• Teaching, learning and assessment rated outstanding by Ofsted, but school criticised for record-keeping shortcomings
  • Reassuring patients, parents and carers of our ongoing commitment to excellent hospital education

A recent Ofsted inspection of the Oxfordshire Hospital School (OHS) has rated standards of teaching and learning and assessment across all its in-patient and outreach teaching centres as outstanding.  See the full report here.

Ofsted’s inspection, which took place on 6th and 7th October 2016, praised the skill and commitment of our sector leaders, teachers and support staff who nurture and inspire pupils with “a daily learning diet that is varied, meaningful, stretching and enables them to feel a genuine sense of fulfilment and success.” Pupil outcomes, behaviour, and trust between pupils and teachers were also ranked outstanding.

However, the same inspection also highlighted shortcomings in the way records of pupils attending our outreach programme were monitored and shared. It concluded that information was not being communicated rigorously enough with external agencies including Oxfordshire County Council and schools that share responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of children registered on the programme. In line with Ofsted rules, the OHS was consequently given an overall ranking of inadequate.

Crucially, safeguarding and record-keeping procedures in the school’s in-patient centres, where almost 90% of pupils are taught, were found to be effective.

Inspectors linked our shortcomings in record-management to weaknesses in the school’s former senior leadership and acknowledged that the appointment of experienced hospital school specialist Angela Ransby as Headteacher in September this year has already led to significant improvements in management practice and performance.

The report highlights the ‘rapid and significant impact’ the former Acting Headteacher of Wandsworth Hospital and Home Tuition Service has made in strengthening the school’s leadership culture and management practices.

“Our response to the report has been quick and decisive,” explains Angela Ransby. “In the days following the inspection, we put in place a series of robust new systems to make sure that information is managed and shared in the right way with all our outreach programme partners.

“We are fulfilling our safeguarding duties with renewed understanding and vigour, and are working hard to ensure that our actions always reflect best practice. Improvements in training are giving our staff the tools and the confidence to scrutinise safeguarding cases more effectively. Greater transparency in the way we record and report concerns is also allowing us to build a stronger safeguarding culture across the whole organisation.

“But at the same time, we mustn’t lose sight of the extraordinary work of our talented and inspiring teachers and sector leads, who received the highest praise from Ofsted’s inspectors.

“In my short time at the OHS, I have witnessed some of the finest examples of hospital teaching and learning that this essential area of education has to offer. We have a tremendously important role to play in the lives of our pupils and their families, and I sincerely hope that our shortcomings in record management, which we are now addressing with great commitment, don’t overshadow our considerable achievements in teaching.”

Oxfordshire Hospital School was set up in the 1950s to deliver education to children across the county with health conditions that prevent them from attending their usual schools. Last year, the school taught 888 children receiving in-patient care in Oxford – including at the John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital, Helen & Douglas House Hospice, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, and Highfield Adolescent Unit – as well as through a multi-centre outreach programme providing education on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council.

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