Two simultaneous Ofsted inspections, two ‘outstanding’ ratings

CREDIT: This story was first seen in The Nottingham Post

Fountaindale School, which is on the A60 between Ravenshead and Mansfield, received a phone call from Ofsted to say the inspection team was on its way – but received a second phone call shortly after to say that another part of the school would be inspected at the same time, The Nottingham Post reports.

The special school for children with complex physical, medical and sensory needs caters for 69 pupils aged between three and 19.

The Ofsted inspection of the school, which took place on March 14 and 15, found it to be outstanding in all areas, which includes leadership, quality of teaching, personal development, behaviour, pupil outcome, early years provisions and 16-19 study programmes.

Principal Mark Dengel, who is retiring this summer after 23 years at the head of the school, said the results vindicate the decision to change the curriculum five years ago to meet the needs of the pupils.

He said: “It turned out it was a pure coincidence with neither team knowing the other was on the way. Luckily the two lead inspectors knew each other and we were able to work out a timetable which meant senior staff didn’t have to be in two places at once.

“This is a massive achievement for all connected with the school, staff, pupils, parents and governors.

“To receive such positive Ofsted reports really vindicates that decision and gives everyone at the school recognition for their hard work and commitment.

“You can clearly see the improvements in pupil progress as a result of the new curriculum and approaches to teaching and learning. I couldn’t have wished for a better retirement present.”

Lynda Morgan, the lead inspector said: “The quality of teaching and learning is very strong throughout the school. The innovative environment and stimulating curriculum catch the imagination and promote a love of learning.

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“Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding. They behave exceptionally well in lessons and during social times. They are very polite and show huge respect and tolerance for others.

“Pupils are happy at school and are supported to develop independence and resilience. They are given many opportunities to prepare them for the next steps they will take when they leave the school and reach adulthood.”

The only improvements which were noted by the inspectors was that the school could develop its outdoor learning.

At the same time of the school inspection a further inspection was being carried out on the school’s residential care by Joanne Vyas, a lead social care inspector.

The second inspection also found the school to be rated an overall rating of “outstanding”.

She said: “Young people thoroughly enjoy their residential experience. They really like the staff and get on well with each other too.

“They are helpful, kind and respectful towards each other, staff and visitors. They love the activities, such as cooking, archery and ice skating. They also enjoy socialising with their friends.”

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