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Outstanding hat-trick for Northern House School
A SCHOOL which cares for children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties has been rated outstanding for a third time.
And for the first time Northern House School, in South Parade, Summertown, received Ofsted inspectors top judgement for behaviour.
Headteacher Ian Barker said: “The challenge actually gets greater for an outstanding school because there is only one way to go.
“The only way we are trying to go is up.
“We are trying to do more outreach work and more work with mainstream schools to share our behaviour management expertise.”
The school works with 30 primaries so pupils can spend time in mainstream settings and teachers can get advice on managing difficult behaviour.
Mr Barker said: “It is the first time we have had a clean sweep.
“For a school which specialises in children with behavioural problems, for pupils to be described as exemplary says a lot for the way in which they are managed.
“The children rose to the occasion with this visit. I think because they love the school so much they know how important it is, they pulled it out of the bag for the school.”
The report said bullying was “virtually unheard of” and praised pupils’ positive attitudes towards learning.
The school takes children aged between five and 11, with 82 youngsters currently on roll.
Most stay a minimum of two years before returning to mainstream schools, although some will require special education throughout their education.
Inspector Bob Pugh said in his report: “This is an outstanding school where there is a continuous drive for improvement underpinning all aspects of its work.
“Significant recent changes have been extremely well managed to ensure that very high standards of teaching, learning and behaviour have been maintained.”
Those changes include the school’s planned conversion to an academy, which is likely to take place in September.
While the school is converting alone, it has formed a multi-academy trust to leave the door open for other schools to join with them.
Mr Barker said there had been no discussions with any particular schools as yet but he expected to join with mainstream primaries to provide expertise on dealing with challenging behaviour.
He said: “This report gives us the confidence boost we need now to set sail in the academy world.”
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