Troubled Rotherham school now improving

Abbey Special School
Abbey Special School

A Rotherham special school facing closure earlier this year is making progress, according to inspectors.

Abbey Special School in Kimberworth was rated inadequate by Ofsted last year.

It teachers children with a range of learning, behavioural and learning difficulties.

The school had been rated outstanding in 2008 and good in 2011.

Rotheram Council leaders suggested closure of the school after the last inspection, which had found pupil attainment exceptionally low and reported that too many youngsters absconded from school, putting them at risk.

But the school is still operational and following a second monitoring inspection, Ofsted inspectors have reported that Rotherham Council’s ‘statement of action’ for the school is fit for purpose and the school is making reasonable progress towards coming out of special measures.

Carried out in April, the inspectors found that the school has clearly showed a ‘sudden surge’ in progress, which they put down to improvements in teaching, the greater engagement of pupils and students in learning and a workforce that is more focused on securing achievement in lessons.

The report states that the behaviour of students has also improved radically, staffing is more stable and consistent and attendance has improved.

Councillor Gordon Watson, Rotherham Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member, said it was ‘brilliant news’ for the students who attend the school on Little Common Lane.

“There is obviously a lot more work to be done but the report is so positive in so many areas,” he added.

“Huge credit must be given to pupils, parents, staff and officers from the local authority, for all their hard work and enthusiasm in their determination to turn the school around.”