Options Trent Acres, Kings Bromley, Staffordshire, a special independent school for boys and girls aged 8-18 with autism and a range of complex needs, including mild learning disability, is celebrating having been officially declared ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. The school, run by Options Autism is part of the Outcomes First Group.
Inspectors commended the school, stating that Options Trent Acres “provides a rich and rewarding educational experience for all pupils”.
Headteacher Melanie Callaghan-Lewis was praised for being “an inspirational leader who has the highest aspirations for pupils”. The Ofsted Inspectors went on to say that, “the…strong and determined leadership has created an incredibly positive learning culture, centred on pupils experiencing success and achieving their potential”.
The report also highlighted the commitment of other school staff, noting that they are: “relentless and successful in their drive to improve the life chances for all pupils”, adding: “all staff buy into the school’s ethos of being fully inclusive and a safe place where…pupils are supported to overcome their, often immense, barriers to learning”.
Other factors in the school’s success included a wide-ranging, exciting curriculum that is highly effective in supporting the development of a broad range of skills and building students’ self-esteem, with pupils studying a variety of subjects, such as music, art and geography. Additionally, Trent Acres pupils develop their vocational skills through, subjects such as equine studies and animal care. The curriculum is supplemented by after-school activities, including horse-riding, textiles and homework clubs.
Concluding, Inspectors said: “staff have a detailed knowledge of pupils’ needs. They use this information to devise individual programmes of work that enable pupils to develop socially, emotionally and academically” and “teachers work in close partnership with other professionals from health and social care to provide pupils with an exceptional quality of guidance and support”.
Melanie Callaghan-Lewis commented, “I am delighted to see that the hard work and dedication of our staff has resulted in this excellent result. We are extremely proud that Options Trent Acres is recognised as an ‘Outstanding’ school and we look forward to continuing to provide a great educational experience for our pupils.”
Options Trent Acres will be open to the public on 14 December, from 9am-1pm, with tours of the facilities, coffee and cake and meet-and-greets with the head girl and boy throughout the day. The opening day will provide those interested in alternative schooling, including parents and commissioners, with an opportunity to discover the education environment and full breadth of experiences offered to pupils at Trent Acres.
For more information on Options Trent Acres, visit https://www.optionsautism.co.uk/school_home/options-trent-acres/