Ofsted grades boarding ‘outstanding’

Thursday 21 March 2024

Keswick School’s boarding provision (52 boarding places) was inspected by Ofsted under the social care common inspection framework from the 22nd to 24th January. The overall judgement, which covers the experiences and progress of children and young people, was graded as ‘outstanding’.

Two senior Ofsted inspectors visited the school and boarding house over a three-day inspection. They met with the entire boarding community, school staff and Governors, and gathered an enormous amount of evidence to judge the quality of the boarding provision. The social care common inspection framework is closely aligned with Ofsted’s school common inspection framework. This means a greater emphasis on the progress and outcomes of boarding students, in addition to the care and support they receive in boarding. The Ofsted report states that boarding is outstanding at Keswick School because:
‘The boarding school provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good. The actions of the school contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people.’
‘Children say that they enjoy boarding, and that it offers them chances to experience international friendships, progressive education, and access to leisure opportunities that they would not otherwise have.’

The inspection report conveys an exceptionally strong sense of community in the boarding house. This culture of care and support was highlighted repeatedly throughout the three-day inspection. The inspectors commented:
‘Staff know children exceptionally well. They use a confident, individual relationship-based approach to build trust that helps children to feel safe. One child said, ‘I saw that other children who went to staff with their problems were helped with kindness, and so I was more confident to tell staff about my worries. I would not have been able to talk to you so easily a year ago. Staff have helped me to find my confidence.’’

The exceptional school support was also highlighted for praise:
‘Staff understand children’s academic progress, but also measure children’s progress in their ability to enjoy life, gather experiences to support wider social and emotional learning, and make and sustain healthy friendships.’
‘Where children need support to make progress, leaders ensure that there is a comprehensive and shared whole-school response to identify and meet those needs. They listen to children about whether the support is working, and are flexible in their approach.’

Simon Jackson, the Head teacher, said:
‘We believe in the benefits of boarding alongside the opportunities we offer to our day pupils. Living away from home with outstanding study facilities and the character development that flows from opportunities outside the classroom help make boarding students both confident and successful. We are delighted to see that Ofsted recognise these benefits and our innovative approach to education and the well-being of young people in our care.’

Ofsted Boarding Report

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