make progress in relation to their education, behaviour, health and general well-being, recognise the progress they make and are proud of their achievements.”

Five out of six children who left school in July 2017 secured college placements or an apprenticeship.

Ms Davies says parents are also very positive about the school.

One said: “They really go out of their way to help. It is continuous, there is no stopping point.

“I do not know where my son would be now if it wasn’t for this school and the staff.”

Another said: “The school is absolutely amazing. They give children with extra needs a chance in life.”

She says the current residential accommodation is comfortable and safe but needs refurbishment. Plans for this are scheduled for later this year.

Marland School principal Keith Bennett said: “This intensive three-day inspection was the first under Ofsted’s new increased challenge ‘Social Care Common Inspection Framework’ and I am very pleased that the lead inspector recognised the high quality of care and education provided by our skilled staff team.

“I am equally proud of our students and how well they represented themselves and their school.

“We are looking forward to opening our new build residential accommodation block at Easter, something that will significantly help us to raise standards even further.”

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Posted in: Education