Tiny Lancashire school is a ‘stepping stone’ to success

Stepping Stones Short Stay School on Bowerham Road in Lancaster.
Stepping Stones Short Stay School on Bowerham Road in Lancaster.
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A tiny school which caters for troubled youngsters is doing a top class job - according to government watchdogs.

Stepping Stones School, a pupil referral unit for children aged from four to 11, has received the highest accolade possible from Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education.

This is excellent news for Stepping Stones Short Stay school and once again shows the high quality of schools we have here in Lancashire.

Bob Stott - Director of children’s Services

The school has been awarded an outstanding rating after getting top marks in all four areas covered by the recent rigorous inspection.

Stepping Stones is one of only three primary short stay schools in Lancashire and caters for children who have been permanently excluded or at great risk of being expelled from mainstream schools.

Although classed as good after it’s previous inspection, the latest Ofsted squad said senior leaders at the school have taken “very effective steps to improve all aspects of the school’s provision.”

The inspectors heaped praise on staff, including teaching assistants, who they said carried out their jobs “exceptionally well” so that the pupils, most of whom have emotional or behavioural problems, make “excellent progress” in both their education and behaviour.

Pupils’ behaviour was described as “impressive as a results of skilful support from staff” and through the school’s curriculum.

Despite starting from low levels, the inspectors said pupils made “rapid progress” in bridging the gap between them and peers in mainstream school.

Bob Stott, director of children’s Services, said: “This is excellent news for Stepping Stones Short Stay school and once again shows the high quality of schools we have here in Lancashire. I’d like to congratulate staff, pupils and families alike for this impressive achievement.

He added:“Outstanding ratings certainly aren’t given lightly so this is no mean achievement. We will continue to work hard to fulfil our ambition that all Lancashire pupils attend a school which is good or better, and we have an excellent track record in helping schools to achieve this.”

The school, in Bowerham Road, Lancaster, also provides outreach training and support for 119 other primary schools.