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Ofsted delight for fightback school

PUBLISHED: 09:50 01 January 2010 | UPDATED: 10:13 13 July 2010

An independent school which bounced back from the threat of closure has been given a further boost through an improved Ofsted report.

Wood-Dene at Aylmerton was on the brink of collapse in March through a combination of bad debts, low pupil numbers and the recession.

An independent school which bounced back from the threat of closure has been given a further boost through an improved Ofsted report.

Wood-Dene at Aylmerton was on the brink of collapse in March through a combination of bad debts, low pupil numbers and the recession.

A summer rescue package by rallying parents and staff saved the school, where founder Diana Taylor retired and was succeeded as principal in September by Chris Hamel Cooke, a former actor, West End musical director and performing arts academy vice-principal.

A November Ofsted inspection said it had made a good improvement and dealt with all the issues raised in the previous 2007 report, which highlighted more than 30 bullet points for action ranging from lack of written curriculum and policies to poor parent information and heating and lighting shortcomings in the changing rooms.

Numbers of pupils, aged three to 16, had however fallen from 158 to 40 at the school where day pupil fees range from £3,750 to £6,612 a year.

The Ofsted report said the school had been through a “time of considerable turbulence” but that the quality of education had risen from satisfactory to good, enriched with visits and clubs, while relationships between children and adults were excellent.

Areas for further improvement were are better recording of pupils' attainments, more consistent feedback and marking and the need to upgrade the learning potential of the grounds.

The full report is on the Ofsted website www.ofsted.gov.uk


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