Education inspectors say Mansfield alternative provision school is 'good'

A Mansfield school has been given an overall ‘good’ report by education inspectors but noted that pupil absenteeism needed to improve.

By Dale Spridgeon
Friday, 15th October 2021, 8:18 am

The Ofsted report for the REAL Alternative Provision School, scored ‘good’ in all areas including education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, sixth-form provision and overall effectiveness at a previous inspection.

The 57-pupil mixed school, on Woodhouse Road, also met independent school standards, according to the inspection.

The school, which caters for pupils aged 14-19, was described as ‘well led and managed by a cohesive senior leadership team’.

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REAL Alternative Provision School, Woodhouse Road, Mansfield.

Staff were ‘caring, encouraging and enthusiastic’, with ‘secure knowledge’ of their subjects. They used teaching approaches that suited different pupils’ needs, although ‘sometimes’, it was noted, they did not ‘identify carefully enough the most important things pupils needed to remember’.

The pupils were ‘polite and well behaved’, there was no bullying and they were being taught to have ‘high aspirations’. Pupils said thing like ‘I belong here’ and ‘I feel I am somebody’.

Staff and pupil relationships were ‘extremely positive’, with pupils listened to and respected.

The report said: “Pupils, including post-16 students, gained valuable experience and qualifications to help them be successful in their lives.”

Although pupils developed ‘positive attitudes to learning’ the number regularly absent or part-time was considered ‘high’.

The school also offered ‘a broad, well planned” curriculum, with ‘high-quality vocational opportunities and facilities’, including for post-16 students.

It noted how the school worked with alternative providers, giving experiences in subjects such as mechanics, land-based studies, sport, construction, music and digital-based learning.

The areas where the school could improve included teaching reading, improving absenteeism and staff identifying the ‘most important knowledge’ they wanted pupils to learn, including reading.

The report said absenteeism was limiting their chances to ‘achieve well and prepare for their next steps’, but acknowledged leaders were ‘determined to support these pupils to attend more regularly’.

Nikki Purcell, headteacher, said "I’m really pleased with our inspection result. It was great to showcase the brilliant work that our learners and staff have completed over the last few years.

"To hear the comments that learners and parents made to inspectors about our school was humbling. They inspire us to continue working hard to ensure they achieve great things and have a positive future."

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