Dereham special school gets good report

Fred Nicholson School, Toftwood. PHOTO: IAN BURT

Fred Nicholson School, Toftwood. - Credit: IAN BURT

A special school in Dereham for children with complex needs has been rated as good by Ofsted in its latest inspection, but it had to take immediate action to rectify a failure to meet two national minimum standards.

The Fred Nicholson School, a day and residential special school maintained by Norfolk County Council, was told it provided effective services for its pupils aged between seven and 16 years.

There are currently 130 day pupils, of which 24 are residential pupils.

An Ofsted inspector found children and young people were protected and cared for and had their welfare safeguarded and promoted.

Its report said: 'Young people make good progress because of their residential experiences. Staff and managers follow robust procedures, which identify young people's goals and match these with suitable strategies to support progression.

?'Young people's self-esteem improves as they learn to assert themselves and attain increased levels of independence.

'Young people acquire skills that will support them as they grow into adulthood, develop courtesy and respect for each other, understand expectations and behave positively.'

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?But the inspector found some shortfalls against the national minimum standards involving safety checks on adults living on school premises, and said agreements covering their conduct while on site had not been completed. These checks are designed to ensure that all adults living on site do not pose a risk to young people.

But the report added: 'This is an isolated case, which the staff began taking action to address once it was raised during inspection.'

A number of points for improvement were identified including more rigorous and comprehensive monitoring, ensuring recording on case files is complete and up to date, and ensuring that the learning and development programme is clearly set out and details the identified training needs of staff, in line with the emerging needs of the young people.

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