Briarwood wins praise from Ofsted inspectors

August 04 2017

A FISHPONDS school which provides an education for children with special needs has been told it is still offering a good quality education for its students.

A FISHPONDS school which provides an education for children with special needs has been told it is still offering a good quality education for its students.

Briarwood School, in Briar Way, supports children and teenagers aged three to 19 who have severe learning difficulties, complex needs and sensory impairment.

Government education watchdog Ofsted has released a report after a visit by inspectors.

Giving the school a 'Good' rating, inspectors describe headteacher David Hussey as an "inspirational" leader who is constantly striving to improve the school.

The report says Mr Hussey is "passionate" about the quality of care and education that the pupils at Briarwood receive and has "extremely high expectations", ensuring pupils receive the very best quality education, support and guidance.

He is well supported by "skilled and passionate" governors.

The report states that teachers are able to tailor learning to meet individual needs.

"Pupils make good progress in their learning and development from often extremely low starting points. There is no discernible difference in achievement between disadvantaged pupils and others in the school across any area of learning."

Staff know each pupil extremely well and are aware of their highly complex needs. Support staff were also praised and described in the report as "highly skilled" and "motivated".

Inspectors were impressed by the behaviour of pupils during their visit, describing it as "exemplary".

"Routines are well established and staff consistently apply the school’s behaviour policy. As a result, pupils have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and respond quickly to instructions," the reports states.

The school’s values - enjoy, engage and learn - were evident during the inspection and inspectors said "laughter permeated the school with pupils demonstrating their joy, fully engaged in their learning". 

As a result, inspectors said, pupils make strong progress with their learning and development.

The report revealed that inspectors were not the only ones impressed with the school. Parents, too, spoke highly of the quality of teaching and support offered by staff.

One parent told inspectors: "Briarwood is an excellent school, staffed and managed by an amazing group of people who go above and beyond what is required to ensure that their pupils and parents get the very best from each and every day".

The school's safeguarding policies were deemed to be effective with staff receiving high quality training to deal with issues vulnerable children may face such as child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, extremism and radicalisation. 

"This enables staff to quickly identify concerns and take rapid action with confidence," inspectors said.