Norfolk special school 'outstanding'

A Norfolk special school has been promoted to an elite group rated by Ofsted inspectors as “outstanding”. Chapel Road School in Attleborough was handed the ultimate accolade by inspectors who visited in September.

A Norfolk special school has been promoted to an elite group rated by Ofsted inspectors as “outstanding”.

Chapel Road School in Attleborough was handed the ultimate accolade by inspectors who visited in September.

Last year, of 176 schools inspected in Norfolk, only seven were judged to be outstanding, while 11 were at the opposite end of the scale, put into special measures.

The inspectors said the school, which is the only “outstanding” special school in Norfolk, was a place were learning was fun and teaching was very good.

It was also praised for its outreach work, and its contribution to the wider community.

The achievement was made more remarkable by the constraints of having limited space, old buildings, and not enough specialist teaching rooms for the 62 students who are aged between three and 19.

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John Kirk, acting headteacher, said: “The success of the school is due to the tremendous efforts of all the staff, pupils, parents, governors and friends of the school.”

Highlights of the report included praise for the “well qualified and confident staff who provide safe and structured teaching environments where the learning, health and emotional needs of pupils are met.”

All the students, including those with the most complex needs, are actively engage in lessons, experience the full curriculum, and enjoy learning, the inspectors said.

Anne Landamore, chairman of governors, said: “I am pleased that the inspectors take into account the difficulties caused by the school site and outdated buildings. This site is small and there is a shortage of specialist teaching rooms, the old buildings, which were not constructed as a school, pose extraordinary constraints on the way in which the school can operate.

“The skill and dedication of the staff overcome these difficulties superbly well as far as it is possible to do so. There is no more space for further development and the number of pupils cannot rise,” she explained.

She added: “We are very pleased that the local authority recognises the difficulties of our current building and we are hopeful that the current consultation on the future location of complex needs schools will provide positive outcomes for us.”

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