Westcroft School has been rated Good by Ofsted, with inspectors praising the way it has responded to the growing needs of its pupils.
In recent years there has been a change in the nature of pupils’ special educational needs. Most pupils now at the Greenacres Avenue school have severe and complex special educational needs, whereas previously a greater proportion had moderate learning difficulties.
Inspectors found that Headteacher Helen Andrioli and her team have responded appropriately to changing demands by developing a new curriculum which “meets pupils’ needs well because it focuses on what pupils need to know for life after school”.
As a result, pupils across all age groups are making good progress towards their targets, and almost all pupils leave the school “well prepared for work, further education or training”.
Staff have a “continuous focus” on pupils’ independence and personal skills, for example promoting personal hygiene, positive relationships with others, good communication skills and good physical health.
Relationships between staff and pupils are “warm, caring and positive. Teachers clearly know pupils well and match tasks to their individual needs”. Teachers also work closely with teaching assistants, and together they ensure that all pupils take part in learning activities at their own level.
Staff work in partnership with parents and carers, meaning families “feel involved in planning for their child’s education”, and parents told inspectors that they “value the work of the school highly”.
Inspectors judged safeguarding at Westcroft to be effective. The leadership team has ensured that safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose, and have a sharp understanding of risks and how they affect pupils in the school. Staff are well trained to spot any signs that pupils might need extra support, and there is a strong culture of vigilance and information sharing across the school.
Mrs Andrioli said: “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised the hard work of the school over the last few years. I would like to thank Central Learning Partnership Trust and the Local Governing Body for their continued support. Mostly though I would like to express my thanks to the children, staff and parents for all of their hard work.”
Councillor Lynne Moran, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I would like to congratulate headteacher Helen Andrioli and her team for this very positive inspection which has found Westcroft School to be a safe and happy place where pupils are making really good progress and are well prepared for adulthood.”
The inspection, which took place last month, was the first short inspection since Westcroft School became an academy. Its predecessor, Westcroft Sports and Applied Learning College, was judged to be good in February 2013.