A Watford school that takes on pupils who have been permanently excluded has been graded ‘Outstanding’ again in its latest Ofsted inspection.
Chessbrook Education Support Centre, in Tolpits Lane, was awarded outstanding in all four of the criteria assessed by the inspectors - achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.
Lead inspector Declan McCarthy said pupils make rapid progress over time from their low starting points.
He said: "They make outstanding progress in functional skills, work related learning and preparation for life.
"At the end of Year 11, all move into further education or apprenticeships.
"Teachers have very high expectations for students’ learning; they create a strong atmosphere for learning and maintain excellent relationships with students. Teachers use every opportunity to promote the use of literacy and numeracy skills across a range of subjects."
The Ofsted report also commended the behaviour of pupils, stating they make excellent progress and most make rapid progress in attendance.
Chessbrook provides full time education for students, most of whom are at Key Stage 4 and have been permanently excluded from school or the school has requested a managed transfer.
It also provides a programme of outreach support to 83 primary and secondary schools within the local area.
Mr McCarthy continued: "The headteacher provides outstanding leadership and direction for the work of the centre and receives excellent support from senior and middle leaders.
"Leaders have sustained the outstanding effectiveness of the centre’s work since the previous inspection. They have also made significant improvements.
"The quality of teaching and learning has moved from good to outstanding."
Inspectors observed lessons taught by eight different teachers, listened to pupils read and looked at samples of work during the two-day assessment from May 8.
The centre was also awarded outstanding in its last inspection in 2010.
Headteacher Susan Howe was delighted with the Ofsted findings.
She said: "We are all thrilled with the outcome of this report. It’s a testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone who has assisted the centre - staff, students, parents, members of the management community, community stakeholders.
"Also, the inspection provided us with an opportunity to be rigorously challenged.
"The report was not only an accurately reflected our work but now gives us a clear mandate to move forward."