An outstanding Ofsted result for Royal School for the Deaf Derby

CHILDREN living at Royal School for the Deaf Derby’s residential unit are ‘happy, settled and secure’ according to Government inspectors who rated the provision as outstanding.

Pupils told inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education that staff at the Ashbourne Road school are ‘supportive, kind, caring and the best’ and the report described them as highly skilled, excellent role models who are ‘very attuned to the emotional well-being of children’.

Inspectors found pupils make ‘exceptional progress from their starting points’ at the school and any barriers to reaching their educational potential are overcome.

One parent told the inspection team that their child gets to have many new and exciting experiences and ‘we couldn’t ask for more’.

The Ofsted team described the leadership of the school as passionate, dedicated and inspirational, while the morale of staff was deemed the ‘best it has ever been’ which in turn creates a ‘happy and harmonious environment for children’.

The report noted that safeguarding incidents are dealt with ‘robustly’ and children feel able to talk about their problems and staff are able to instigate difficult conversations.

Headteacher Paul Burrows said:

“I am very proud of everyone at our school, this report is a testament to a lot of hard work and dedication from the entire team.

“We work hard to show students at our school that being deaf is never a barrier to success and I am very pleased the inspectors recognised that we have high aspirations and ambitions for our pupils.

“Our residential unit is an integrated part of the school and is given equal precedence to the education provision. I think it is this holistic approach which enables us to prepare pupils for life after school.”

There are currently 13 pupils living in the school’s residential unit during the week and many of the children have additional complex needs and staff are trained to meet the young people’s physical and emotional health needs.

Inspectors, who found no areas in need of improvement, also praised the way staff prepare children for ‘life beyond the school gate’ and highlighted a number of community events – such as a performance at Derby Cathedral and work with Derby Theatre – that strengthen pupils’ inclusion in the community.