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Published 15th Jul 2011

Ashdale sign

A pupil referral centre in Middlesbrough has made “significant improvements” and has been lifted out of special measures by Government inspectors.

Ashdale Pupil Referral Unit, based in Sulby Avenue, caters for pupils who have been permanently excluded or are at risk of being excluded from school.

In their latest report on Ashdale Ofsted found that its pupils make “good and sometimes outstanding progress in lessons.”

Ofsted inspector Andrew Johnson, who visited the centre in June and published his report this week, found that significant improvements have been made on attendance and behaviour.

“Teaching and learning is usually good and sometimes outstanding,” he wrote.

The inspector found that most students leave Ashdale and move successfully into further education or training.

Students told Mr Johnson they feel safe in the centre and appreciated improvements in discipline.

The introduction of a new uniform had a beneficial effect with pupils seeing the centre as a place of learning.

Students also felt proud of their new building which opened in November last year as part of Middlesbrough Council’s Building Schools for the Future programme.

Ofsted found that since Ashdale was placed into special measures in December 2009 leaders and managers had been very successful in addressing the areas for improvement.

“In particular they have brought about changes to behaviour management which have had an impact on many areas of the school’s life.”

The report adds: “The management committee and the local authority support the centre well.”

The large majority of students develop very good skills, knowledge and understanding across a range of subjects.

“Students who attend the centre or local providers of vocational training enjoy lessons and become increasingly motivated to learn and value education,” the report states.

The overall effectiveness of the unit is classed as “satisfactory”.

Areas for improvement identified by the inspectors include raising attainment in maths and English, improving the attendance of students who have a history of persistent absence and strengthening the centre’s capacity to improve.

Councillor Mike Carr, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Children, Families and Learning, said: “The progress made at Ashdale in the past two years has been substantial.

“This positive Ofsted report is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the management, teachers and staff at the centre.

“Progress would not have happened without the willingness of the students to learn and take pride in the centre and use it as a stepping stone for a better future.

“There is of course more work to be done and the recommendations of the inspector to improve Ashdale further will be acted upon.”

Useful links 

Ashdale Pupil Referral Unit

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