Education centre in Chesterfield for excluded schoolchildren 'requires improvement', according to inspectors

An education centre in Chesterfield 'requires improvement', according to inspectors.
An education centre in Chesterfield 'requires improvement', according to inspectors.

An education centre in Chesterfield 'requires improvement', according to inspectors.

Education watchdog Ofsted inspected North East Derbyshire Support Centre, in Hasland, on May 15 and the findings have just been published.

The centre is a pupil referral unit for children aged between five and 16 who have been excluded from school or are at risk of being excluded.

According to the Ofsted report, the centre has been rated as requiring improvements for effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, outcomes for pupils and overall effectiveness.

However, it was rated 'good' for personal development, behaviour and welfare.

The centre received a 'good' rating in its previous inspection in October 2013.

The Ofsted report states: "Leaders do not monitor and evaluate the quality of teaching well enough. They do not identify weaknesses in teaching in a timely manner and provide appropriate support to make improvements.

"There is no system of appraisal in place to hold staff to account for the progress pupils make.

"Pupils do not make good progress in reading. Staff do not have the skills to help the less able improve their reading ability."

Other findings include:

- The quality of the curriculum is inconsistent across the four centres. Where teaching and learning is strong, this practice is not shared to support other members of staff

- Leaders’ self-evaluation of the school’s effectiveness is overgenerous. They have not closely evaluated pupils’ progress to gain an accurate view of the school’s performance

- Teachers do not consistently evaluate pupils’ mathematical knowledge to help them develop a good understanding of concepts. Pupils do not have enough opportunities to solve more complex questions

Some strengths include:

- Leaders have improved pupils’ behaviour and attitudes towards learning. The relationships between pupils and staff are warm and respectful. Safeguarding procedures are effective

- The proportion of fixed-term exclusions has reduced over the past two years

- Pupils make good progress towards achieving vocational qualifications at the alternative provisions

- Pupils appreciate the careers advice and guidance they receive. The overwhelming majority of pupils secure a place in education, employment or training

- Parents and carers are very positive about the school. They feel the staff have supported pupils to improve their behaviour and have been well prepared for their next steps

The centre has four separate sites in Hasland, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Buxton and Barrow Hill.

The majority of pupils are boys.

The school is set to join Esteem multi-academy trust on July 1.