Latest Residential Care Report - Autumn 2017
Information about this residential special school Brompton Hall School is a local authority maintained residential special school for up to 65 boys, located near to Scarborough in North Yorkshire. The residential provision accommodates up to 42 pupils and provides extended days to a number of pupils who do not board. All pupils have an educational, health and care plan (EHC plan) in respect of their emotional and behavioural difficulties. There are three residential units within the main building that are age-related. The youngest pupils are accommodated in a separate house within the school grounds. The residential service operates term-time, Monday to Thursday. At the time of inspection, there were 38 boarders and another 19 pupils with extended days. The age-range of pupils was from eight to 16 years old.
This inspection was undertaken alongside a short one-day inspection of the school’s education provision. There is a separate letter detailing the outcome of the education inspection, which will be sent separately to the school and published on the Ofsted website.
Inspection dates: 16 to 18 October 2017
|Overall experiences and progress of children and you people||good|
|Taking into account:|
|How well children and young people are helped and protected||good|
|The effectiveness of leaders and managers||good|
The residential special school provides effective services that meet the requirements for good.
Date of previous inspection: 13 February 2017
Overall judgement at last inspection: good
Key findings from this inspection
This residential special school is good because:
- Staff are skilled and experienced in helping pupils with social and emotional difficulties. They provide pupils with the right environment to help them make significant achievements.
- Pupils make good progress with their learning, development, social skills and behaviour.
- The residential and extended day provision make a strong impact on outcomes for pupils. There is an excellent range of activities, clubs and events that make a big difference to pupils’ learning and development.
- The relationships between staff and pupils are very positive and the systems in place to promote behaviour are very effective.
- Pupils feel safe, secure and settled.
- There are strong safeguarding arrangements in place to keep pupils free from harm.
- The school’s leaders provide strong and effective management. This ensures that the residential and education provision are integrated and cohesive.
- Leaders and governors fulfil their responsibility to constantly improve the school.
- Monitoring is comprehensive and leaders are responsive to any concerns and feedback from pupils, parents and partner agencies. Regular reports about the school’s performance keep governors informed of the strengths and improvement areas.
What does the residential special school need to do to improve?
- Formalise decision-making about the sharing of bedrooms into a written risk assessment and keep this under review. (NMS 5)
- Provide a written response to the local authority about internal investigations into concerns about staff practice. (NMS 11)
- Implement the action plan to develop the quality of the monitoring reports that are completed under national minimum standard 20. Consider broadening networks with other schools to facilitate improvements to evaluation and review systems. (NMS 20)
Overall experiences and progress of children and young people: good
Leaders and staff are experienced and have the knowledge and skills to support pupils who have experienced previous school disruption and difficult personal circumstances. The staff are motivated and committed to providing high standards of care so that pupils enjoy school and achieve well.
The residential and extended day provision make a strong impact on outcomes for pupils. They make good progress with their learning, they develop better social skills, make friends, support each other and adapt well to group living. In some cases progress is excellent. One stakeholder commented, ‘I would be happy with half the progress he has made.’ New pupils find the school friendly, fun and easy to settle in.
The relationships between staff and pupils are very positive. Staff are accomplished role models and empower pupils to develop a good value base and to try their best. Consequently, pupils develop a bright outlook and productive attitude towards their learning and development. They are proud of their successes and are more confident. Pupils like coming to school and readily articulate the positive impact that the school has in terms of their learning and welfare.
Leaders are improving the systems for tracking pupil progress. These systems are integrated across school and link directly to identified needs and outcomes in pupils’ EHC plans. Staff make effective use of this information to reward success and target support where it is needed most. Parents and carers feel well informed of pupils’ progress.
There is an excellent range of activities, clubs and fundraising events. For example, the coast-to-coast bike ride, a water sports trip, share a pencil day and shoe box appeal. This makes a big difference to pupils’ learning and development. Their achievements and contributions boost their confidence and self-esteem. Staff make sure that pupils enjoy their education and get the most from school to prepare them for their lives afterwards. It is clearly evident that pupils’ success and well-being are at the heart of the school. All the pupils succeed in finding courses in further education, training or employment.
Strong partnership working helps promote pupils’ health needs, particularly their mental health. Specialist support is provided from mental health services, a speech and language therapist and an educational psychologist. The education and healthcare needs of pupils are mainly in relation to their behaviour and anxiety as a result of their social, emotional and mental health needs. Staff use robust and well-developed care practices to support pupils to overcome these barriers to their learning and development.
