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Residential Monitoring Visit

 

Inspection dates 10 to 11 February 2021

Context of the inspection

This monitoring visit was carried out to examine behaviour management and restraint practice in the residential provision of the school. In November 2020, the local authority raised concerns about these matters within the school. This visit was aligned to a ‘no formal designation’ section 8 school inspection undertaken by Her Majesty’s Inspectors.

The visit took place over two days and was carried out on site. The inspector spoke to several children, care staff and other staff and read and evaluated relevant documents. 

Children are taught in ‘bubbles’ to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Boys in the residential provision form one bubble. They receive online teaching four days per week, supported by the residential care staff. 

Summary of the findings made

Children enjoy staying in the residential provision. They particularly like the activities, the staff and being with their friends. Some of the usual routines are relaxed, due to the reduced number of boys staying each night. Children make the most of the current arrangements. However, they understand that this is a temporary change to their usual routine. The high regard shown by the children for the residential provision means that they attend school regularly. This is good for children’s social, emotional and educational well-being.

Children develop strong and trusting relationships with staff. Many boys stay at the school for a long time and know their carers well. Children usually respond positively to requests from staff. They have confidence in their carers and are happy to ask them for guidance and advice. This means that children learn new skills to manage their own frustrations. This supports the children’s development. 

The behaviour of children in the residential provision is excellent. Staff use their positive relationships with children to encourage good behaviour. This is effective. Children know that their behaviour is good. They are proud of their successes and their self-esteem grows. For some children, this is evidence of significant progress.

Restraint is rarely used in the residential provision. Staff use their knowledge of each child to de-escalate potential incidents. They help children to learn new ways of coping with their emotions. This means that children become increasingly able to resolve their own difficulties. Older boys told the inspector that they had learned how to stay calm during their time at the school. They attribute this to the help they receive from the staff. 

Staff are trained in physical restraint and they have continued to refresh this training during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residential staff know in what circumstances they can restrain a child. They use minimal force for the shortest period to prevent children from harming themselves or others. This means that the approach to behaviour management within the residential provision is effective. 

Restraint records completed by staff should include the views of the child. There were two occasions when there was no evidence in these records of children being spoken to. There was no oversight of these records by managers and so this was not rectified promptly. This means that if the child was unhappy about the way they were held, they had not been able to share their views. This does not give the child a sense that their experiences are important. 

The school’s behaviour management policy does not comply with national minimum standards for residential special schools. The headteacher accepts that this document must be amended. 

National minimum standards

The school must meet the following national minimum standards for residential special schools:

  • The school has, and consistently implements, a written policy on managing behaviour, including promoting good behaviour. This policy includes measures to combat bullying, including cyberbullying, and to promote positive behaviour; school rules; disciplinary sanctions; when restraint, including reasonable force, is to be used and how this will be recorded and managed; and arrangements for searching children and their possessions. (National minimum standard 12.1)
  • All children and staff are given an opportunity to discuss with a relevant adult (who was not directly involved) within 24 hours incidents of restraint, including reasonable force, they have been involved in, witnessed or been affected by. (National minimum standard 12.5)           

Inspection team

Jane Titley Lead Social Care Inspector

Information about this school

Brompton Hall School is a local authority maintained residential special school for 70 boys, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire. All children have education, health and care plans, reflecting social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Children are between eight and 16 years of age when they attend the school. The residential provision accommodates up to 43 children, offering weekly boarding places. There is capacity for a further 27 boys to have extended day placements. There are three residential units within the main building and one residential unit for younger children in the grounds of the school. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the residential service currently operates from Monday to Thursday during term time. At the time of this visit, there were 21 children staying in the boarding provision. There were no children attending the extended day provision.            

School details

Unique reference number 121764
Social care unique reference number SC007923
DfE registration number 815

This inspection was carried out under the Children Act 1989, as amended by the Care Standards Act 2000, having regard to the national minimum standards for boarding schools.

The inspection was conducted at the request of the Registration Authority for independent schools in order to monitor the progress the school has made in implementing its action plan following the previous inspection.

Type of school Residential special school
Number of boarders on roll 25
Gender of boarders Boys
Age range of boarders 8 to 16 years
Headteacher Sharon Young
Date of previous boarding inspection 27 January 2020 
Telephone number 01723 859121
Email address headteacher@bromptonhall.n-yorks.sch.uk

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