New specialist school found to ‘require improvement’ at first inspection

The Stables Independent School, on Old Rectory Road, Brumstead. Pictured, Old Rectory Road. Photo: G

The Stables Independent School, on Old Rectory Road, Brumstead. Pictured, Old Rectory Road. Photo: Google Streetview - Credit: Google Streetview

A new specialist independent school in north Norfolk has been found to require improvement at an inspection just six months after opening its doors last year.

The Stables Independent School, which offers places to pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs, is based at The Old Rectory, Brumstead, and took on its first pupils in September 2018.

But during a visit from education regulator Ofsted in March this year, inspectors found the Stables, which has nine pupils on roll, had not met standards in all but one category, giving it an overall requires improvement rating following the three-day inspection.

Headteacher Natasha Foucher said: "Our Ofsted visit was a very positive experience.

"We have identified clear development priorities to move our school forward."

Ofsted logo

Ofsted logo - Credit: Archant

The Stables was rated good in personal development, behaviour and welfare, but received requires improvement for leadership and management; teaching, learning and assessment and pupil outcomes.

The report, published by Ofsted in May, said problems were found in the school's "systems for evaluating its own effectiveness" and that improvement planning was "at an early stage of development".

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Records were "insufficiently precise" and work schemes were not "adapted well enough".

However, inspectors noted that "many initiatives need to be fully implemented" and safeguarding policy was "well maintained".

Inspectors also said while many pupils "have a disrupted history of education", staff were able to help younger pupils improve.

But they found outcomes for older pupils were less positive, and pupils in the senior class were not making "good progress".

However, they added that work to promote personal development and welfare was good and relationships between pupils and staff were "a real strength".

A spokesman for the Stables said the school offered full-time permanent placements with small class sizes to pupils in the care of the local authority, but that there had been "considerable staff turbulence" since opening.

"Pupils have experienced high levels of trauma during their early development," they added.

"Leaders and proprietors have clear plans for improvement that focus on curriculum development, the monitoring and assessment of pupil progress and ensuring all pupils at the school are taught at an appropriate level."