Independent school near Hastings ‘making improvements’

Buckswood School, Guestling
Buckswood School, Guestling

An independent school near Hastings which lost its ability to sponsor international students has been acknowledged by the education watchdog Ofsted for making improvements.

Buckswood School, in Rye Road, Guestling, was given an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ in a report published in September, but received a ‘good’ rating for personal development, behaviour and welfare as well as sixth form provision.

A spokesman for Buckswood School said: “During our most recent Ofsted visit the improvements that the school had made in just a few months were recognised; gaining two good standards in sixth form provision and personal development, behaviour and welfare, acknowledgement for prioritising the most important aspects for improvements and some great feedback.
“As a school we believe in striving for continuous improvement and value the feedback we have received from external agencies, which has allowed us to continue in developing our provisions.

“The school’s management team are continuing to act on feedback received and are dedicated to offering the highest possible standards for our students.

“We look forward to our next inspection which will highlight our continuous improvements and progression.”

The latest Ofsted inspection was the independent school’s fourth in 18 months.

It was rated ‘inadequate’ after a three-day inspection, from March 28 to March 30, 2017 – its first inspection for almost five years after it was rated ‘good’.

In June 2017 and January this year, the school was given progress monitoring inspections and found to have ‘not met all of the independent school standards and national minimum standards for boarding schools during these inspections’, according to Ofsted’s reports.

The school was then reinspected again from June 5 to June 7 this year – with a report published on September 18 – and told it required improvement in four of six categories and that it was ‘good’ in the remaining two.

In its latest report, Ofsted said Buckswood School needed to improve leadership and ‘improve teaching across the school’ to secure good outcomes for all groups of pupils.

In rating its ‘overall experiences and progress of children and young people in the boarding provision’, Ofsted said Buckswood requires improvement.

The report added: “Leaders have not kept enough oversight of arrangements to ensure that boarding accommodation is safe.

“The school does not meet the independent school standards and the national minimum standards for boarding schools.”

However, the report did acknowledge ‘new co-principals have established a culture of sustained development and collaboration’ which meant the school was meeting more of the independent school standards and national minimum standards for boarding schools than previously.

On August 22, the school was stripped of its Confirmation of Acceptance Studies (CAS) allocation after a High Court judge found the Home Office’s ruling to have it removed was ‘wholly lawful’

Buckswood School provides education for day and boarding pupils between the age of ten and 19.

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Independent school near Hastings stripped of international student allocation