Education watchdog rates special school ‘outstanding’

Published: Wednesday 27th August 14

Pupils, parents and staff at a special school in Earlsfield are celebrating after it was rated “outstanding” by the country’s education standards watchdog.

Garratt Park School saw its Ofsted rating climb from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ following an inspection towards the end of last term.

The inspectors gave the school the highest possible ranking in four key areas, rating the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching, the behaviour and safety of pupils and the quality of leadership and management as all outstanding.

The school, which is in Waldron Road, caters for pupils aged between 11 and 18 who have moderate learning difficulties, or a diagnosis of autism and those with speech, language and communication needs. All 180 students have a statement of special educational needs.
According to its Ofsted report: “Teaching is outstanding and ensures a high proportion of students make outstanding progress, especially in reading, writing and mathematics. Consequently, achievement is outstanding.

“Most students achieve success in a range of qualifications. This includes GCSEs and other nationally recognised accreditations. Teachers expect their students to do well. They set challenging learning targets to ensure the students make the best possible progress.

“Students who are eligible for additional government funding and those for whom English is an additional language make outstanding progress.

“The students’ behaviour is outstanding. Their positive attitudes have a significant impact on their learning. They feel safe and enjoy school, and their attendance is above average.

“The sixth form is outstanding. It provides a very good range of appropriate activities to reinforce the students’ basic skills and their personal development. This enables students to make excellent progress and prepare themselves for the next stage in their lives.

“The headteacher leads a team of outstanding senior and middle managers. Together with the governing body, they continually check on all aspects of the school’s performance. They have driven significant improvements in teaching and achievement since the previous inspection.”

The council’s education spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: “This is a superb achievement by all of Garratt Park’s pupils, staff, parents and governors. They should all be very proud of this success.

“Garratt Park has joined the borough’s rapidly growing list of outstanding schools. Ofsted currently rates 95 per cent of our schools as either good or outstanding, placing Wandsworth in second place in the country’s league table of top performing authorities, second only to the City of London. This is a fantastic effort by local schools.”

The full report is available on the Ofsted website.

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