Article originally published by Northampton Chronicle & Echo:
A children’s home connected to a Northamptonshire specialist school has been rated as ‘GOOD’ in its first ever Ofsted inspection.
Potterspury Lodge School in Towcester caters for pupils with Aspergers Syndrome or another Autistic Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.
The school, which is part of the Cambian group, opened a children’s home to care for up to 20 people aged between eight and 18, which was first registered with Ofsted in January 2021.
Now the schools watchdog has rated the home as ‘GOOD’ in its first ever inspection carried out on February 1 and 2 this year.
The home was ranked as ‘GOOD’ in all three categories, including: overall experiences and progress of children and young people, taking into account, how well children and young people are helped and protected and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.
In a report published on Thursday (March 3), inspectors said: “Children have made progress from their starting points at the home."
“Some of this progress derives from the positive relationships that children have with staff."
“A core group of staff have an excellent understanding of the children’s needs."
“One child said, ‘staff saved me, I don’t know where I would be without them. The support they have given me has helped me to make progress that I didn’t think was possible."
“Children with poor histories of educational engagement are supported to learn and achieve qualifications."
“With encouragement from staff, most children now aspire to engage in further education and/or training.”
Inspectors also praised the home’s multi-agency work, ability to listen to children and handling of “challenging behaviours".
To improve, the home was asked to make sure risk assessments relating to online safety “clearly outline how staff should reduce potential risks”.
Overall, staff at the home and the associated school were pleased with the findings of the home’s first inspection.
Registered manager, Chris Pearce, said: “We have worked incredibly hard over a number of years to ensure our children’s home is a warm, caring and welcoming environment for children and young people, where the most important asset is the voices of the young people being listened to and acted upon."
“We are incredibly pleased to have our hard work recognised by Ofsted and the experiences we offer the young people showcased."
“The young people at the home deserve recognition for what a fantastic group they are, as do the staff who work with them to ensure their experience of Potterspury Lodge is the best it can be.”
Potterspury Lodge School is also rated ‘GOOD’ by Ofsted, as per its last inspection in March 2020.
The full report for the children's home can be read HERE