Independent school in Northumberland for pupils with SEND learns new Ofsted rating after inspection

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A Northumberland school has had its rating upgraded by education regulator Ofsted.

Gust Independent School, which provides primary and secondary education to a total of 36 pupils with special educational needs or disabilities, was rated ‘good’ following an inspection in March.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In their report, inspectors said: “The school has high ambitions for all pupils. It helps them to succeed. Pupils leave with the skills and knowledge to take their next steps in their learning journey confidently.”

Gust Independent School in Ashington has 36 pupils aged six to 17. (Photo by Google)Gust Independent School in Ashington has 36 pupils aged six to 17. (Photo by Google)
Gust Independent School in Ashington has 36 pupils aged six to 17. (Photo by Google)

The school has “prioritised the development of the curriculum” under a new leadership team since Ofsted’s last inspection and has a mix of academic and vocational courses that help older pupils achieve qualifications.

The report continued: “In subjects like science and mathematics, staff carefully connect key learning to the vocational subject offer. This helps bring the curriculum to life.”

Inspectors also noted pupils value daily reading time and staff are focused on helping pupils meet individual learning targets.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Ofsted report praised the school’s “calm, focused classrooms,” noting that “pupils appreciate this learning environment” and said the school takes prompt action to address bullying.

The report said: “Some pupils arrive with negative attitudes to school. The staff and leaders help to turn these attitudes around. Pupils know the adults they work with will do their best to help them achieve well.”

It added: “Careful support from staff helps pupils to improve their behaviour over time. Parents and carers are also positive about the support the school provides for pupils to improve their behaviour.”

The school’s community and leisure activities were also praised, as well as its local visits.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Inspectors also praised Gust’s career support and personal, social, and health education curriculum, but found that pupils do not always “understand where British values are found in everyday life.”

They advised that the school should continue its focus on improving attendance as “some pupils’ attendance remains too low” despite the school’s existing support.

Inspectors said that staff were “proud” to work at Gust, properly trained in safeguarding, and “well supported with their well-being,” but that “for some areas of school development, staff training is not well matched to the ambitions of the curriculum.”

The report added: “Careful monitoring by the proprietor and leaders ensures the school meets the independent school standards consistently.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.