How well children and young people are helped and protected: good
Pupils feel safe, secure and settled. They have good relationships with staff and are confident that they can talk about anything they are worried about and that staff will listen. Staff understand the pupils’ needs and strive hard to make the school a safe place to be. Pupils learn about risks and how to keep themselves safe. For example, pupils reflect on their behaviour and impact on others, they develop their understanding of e-safety and manage risks safely during outdoor pursuits. From their starting points through to Year 11, the school has a strong impact on pupils’ social skills and maturity and on empowering them to be safe.
Individual care plans and risk assessments are detailed and ensure that the risks, vulnerabilities and needs of individual pupils are well known. These are routinely reviewed and reflect pupils’ behaviour across the whole school. The systems in place to promote behaviour are very effective. Pupils find the points and pass system a good incentive and receive plenty of praise for their achievements. Staff sensibly discuss issues about right and wrong and appropriate behaviour with pupils and are good role models.
Staff are trained to support pupils with challenging behaviour and will as a last resort physically intervene to keep pupils safe. Since the last inspection, the evidence of record-keeping, reflection and management oversight of this practice has improved significantly. The number of these incidents has declined and the types of interventions used are more minimal in nature. These are both positive trends and are testament to the preventative strategies and de-escalation skills of staff.
The school has implemented a new risk assessment policy since the last inspection to promote risk management. While particular attention is paid to risks and keeping pupils safe, Ofsted recommends that the decision-making about any bedroom-sharing is formalised in a written assessment of the factors taken into account.
The lead staff for safeguarding concerns take prompt and robust action to protect pupils from any harm. This area has improved since the last inspection. There is better oversight of referrals to the local authority. The information provided by the school has a positive impact on the local authority’s care planning and review arrangements for children in need and children looked after. The placement support officer helps coordinate referrals and support for parents and carers, provides direct support and helps families maintain good school attendance for their children.
The head of care addresses any concerns about staff in line with statutory guidance. Ofsted recommends that when the local authority is involved in this process that the school sends the local authority a written response of any enquiry and outcomes. The frequency with which pupils go missing from school has declined. Staff response to any such incidents is strong and ensures a safe return to school or the pupil’s family home.
Recruitment checks and processes are thorough and ensure that only suitable adults are employed to work in the school.
The effectiveness of leaders and managers: good
The school’s leaders provide strong and effective management. This ensures that the residential and education provision are integrated and cohesive. Consequently, pupils receive robust and holistic support that promotes their education, social, emotional and developmental progress.
Staff clearly understand their roles. Their dedication and commitment uphold the aims and objectives of the school. For example, there is strong partnership working with parents, health services and the local authority, pupils access a range of subjects and qualifications and succeed in moving into further education, training or employment.
Leaders and governors fulfil their responsibility to constantly improve the school and are making considerable progress with their action plan from the last inspection. Improvements include the development of the placement support officer, deepening the safeguarding roles and responsibilities and developing new individual action plans for pupils. This is contributing to the welfare and safety of pupils. This will be enhanced further through developing academic resilience and promoting positive mental health. There are new weekly Friday meetings for leaders of the residential provision to share information, raise issues and plan improvements.
There are good staffing levels to meet the needs of pupils. Residential and school staff support each other and work across school for the benefit of pupils. This integration gives pupils consistent expectations and predictable responses, helping them to feel secure and improve their behaviour. Staff turnover in the residential provision is low and adds to the stability that the pupils experience. Leaders are planning training across school for new staff in education and this will promote more cohesion.
Monitoring is comprehensive and leaders are responsive to any concerns and feedback from pupils, parents and partner agencies. Regular reports about the school’s performance keep governors informed of the strengths and improvement areas. There is a suitable school development plan to underpin future improvements. School leaders plan to increase the quality of the monitoring of the residential provision, as recommended at the last inspection.
Partnership working is strong. This is a view shared by parents, carers, the local authority and health services. This guarantees the best all-round support for pupils. The placement support officer plays a pivotal role in supporting families who need extra help.
Information about this inspection
Inspectors have looked closely at the experiences and progress of children and young people. Inspectors considered the quality of work and the differences made to the lives of children and young people. They watched how professional staff work with children and young people and each other and discussed the effectiveness of help and care provided. Wherever possible, they talked to children and young people and their families. In addition, the inspectors have tried to understand what the school knows about how well it is performing, how well it is doing and what difference it is making for the children and young people whom it is trying to help, protect and look after.
Using the ‘Social care common inspection framework’, this inspection was carried out under the Children Act 1989 to assess the effectiveness of the service, how it meets the core functions of the service as set out in legislation, and to consider how well it complies with the national minimum standards.
Residential special school details
Social care unique reference number: SC007923
Headteacher/teacher in charge: Sharon Young – acting head
Type of school: Residential special school
Telephone number: 01723 859121
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Morley, social care inspector
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, further education and skills, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for children looked after, safeguarding and child protection.
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