STAFF and governors at a special school based in Oswestry and Wem say hey are determined to rapidly improve after Ofsted inspectors rated the school as inadequate following a recent inspection

Woodlands Special School for pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) was rated as good in their 2015 inspection but the most recent review, which took place in November last year has seen the school's rating drop.

The school – which also has a site in Bishop's Castle – says that they want to become 'good' again as soon as possible, and have already begun work to address the areas for improvement identified by Ofsted inspectors.

Inspectors recognised that the school's newly appointed leadership team have the capacity to deliver the improvements necessary and they are now working closely with education advisers from Shropshire Council to ensure that the measures needed to bring about the improvements are put in place.

The report found that for primary school-aged pupils, staff had created a calm environment for pupils to learn and thrive and that pupils were respectful and followed the rules.

But inspectors identified weaknesses in the secondary provision and found that while leaders wanted pupils to do well, often learning was disrupted by poor behaviour and not all pupils were happy in school.

Additionally, inspectors found pupils did not make the progress they are capable of because staff did not manage behaviour in lessons well.

Staff also did not take into account the pupils' special needs and the work set often lacked challenge and did not build on what pupils already knew.

The inspection team did report though that pupils enjoy their college experience and that the careers programme is well thought out and provides information about pupils' next steps.

The report says that the school provides individualised support for pupils for example, through music therapy and uses external agencies such as the police to support pupils in staying safe.

Julia Taylor, headteacher, said: "While we are disappointed with the outcome of the inspection, the inspectors recognised we were already aware of the improvements needed to meet the increased expectations of the new inspection framework which was introduced in September.

"Significant work has taken place since September, and following the inspection, to address the concerns raised by the team and deliver on the recommendations for improvement identified in the report.

"We had already begun to address the safeguarding issues identified, specifically related to our checks on off-site provision, and are confident that our plans have the urgency required to meet the necessary standards.

"We are working closely with our colleagues in the local authority, and our school improvement partners, to carefully plan the next steps to ensure we take the effective action to bring about the improvement necessary to enable us to be judged as good again."

Karen Bradshaw, director of children's services with Shropshire Council, said: "Shropshire Council wants our children to receive the best possible education.

"We're pleased that the headteacher, staff and governors have already begun work to address the priorities for improvements in the Ofsted report and we will continue to support the school to ensure that pupils have consistently good opportunities to learn and to fulfil their potential."

The two-day inspection took place on November 12 and 13 2019.

Inspectors observed lessons, held discussions with the headteacher, deputy headteacher, teaching staff, and pupils, and reviewed a range of documentation.

Inspectors focused on reading, writing, English, maths and humanities and scrutinised pupils' work.

They visited all three sites in Oswestry, Bishop's Castle and Wem as well as alternative providers used by the school to support some of its Key Stage 4 pupils.