Pupils and staff at LVS Oxford are celebrating after we received praise from Ofsted last month, whose recent residential inspection confirmed it as being Good (one grade from the highest possible rank of Outstanding) in all areas.
Eight of our forty-five learners currently enjoy our residential facilities, which received a thorough inspection over three days in January, and in March received a glowing report which noted that “staff communication with parents and carers is a strength of the residential provision, some describing it as ‘brilliant’.”
The positive effects staff are having on learners themselves was also observed, with Ofsted noting: “staff are enabling young people to better manage their own behaviour. This is beginning to make a difference to their lives and that of their families and carers”. Ofsted, which carries out inspections with just three hours’ notice, observed boarding practice over two evenings, had informal discussions with learners during shared meals and boarding time, toured the accommodation and met with staff, parents and carers.
A key area where our unique approach is reaping rewards is in developing independence skills. Ofsted recorded parent feedback of: “When my son first went to LVS Oxford he wouldn’t go out. Now he goes shopping and takes the lead” and another observed: “since being in residential accommodation at LVS Oxford we have noticed he can share a meal, demonstrating that he is thinking about other people – it is a huge step for him to be that socially aware”.
Another major objective at LVS Oxford is developing the social and emotional wellbeing of learners, and the report noted this development in action: “Young people have already begun to make personal progress in the short time they have been boarding, particularly socially and in building their self-esteem and confidence”.
The report also noted that “the leaders have quickly formed a cohesive team providing staff with good direction and a shared vision”. Head of Centre Louisa Allison-Bergin was delighted with the report, saying: “It is great news that the hard work and dedication of our extremely skilled staff has been recognised by Ofsted, along with the effectiveness of our goals to promote independence and social and emotional wellbeing. This compliments the academic progress we are achieving through broadening our range of qualifications to include new BTEC options alongside GCSEs and A-Levels, ensuring our learners are fully equipped to live successful lives beyond the school”.
Current research shows that only 15% of young people with an autism spectrum diagnosis are in sustained, full-time employment and we are passionate about changing that statistic.