Express & Star

Boarding school rated outstanding by Ofsted

A boarding school has received huge praise from inspectors as it was rated outstanding across the board.

Old Swinford Hospital School

Old Swinford Hospital School in Stourbridge has been given the best possible grades in the areas it was inspected by Ofsted.

The education watchdog said pupils at the state boarding school "love their experience" and that they "feel secure living away from home".

Headmaster Paul Kilbride said he was "delighted" with the judgement which he said reflected the hard work of his staff. It has previously received a rating of "good" following its last inspection in 2017.

The Heath Lane school, which houses more than 400 pupils, was judged in three areas, "overall experiences and progress of children and young people", "how well children and young people are protected" and "the effectiveness of leaders and managers".

The Ofsted report said: "Children and young people love their boarding experience and benefit hugely from an exceptionally supportive and nurturing environment.

"They said that the boarding provision is like a family and they make close and enduring friendships. Children and young people feel secure living away from home. Consequently, they excel in their school work, develop their independence, and realise their potential."

Mr Kilbride said: "We're delighted with the feedback which we received from the inspectors. Above all else, they praised the quality of the really positive relationships which exist between staff and pupils at Old Swinford Hospital.

"It's real team effort and I'd like to thank my colleagues across the organisation for all that they do. They regularly go above and beyond for the young people at our school."

It continued: "The senior leadership team is inspirational and passionate about providing the best care possible for children and young people.

"Its approach is child-focused, and its members lead by example and promote their caring ethos throughout the boarding provision."

Old Swinford is one of only two state boarding schools in the region and has fees of £11,175 per year.

The Express & Star revealed last week the school was interested in buying Stourbridge College from its cash-strapped owner Birmingham Metropolitan College with a view to re-opening it for adult learning courses.