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Ashton independent school told to improve by education watchdog

An independent school in Ashton has been told to improve by the education watchdog following an inspection.

Lawrence House School, which provides education for youngsters aged 11 to 18 years, has been downgraded by Ofsted from a ‘good’ to a ‘requires improvement’ rating.

The school, based at The Coach House, Dean Terrace, Park Bridge is run by Educ8, which cater for vulnerable children. 

The school, where the annual fees reach £31,200, has been rated as ‘requires improvement’ in all categories – including quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; and leadership and management.

Although inspectors were positive about how the school approaches learning, they believed the curriculum and the expectations of staff were not up to scratch. Staff struggle to deal with pupil’s behaviour at times, they added.

An inspection report, published on May 8, reads: “The school provides a calm and nurturing environment for pupils. For example, the school grounds provide pupils with a peaceful environment which they enjoy. 

“Before joining the school, pupils have experienced significant turmoil in their lives. Staff support them to try and feel more positive about themselves and education. 

“The school wants the best for its pupils. Nevertheless, the school’s expectations for pupils’ achievement are not high enough.

“Staff know pupils very well. This helps staff to settle pupils into school life. The school prioritises helping pupils to develop the skills that they need to learn successfully.

“In many instances, it achieves this goal. However, on occasion, pupils do not display positive attitudes to learning. They sometimes choose to opt out of lessons.”

Inspectors highlighted that a new headteacher had only been in post for a day when the inspection took place at the start of March. In notes for improvement, the school was told to finalise its curriculum thinking in some subjects; improve assessment strategies in some subjects; better identify struggling readers; and improve expectations of students.

Following the Ofsted report, a spokesperson for the school said: “This rating was a result of some minor issues, which have already been rectified. We expect this to be reflected in the next inspection. 

“We are confident that our education offer remains at an excellent standard, as evidenced by our 12 co-located schools which are rated overall as 92 per cent Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.”

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