Coxlease School in Lyndhurst, Hampshire is celebrating after being officially recognised as an ‘outstanding’ school for children and young people with emotional, social, behavioural and mental health difficulties.
In its latest report, Ofsted, the independent education watchdog, said the New Forest school was outstanding across the board for its ‘effective leadership and management’, ‘quality of teaching and learning’, ‘personal development of pupils’, ‘outcomes for children’ and ‘sixth form provision’.
Pupils were highly stimulated by engaging lessons, staff were very highly trained, and pupils were well prepared for life in modern Britain, said Ofsted.
Its inspectors added that the school provided an environment “where pupils can flourish, providing wide and rich learning experiences.
“In often a short space of time, the school is able to turn pupils’ very negative attitudes into positive ones. Pupils quickly become confident learners and show a genuine passion for learning.”
Coxlease School, run by the Priory Group, the healthcare specialist, is an independent Special School with six associated children’s homes for boys and girls aged 8-18.
Welcoming the Ofsted report, school principal, Karen Gaster, said: “This momentous outcome for the school is testament to the hard work and professionalism of all of the staff involved across Coxlease. They consistently demonstrate high levels of commitment to our pupils, placing them at the centre of everything that we do.”
Inspectors said a key to the school’s success was the outstanding quality of teaching, learning and assessment – and high expectations for pupils.
“The vast majority of pupils make excellent progress towards challenging targets,” they said.
“Despite their low starting points when joining the school, pupils rapidly gain the life and learning skills that they need to move on to the next stage of their education with confidence.”
Ofsted said that parents it had spoken to during the inspection were delighted with the school. “This was exemplified by one parent who accurately stated, ‘Teachers are amazing with the pupils and I love this place for what it has done for my child. For once they actually want to come to school.’”
Inspectors added: “Behaviour is outstanding. Staff consistently use highly effective behaviour management strategies.”
They said the school helped pupils to learn quickly how to manage their behaviours more effectively. “As one parent rightly said, ‘Once pupils have been at the school for a while they transform’”.
Mark Underwood, Chief Executive Officer of Priory Education and Children’s Services, said: “I am very proud of this outcome, which accurately reflects the hard work of both students and staff.
“Staff work tirelessly to support, motivate and encourage students to achieve their very best and to exceed expectations. This permeates the whole culture of the school.
“And our pupils’ behaviour was described as ‘outstanding’.
“The all-round commitment and partnership between the amazing pupils and staff team has been the foundation of Coxlease School’s success.”