Keswick School’s boarding provision (53 boarding places) was inspected by Ofsted under the social care common inspection framework from the 9th to 10th October. The overall judgement, which covers the experiences and progress of children and young people, was graded as ‘outstanding’. This represents the best Ofsted boarding inspection report the school has ever received.
Two senior Ofsted inspectors visited the school and boarding house over a two day inspection. They met with the entire boarding and wider school community, and gathered an enormous amount of evidence to judge the quality of the boarding provision. The new social care common inspection framework is now more closely aligned with Ofsted’s schools common inspection framework.
This means a greater emphasis on the progress and outcomes boarding students make, in addition to the care and support they receive in boarding.
The Ofsted report states that boarding is outstanding at Keswick School because: “All boarders make excellent progress in education and enjoy their experiences. They arrive from a range of backgrounds and cultures. They make outstanding progress in learning social and functional independence skills. Those who wish to are given opportunities to excel in their fields of interest such as sport or literature. This often has a lasting and profound impact on their quality of life and future life chances.”
The inspection report conveys an exceptionally strong sense of community in the boarding house. This culture of care and support was highlighted repeatedly throughout the two day inspection and this was seen to help ‘children flourish in the positive and safe environment of the boarding house’. This is also wonderfully captured in the inspection report by the comment: “Children told inspectors that the boarding house is like a big family and there is always someone who can help.”
The exceptional school pastoral support was also highlighted for praise: “The school pastoral support team offers children a high-quality, bespoke service that focuses on helping them to overcome barriers to emotional well-being and good mental health. Highly effective communication between all school departments and innovative use of trained and well-supported peer mentors gives children a range of ways to get the support they need.”
Simon Jackson, the Head teacher, said: “At Keswick School we believe in the benefits of boarding alongside the opportunities we can offer to our day pupils. Living away from home with outstanding study facilities and the character development that flows from opportunities outside the classroom help make boarding students both confident and successful. We are delighted to see that Ofsted recognise these benefits and our innovative and creative approach to education and the well-being of young people in our care.”
The full Ofsted inspection report can be downloaded from the following website: https://files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50037345