School shows big improvement

JUST two years ago this Ipswich school for excluded pupils was deemed to have serious weaknesses, but it is today celebrating after being praised by inspectors.

JUST two years ago this Ipswich school for excluded pupils was deemed to have serious weaknesses, but it is today celebrating after being praised by inspectors.

A team of OFSTED inspectors, after spending three days at The Westbridge Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), London Road, said the school had greatly improved and its pupils' achievement was good overall.

The report summary said: "Good leadership by the head and deputy of the unit, along with valuable support by the LEA, has ensured the unit has made significant improvements in the last two years."

The report said the quality of teaching at the unit is "good", that "teachers expect pupils to behave well and work productively" and that as a result pupils "gain in self esteem and achieve well in awards and certificates".


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It was also noted that the "strong ethos of care and support at the unit has helped the improvement in personal development".

The report also praised the school's range of supplementary activities, vocational courses and work placements.

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Headteacher Dave Siddall said: " We are all delighted with this positive report and believe it to be a fair reflection of all the hard work over the past two years by staff and pupils.

"Our pupils have shown to those outside Westbridge - and more importantly to themselves - just how well they can do.

"It is reassuring Ofsted has recognised the good work already being done here."

Mr Siddall said the positive report has also given the school the confidence to try new things.

He said: "One area we are keen to develop is working more closely in a range of ways with mainstream schools."

The Westbridge PRU, which caters for 14 to 16-year-olds, aims to help pupils re-engage with learning, offering subjects such as English, maths, science and ICT up to GCSE level, as well as vocational training.

Tony Lewis, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for children and young people, said: "It is very pleasing to see these improvements, which are a great credit to everyone who has worked so hard to turn things around.

"I hope to see Westbridge build on this good news from Ofsted and develop even further in the future.'

What do you think about the improvements at Westbridge Pupil Referral Unit? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uks

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