Hardwick House School

Name Hardwick House School
Ofsted Inspections
Address 190 Forest Road, Loughborough, LE11 3HU
Phone Number 01509218203
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 7-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 37 (67.6% boys 32.4% girls)
Local Authority Leicestershire
Percentage Free School Meals 0.0%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%%

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to this inspirational school. Staff treat pupils fairly and with respect. Pupils like this consistency and the well-established routines. This helps the pupils to feel safe. Pupils like the extra responsibility of looking after various animals. These include degus, fish, the dogs, Monty and Oscar, and the rabbits, Dave and Bear. Pupils grow produce on the school allotment. For example, they recently made soup from award-winning pumpkins.

Pupils behave exceptionally well in classes and at social times. Pupils like saving up reward credits and spending them in the school shop. Staff cater for pupils’ complex autism needs very well. Skilled staff adapt lessons should the need arise. Pupils are adamant that bullying does not occur. There are many adults with whom pupils can talk should any have a worry or problem.

Staff have high expectations for all pupils. The headteacher and deputy headteacher ensure that pupils leave the school with good qualifications. Pupils recently leaving Year 11 have moved on to appropriate further education or training.

Parents and carers have positive views of the school. One typical comment was, ‘Our son is developing into a kind, thoughtful, understanding young man. This is due to the dedicated and hardworking staff. We can’t thank them enough!’

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Pupils receive an exceptional quality of education at this school. This is because subject leaders carefully plan out a bespoke curriculum for each pupil. Pupils have previously missed large parts of the curriculum. Despite this, pupils leave with GCSE passes in English, mathematics and science. Other qualifications they achieve are in subjects such as food, craft, design, Spanish and computing. Pupils also gain entry level and functional skills qualifications in a range of subjects. Pupils’ attendance increases significantly when compared to their previous school or setting.

The science leaders have planned out the subject very well. In key stage 3, pupils develop their knowledge of materials through experiments. These include making crystals, extracting colours from sweets and testing different acids. Pupils enjoy these experiments and write them up in detail. In key stage 2, pupils develop their understanding of light and shadows. Staff are expert in giving clear instructions and explanations. Their subject knowledge is very strong.

English lessons are equally well planned. In Year 10, pupils made links with their GCSE book, ‘An Inspector Calls’, by watching a film about suffragettes. The film was also topical as the general election was taking place. Pupils enjoy reading and do so frequently. There is a good range of books from which pupils may choose. Pupils who find reading a challenge receive good support.

Pupils have very good attitudes to their learning. They listen well, readily answer teachers’ questions and take pride in their work.

Staff use assessment well. Pupils receive frequent tests. These tests ensure that learned material is revisited. Any gaps in pupils’ knowledge are identified and addressed quickly. This is particularly the case in mathematics.

All pupils have detailed education, health and care plans. Staff ensure that pupils receive very good help and support. Parents receive frequent information about the progress their child is making.

Some staff did not respond positively to questions on Ofsted’s staff questionnaire. They said they did not feel valued and respected, and they are not motivated. Other staff told us school leaders support them well. They welcome the extra training and support they receive to help develop professionally.

There is a good range of activities to develop pupils’ talents and interests. However, this range of activities is not exceptional. There are visits and visitors to the school which help to enhance pupils’ learning. But, these opportunities could be increased. For example, pupils could have a clearer understanding of different faiths and cultures.

The proprietor has ensured that the independent school standards are met. School leaders regularly check that the standards are met. The premises are maintained to a good standard. All the necessary fire-safety requirements are in place. The school complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010. Pupils receive good, independent careers advice and guidance. School policies are up to date and make reference to the latest statutory guidance.

The new proprietor and directors of the trust are well trained, knowledgeable and experienced. They receive regular and detailed information from the headteacher. They are able to hold senior leaders fully to account for their actions.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Safeguarding leads and all staff have received up-to-date safeguarding training. They are aware of the latest statutory guidance. Staff are aware of potential ‘county lines’ drug trafficking, radicalisation and extremism. Local authority safeguarding updates are shared with staff. Outside agency support is sought should a pupil or family need extra help. Leaders know to contact the local authority should a concern arise about a member of staff. All necessary checks are undertaken on adults before they can work at the school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and proprietor) Pupils’ personal development is not exceptional. There is not a wide range of opportunities for all pupils to develop their talents and interests. Pupils might benefit from increased opportunities to visit places of interest and have more visitors to the school. Not all pupils have a good enough understanding of faiths and cultures that are different to their own. Leaders should ensure that all pupils have chances to experience more activities, visits and visitors. . Some staff do not feel valued and respected. They are not as motivated in their roles as they could be. Leaders should ensure that all staff members are supported effectively and have their well-being considered.