‘Inadequate’ unit put into special measures

The Chadwick Centre.

The Chadwick Centre.

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A pupil referral unit which caters for children excluded from mainstream schools has been placed into special measures after being branded “inadequate” by Ofsted inspectors.

The Chadwick Centre and Medical School, which is based in the grounds of the former Skerton High School, serves mainstream schools in Lancaster, Morecambe, Carnforth and Garstang.

Its students are aged 11-16 and are admitted for a variety of reasons, often because they have been excluded or are at risk of exclusion from their schools.

In September 2012, the Lancashire Education Medical Service’s provision for students unable to attend a mainstream school because of their medical needs was merged with the Chadwick Centre.

Leadership and management, the behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching and achievement of the school’s 74 pupils were all found to be inadequate by inspectors visiting in April.

The overall effectiveness of the school has declined since the last inspection rated it as good in 2011.

Safeguarding arrangements are inadequate, leaving students at risk. In some instances, students are not kept safe.

The achievement of too many students in the Chadwick Centre is poor.

Students’ knowledge and skills in reading, writing and mathematics are low and not developed effectively.

In nearly all respects leadership and management are inadequate. Leaders, managers and governors do not have the capacity to drive the necessary improvements.

The management committee is not challenging leaders adequately, nor is it holding them to account over safeguarding, students’ progress and

the quality of teaching.

Checks made by leaders on students’ progress and on teaching are inaccurate. Leaders and the management committee do not understand the

school’s strengths and weaknesses.

The quality of teaching is inadequate. The expectations that teachers and their assistants have of students are too low, in terms of the amount and quality of work students should produce and the level of challenge the work presents.

Students’ starting points are not assessed rigorously. As a result, students’ work is not matched well enough to their needs and lacks

challenge.

Too often, students’ behaviour is poor. Students are not inspired to learn and make progress. Their attitudes to learning are weak. Attendance is low at the school and in some of the alternative provision used. The school’s policy for managing and improving behaviour is not robust enough.

A school that requires special measures means it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.

The school will now receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

However, inspectors noted that the separate provision for some Year 11 ex-Skerton High students is led and managed well.

Teachers’ expectations are high and the quality of teaching is good, and students are making good progress as a result.