Independent school receives second damning Ofsted report

  • 11th April 2024

The independent Lewis Charlton Learning Centre in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, has received a second Ofsted ruling of Inadequate for the second year in succession, Yahoo has reported.

The school teaches 45 pupils with special educational needs, aged from five and 19.

Inspectors reported a “poor” and “limited” curriculum with pupils failing to “learn as well as they should”. The school and its teachers  “did not understand” the needs of pupils, with staff failing to take into account SEND youngsters’ additional needs when putting together the curriculum, which was “limited in its ambition” with subjects “poorly planned” with “little thought” given to how pupils will learn over time.

There were “disjointed” differences in support between the school’s five sites in the town and lessons at the lower school’were not “built on” for those at the upper school, leading to “fragmented” subjects which limited pupils’ potential and achievement.

Leaders at the school didn’t work in “an effective way” to assess what its pupils were capable of achieving. Inspectors commented: “The school has a limited understanding of the gaps in pupils’ knowledge and what they need to learn. Staff do not consistently check pupils’ understanding. Some staff do not adapt their teaching when pupils find work too easy or too difficult. Some pupils are left confused, and others disengage from their learning.”

Damning with the faintest of praise, Ofsted ruled that pupils’ personal development and their behaviours would only be ranked as ‘Requires Improvement’ – the second lowest grade. At least the pupils felt safe at the school and “most enjoyed attending”, while benefiting from the “high numbers” of staff who provided support.

Things got better in parts of the report, with inspectors praising the school’s personal development provisions which are “well planned”. Pupils were given “caring pastoral support”, and older children were given careers and education guidance preparing them for the next steps. Ofsted also reported younger pupils learned to “respect people who have views, beliefs and opinions that are different from their own”.

Ofsted concluded that the school failed to meet the independent schools standard and called on leaders to ensure in future staff have the “necessary insight” to ensure standards are met and maintained.

A spokesperson for Lewis Charlton Learning Centre spokesperson told LeicestershireLive: “We have taken great strides since the November 2023 inspection and we’re committed to developing our staff to address the evolving student needs. We have also engaged a key lead Ofsted consultant who is guiding us on new action plans and to ensure quality assurance. We are confident that these developments, along with several other transformation initiatives, put the school on a path for greater, more enriching learning experiences for teachers and students.”

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