School has ‘rapidly improved’ since joining trust, Ofsted says

Head of school Miss Amanda Jagot (left) and assistant head teacher Mrs Caroline Higgins (right) with Saxon Mount pupils
Head of school Miss Amanda Jagot (left) and assistant head teacher Mrs Caroline Higgins (right) with Saxon Mount pupils

A special school has been rated ‘good’ with aspects of ‘outstanding’ in its first Ofsted inspection since opening as an academy.

Saxon Mount School, in Edinburgh Road, was visited by inspectors on November 1 and 2 and deemed to be ‘outstanding’ in the categories of effectiveness of leadership and management, and personal development, behaviour and welfare. In the other two categories – quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and outcomes for pupils – it was rated ‘good’.

The report states: “Since the school opened as an academy in 2014, the Torfield and Saxon Mount Academy Trust has rapidly improved all aspects of the school.

“Leaders have carefully planned and developed an engaging curriculum that meets the specific educational needs of pupils.

“Pupils’ behaviour, both inside and outside of the school, is exemplary.

“Pupils display an enjoyment of learning and focus on doing their best.”

Richard Preece, executive headteacher, said: “What strikes me as most powerful is that the inspectors captured the high regard and enthusiasm our parents have of the school and its work. I am also proud that the inspectors describe the behaviour and conduct of our pupils as ‘exemplary’. In fact, the whole inspection report is highly positive about the work we do at Saxon Mount.

“We have very high expectations and aspirations for our young people and visitors are often amazed to hear that so many of them leave with valuable qualifications: 70 per cent of pupils left us last summer with at least five passes at GCSE or equivalent, despite their sometimes very significant learning difficulties. When pupils leave us they go onto employment, education or training and our young people stay in their post 16 placements really successfully compared to all pupils locally and nationally.

“For these reasons we are a little disappointed that Ofsted did not agree that outcomes for our pupils are outstanding. However, we are always focussed on future school development and we will use the inspection findings alongside our own development planning in order to continue improving every aspect of provision at Saxon Mount School.”