Short inspection of Children's Hospital School at Great Ormond Street and
UCH Following my visit to the school on 26 June 2018 with Mary Geddes, Ofsted Inspector, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be outstanding in February 2014.
This school continues to be outstanding. The leadership team has maintained the outstanding quality of education in the school since the last inspection. Senior leaders and governors have been effective in ensuring that there is a culture of continuous review and improvement so that the school is always moving f...orward.
You and your team are often at the forefront of local and national initiatives in hospital education, which has a positive impact on other settings but also leads to improved outcomes for pupils attending your own school. An example of this is the very effective, bespoke system you have developed for tracking pupils' progress. Lessons are well planned, active and often use pupils' interests as starting points to ensure high levels of engagement.
Where possible, work is based around the curriculum of the pupil's 'home school' to minimise the impact of the pupil's time in hospital or away from their own school. When this works well, pupils make the strongest progress because their education is not disrupted. You regularly let pupils know how well they are doing and you take time to discuss with pupils what they can do to improve further.
You have a very knowledgeable and committed team, who work very well together to ensure that the best teaching is disseminated in a range of ways. The staff survey indicated that you have built an environment where adults feel they are trusted, can take risks and try new ideas. As a result, teaching is often inspirational and highly personalised.
Relationships between staff and pupils are excellent. Pupils are polite and confident and consistently told us that they liked their teachers and lessons. Pupils told us they have made progress in their learning.
Pupils feel safe in the school rooms or when they are taught at their bedside. Some pupils could tell us how well you help them to understand and cope with how they are feeling and also to understand their treatments. All parents who shared their views were very supportive of the school.
They value the work that you do and recognise how you improve their children's well-being as well as supporting their educational progress. A very experienced and effective governing body has continued to provide high-quality support and challenge to leaders, and monitor the work of the school thoroughly. Safeguarding is effective.
School leaders and governors have ensured that all arrangements to keep pupils safe are fit for purpose. All checks on staff working at the school are appropriate and you take effective action when applicants to the school do not meet your rigorous standards. All staff know how to report concerns and are very knowledgeable about different forms of abuse and neglect.
Concerns and actions are carefully recorded and governors monitor this aspect of the school's work rigorously. The excellent curriculum is tailored to the individual needs of pupils and helps them learn how to keep themselves safe online and in the community. Staff know pupils very well, including some that you have known for many years.
You have effective systems in place to find out as much as possible about new pupils so that you can respond to their individual needs quickly. Pupils feel very safe in school and parents overwhelmingly agree that this is the case. Inspection findings ? First, we agreed to look at how well the school's curriculum supports pupils' individual needs.
This was at the school's request, as you felt it was a strength of the school and has evolved and improved since the last inspection. ? The school has developed its own varied and stimulating curriculum which is used at both the University College Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital sites. The curriculum is well constructed and dynamic, and the school's approach to delivering it is highly personalised to meet the very wide range of needs and abilities of pupils.
The curriculum makes very strong links between subjects and helps pupils to develop their skills and knowledge in a range of subjects. As a result, all pupils make excellent progress. Those pupils who are educated at the school for longer periods make very strong progress over time.
• Leaders have ensured that the curriculum prepares pupils well for life in modern Britain. Children's rights are well embedded in all aspects of the school's work. Pupils have opportunities to learn about fundamental British values.
Opportunities to promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are very well incorporated into the curriculum. ? Teachers consistently use a wide range of stimulating and high-quality resources very well to deliver and enhance the curriculum. Information and communication technology is used particularly well and, as a result, pupils remain connected with their peers and have important opportunities to learn collaboratively.
The skilful use of information and communication technology has also ensured that the best practice is shared and disseminated across the school. You have identified in your improvement plans that you would like to involve staff more in curriculum leadership and development and you are preparing to consult on how best to do this with your team. ? Next, we agreed to look at how effective leaders had been at ensuring that pupils continue to make outstanding progress in all areas during their time at the school.
This is because the school's self-evaluation and the school improvement plan identified this as an area of focus for the school. ? The school's systems for tracking pupils' progress are well established and effective. Clear and challenging targets are set and pupils are involved in evaluating how well they have done.
Teachers and other supporting adults quickly identify pupils who need additional support or a change in approach in order to succeed. All staff are dedicated to ensuring the best support for pupils. Pupils value the time they have with the school staff and speak very highly about the adults they work with.
• Leaders and other staff work very effectively to ensure that there is varied and relevant evidence of progress. You and your leadership team have taken effective action this year to strengthen the personalised targets that you set for pupils. You have developed effective monitoring systems to check that targets remain of the highest quality.
School leaders are considering how they can share the valuable progress information they have collected more routinely with parents. We agreed that there is evidence from case studies that some pupils are making significant gains in important areas that are not currently being recorded consistently. This includes, for example, the valuable work you have done in supporting pupils' well-being and engagement.
• The final key line of enquiry was to look at the impact of multi-agency working at the school. This is because you have been working on improving the effectiveness of the way you work with your many partners across health, social care and the voluntary sector. ? Multi-agency working is a strength of the school.
You have developed effective relationships with a very wide range of other professionals who work with pupils. As a result, key information is shared extremely well among professionals, which supports pupils to make very strong progress in many areas, including their personal development and well-being. ? Pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities are supported very well.
Specialist staff from the school, together with a strong team of therapists and medical professionals, ensure a coordinated approach to meeting the needs of a wide range of pupils. The school has developed expertise in a number of key areas, including strategies to support pupils with communication and interaction difficulties. This expertise is shared with other schools through valuable networks.
Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? the school's systems for recording pupils' progress capture the full range of achievements, particularly pupils' personal development and well-being. I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Camden. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website.
Yours sincerely Gary Pocock Ofsted Inspector Information about the inspection We met with you, your three assistant headteachers and the leader of learning at University College Hospital. We had conversations and meetings with parents, the chair of the governing body, the local authority adviser for SEN and a range of teachers and other adults at the school. Inspectors visited your school rooms at both hospitals and also visited pupils and parents at bedsides, accompanied either by you or one of your assistant headteachers.
During those visits, we talked to a wide range of pupils and staff. Together with leaders, we looked at pupils' work to evaluate their learning over time. A range of documentation was evaluated, including the school's self-evaluation, plans for improvement, safeguarding records, and information about pupils' progress.
We also considered responses to the staff survey. There were no responses to Ofsted's survey for pupils. Although there were too few responses to Parent View to be considered, we analysed the free-text comments that were submitted to Ofsted from parents.