CLOUGHWOOD Academy has been given an overall rating of outstanding by Ofsted after a recent inspection – the highest score that the government watchdog can award.

The residential special school for male children aged between eight and 18 years, was rated outstanding for how well children and young people are helped and protected, while the effectiveness of leaders and managers was good.

This rating is an upgrade from the school’s previous inspection on December 11, 2018, that was given an overall judgement of good. This took place under a previous headteacher, who has since been replaced.

The recent inspection was conducted by social care inspectors Elaine Clare and Pam Nuckley using the ‘Social care common inspection framework’.

Their report, published earlier this month, found that: “Leaders and staff are highly ambitious for children. This means that children make exceptional progress towards achieving their goals.”

“For one child, the opportunity to join a gymnasium has recently led to him winning a silver medal in a competition after the coach spotted his talent during a visit.”

The school ensures staff have frequent child protection training, including up to level two safeguarding, and foster close relationships with parents to understand the medical needs of each child.

The academy is commended by parents for the ‘promotion of children’s independence’ and the quality of residential accommodation.

One parent said: “As an only child, [her son] gets to mix with others. He won’t stay over with family but loves going to resi [residential provision] because he feels safe and secure.”

The inspection was not without its shortcomings. It was found that: “The residential care plan is not detailed enough to provide staff with the information they need to provide high-quality care for children, particularly around risks and the cultural identity of a child.” This was cited in the report as one of three areas for improvement.

Other recommendations were improvements to risk assessments ‘so that they accurately reflect the individual behavioural and health needs of children’ and to ‘Develop individual targets further to link better with behavioural and social issues associated with each child’.