Ofsted News – Summer 2017

Broadlands Hall School > Blog 2 Column > 2017 > June

Ofsted News – Summer 2017

Dear Parents and Carers,

As you may be aware, we, along with all other special Schools, are now evaluated against exactly the same criteria as mainstream schools under ‘The Common Inspection Framework’. Whilst this exacting and universal criteria has led to many excellent Special Schools being ‘down-graded’ and many educationalists have protested that it is unfair, we welcomed the new demands.

If you are familiar with my newsletters, you will know that Broadlands Hall students are rigorously challenged to be the best that they can be and that our expectations for behaviour, including respect and compassion for others, are set high. Ofsted now evaluate schools against four specific categories. For us, ‘personal development’ and ‘welfare’ are absolutely and vitally what we want to achieve for our students. The acid test though is whether we have been successful or whether this just interesting rhetoric. Could our students be evaluated, by impartial strangers, side-by-side with the best mainstream students in the land and could we be pitted against those same schools in terms of the support and welfare we provide?   Ofsted came to see and judge us last month and a copy of their final report is attached. Here are just a few noteworthy comments from the report.

Personal development and welfare are outstanding.
Relationships are excellent. Staff demonstrate expertise, endless patience and understanding when teaching.
Pupils appreciate the enriched curriculum and the safe, stimulating environment provided for them.


Behaviour is managed exceptionally well
The behaviour of pupils is outstanding
Teaching is based firmly on gaining a full understanding of individual pupil’s social, emotional and behavioural needs.
Good teaching enables pupils to make good progress … the teaching of pupils of low ability is exceptional.Pupils appreciate the enriched curriculum and the safe, stimulating environment provided for them.

As Ofsted have confirmed, we are a very good school indeed full of OUTSTANDING students!

I have attached a copy of the full report and of course it will shortly be accessible from Ofsted’s own website. I won’t dilute this newsletter with other information but I will write to you again at the end of term with a full round up of all the many inspirational, challenging and joyous events that the boys have involved in this year.

Thank you: for your support, for your trust and of course, for giving us the wonderful and enriching opportunity to work with these astonishing young men.

Kind regards,


Hazel Simmons



Important Dates

Awards and Sports Day                                   June 16th

Last day of the Summer Term                        July 21st

Students back to school                                  September 6th


Our Fantastic LSAs – Julie Harris

After a career that included teaching pre-schoolers and supervising support teams delivering personal services for adults with learning difficulties and autism, Julie joined Broadlands Hall School three years ago.

In that time she was worked across the school, assisting some of our most vulnerable and challenging sixth-formers, helping them achieve places in supported living accommodation and also teaching a range of subjects, including PHSE, to very able students.  The students Julie works with appreciate her mature level head and warm-hearted but no nonsense approach to learning.

We are in the process of becoming a ‘Forest School’, which is a very exciting new venture for us: Julie is currently training to be our Forest School lead and is already planning ‘Den Making’ and products to encourage more wildlife into the school’s extensive grounds.

BUT, what you may not know about Julie is she loves mud! Julie is a ‘Mud-Runner’, regularly taking part on ridiculously arduous cross country obstacle course races. She has now bought her extra-curriculum passion into the school and several students are taking part in a youth ‘Mud-Runner’ event this autumn. Clearly, this very real toughness coupled with a heart of gold gives her the ability to really connect with our students and help them achieve positive outcomes.



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