Learning Opportunities Centre Secondary

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Learning Opportunities Centre Secondary


Name Learning Opportunities Centre Secondary
Website http://www.learningopps.org
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 11 February 2020
Address Ringwould Road, Ringwould, Deal, Kent, CT14 8DW
Phone Number 01304381906
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 10-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 28 (71% boys 29% girls)
Local Authority Kent
Percentage Free School Meals 0.0%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils join the school because they have had difficult experiences in the past, particularly with their behaviour. They receive a high level of support from staff to help them learn how to manage their own feelings and behave well. Pupils told us that if it were not for Learning Opportunities, they would not be in education.Teachers set work that pupils find interesting. Pupils are keen to learn and know that if they are struggling to cope, staff will help them. They are willing to make mistakes and rise to the challenges staff set them.Pupils say that bullying rarely happens at school. Pupils have an excellent relationship with staff; they know there is always someone to speak to if they have any worries or concerns. Pupils feel safe in school.From when they start at the school, pupils are happier, more confident and better prepared for their next steps. Pupils are well informed about college courses, apprenticeships and jobs. This information helps them to make informed decisions about what to do when they leave school.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Changes to the structure of the leadership team are making a positive difference to this school. Effective systems and procedures have been put in place to improve the quality of education pupils receive. All staff are very positive about the new ways of working introduced by the current senior team.The proprietor provides effective governance for the school. Since the last inspection, the level of challenge the proprietor provides to leaders for the work of the school has increased. This has ensured that the independent school standards are met and due regard is given to the Equality Act 2010.Pupils’ personal development is a key focus across the school. Outdoor learning is used effectively to develop pupils’ resilience, understanding of their emotions and social skills. Experienced and well-trained staff are excellent role models for pupils. They provide pupils with the support they need to help them deal with any learning, social or emotional difficulties they may have.Staff set high expectations and rigorously apply the school’s behaviour policy. Incidents of poor or unkind behaviour are resolved quickly because staff help pupils to manage their behaviour. School routines, rewards and sanctions are used fairly and consistently. The proportion of pupils who are temporarily excluded from school is low.Pupils’ attendance is high and continues to improve. The school makes suitable arrangements for pupils who struggle to be in school full time. Leaders review these arrangements regularly, increasing the time pupils are in school. Additionally, leaders have checked the other education settings that pupils attend. These settings are safe and meet pupils’ specific needs well.There is a wide range of enrichment activities to support pupils’ development, including residential trips and visits to the theatre, museums and places of worship. That said, pupils’ knowledge about the different groups of people who make up British society is not as strong as it should be. Leaders do not create enough opportunities for pupils to learn about cultures, ethnicities and religions other than their own.Staff prepare pupils exceptionally well for when they leave the school. The school’s comprehensive careers programme prepares pupils very well for their next steps. Pupils across the school visit different workplaces, meet employers and attend college ‘taster days’. All pupils who left last year are still in college, work-based learning or employment with training.Parents and carers are very happy with the school. One parent who responded to Ofsted’s Parent View survey said, ‘I would strongly recommend this school to other parents.’Many pupils arrive at the school with poor literacy levels. Improving pupils’ literacy, particularly their reading skills, is a top priority for the school. Leaders have provided training for staff to support them to do this. However, there is not yet an embedded, consistent approach to promoting a love of reading through the school. Too many pupils are still reluctant to read for pleasure.Leaders have made a start on improving the curriculum and raising expectations of what pupils can achieve. This work is promising, although it is not yet fully embedded. Some subject areas are well planned and sequenced. In mathematics, pupils learn the right things in the right order. This helps them to remember what they have learned. However, this is not the case in some other subjects, particularly English.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.School leaders ensure that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose. Safeguarding training is regular and thorough. School staff know their pupils and families well and take their welfare seriously. Staff understand the risks that pupils face in the local area and are vigilant for any indicators that might suggest a child is at risk of harm.When required, the school acts promptly in making safeguarding referrals and is persistent in chasing these up and escalating them if necessary. Leaders work with determination with a range of agencies and organisations. This ensures that families get the help they need. Parents are very positive about this support.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and proprietor)

Leaders have worked hard to ensure that all staff work together to ensure that all pupils receive the highest quality of education. Since the last inspection, the school has improved, particularly teachers’ use of assessment and the teaching of mathematics. However, there is still more to be done so that all subjects are taught equally well. Leaders need to provide further training and support to all teachers. They also need to monitor the delivery of the curriculum to ensure that it is implemented well. . Leaders recognise that reading is not yet fully promoted across the school. They need to ensure that all staff understand their role in helping pupils to develop as readers. This will allow pupils to foster a love of reading. . Over time, pupils learn to treat adults and fellow pupils with tolerance and respect. However, pupils do not have enough opportunities to learn about the different groups of people they will meet when they move on from the school. Pupils do not know enough about the major religions, ethnicities and other key groups that make up British society.