A SPECIAL needs school has been sent to the top of the class after getting the thumbs up from Ofsted.
Castlegreen Community School in Sunderland has been graded as good overall with a good capacity for improvement.
The Craigshaw Road school provides education for 11 to 18-year-olds who have a range of social, emotional, behavioural and complex difficulties.
As well as being dubbed good overall, inspectors said the school also has some outstanding features, including the extent to which pupils feel safe, the effectiveness of care, guidance and support and the effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well being.
A report from Ofsted said: “Castlegreen is a good school. Outstanding partnerships, coupled with the very high quality care, guidance and support provided for all pupils, enable them to make good, and for some outstanding, progress, both personally and academically.
“The success of the school in helping pupils overcome areas of weakness, for example, to improve their writing, extend their skills through accessing external providers, and to acquire strategies to manage their own behaviour, indicates a good capacity to improve further.”
The inspectors said because of pupils’ significant social and emotional needs, and their difficulties in behaving well, their attainment is often very low on entry to the school and they arrive with large gaps in their learning, a history of poor attendance, disengagement and low self-esteem.
But when the pupils leave Castlegreen they have made significant improvements because of consistently good behaviour management and focused learning programmes.
Inspectors went on to say: “Pupils behave well overall. They respond well to the wide range of courses and opportunities made available to them, which are practical and/or vocational as best suits their needs and abilities.”
To improve further the school needs to improve pupils’ attainment by ensuring that in all lessons teaching and learning are good or better and ensure all pupils attend school regularly.