The Westminster School in Rowley Regis ranked outstanding by Ofsted
A special school in the Black Country has been rated outstanding by watchdog Ofsted.
The Westminster School, in Rowley Regis, was praised across the board.
It was ranked outstanding overall and in each of the five inspection categories – effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for pupils; and 16 to 19 study programmes.
A report said leaders are committed to improving the life chances of pupils with special educational needs and ‘aspects of the school’s work on supported apprenticeships are at the forefront of national developments’.
The school’s innovative work to support pupils to gain valuable employability skills through supported internships and apprenticeships was recognised as ‘paving the way for other providers across the country’.
Inspectors found the school’s effectiveness had improved in recent years thanks to ‘the inspirational leadership of the headteacher and the dynamism, enthusiasm and commitment of the senior team and governors’.
Meanwhile pupils’ behaviour was described as excellent, with the report adding: “Pupils embody the school’s motto, Safe, Happy and Learning Together.”
Inspectors also said ‘teachers and support staff are highly skilled’ and as a result ‘pupils make strong progress in their learning…and personal development.” The school’s post-16 provision was also praised for ‘focusing sharply on making sure that students maximise their potential’.
The school’s 7to97 social enterprise initiative, which aims to increase the proportion of young people with learning disabilities in the workplace, received praise for helping to boost students’ self-esteem and confidence. The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare was particularly praised by inspectors.
One pupil told inspectors that the support teachers and staff had given him ‘has changed my whole life, not just mine, but my mom and dad’s, too’.
Headteacher Christine Hill said: “We are extremely pleased that Ofsted recognises our commitment to improving the life chances of all of our pupils. We are delighted that the inspectors said that they saw a lot of laughter and enjoyment in lessons and in school as this reflects the excellent relationships between staff and pupils.”