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  • Oliver House School rated ‘outstanding’ overall and in every category, as it was during its previous inspection in 2016
  • Inspectors say, “Teaching is outstanding, because of teachers’ determination and expertise”
  • Relationships between staff and young people are “excellent and positive”
  • “All pupils make outstanding progress from their starting points, not only in their learning, but also in their personal development”
  • Young people “feel safe in school and nurtured”

An autism school in Chorley has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Oliver House School has been rated ‘outstanding’ overall and in every category: “Effectiveness of leadership and management”; “Quality of teaching, learning and assessment”; “Personal development, behaviour and welfare”; and “Outcomes for pupils”. Its sixth form provision was also rated ‘outstanding’.

The school was also rated ‘outstanding’ in every category in its 2016 inspection, meaning that it has been rated ‘outstanding’ across the board for three years.

In its report, Ofsted said: “Teaching is outstanding, because of teachers’ determination and expertise.”

The inspectors went on to say, “Each pupil has their own timetable, specifically tailored to enable them to make at least good progress, and often outstanding progress. Many pupils have their own individual classroom. They are encouraged to decorate these as they wish, according to their personal interests.”

Ofsted said, “Parents said that this is an exceptional school… They have commented on the exceptional progress that their children have made…. Parents praised the high quality teaching staff… Parents feel that this school has succeeded where all previous schools have failed their children.”

Relationships between staff and young people at Oliver House School were “excellent and positive”, according to inspectors.

Ofsted said, “Pupils feel safe in school and nurtured. The personal, social and health curriculum enables pupils to have a good understanding of society.” The report goes on to explain that there is a “huge focus on pupil voice”, and the school council has a vital role.

Inspectors were impressed with how young people make improvements in every aspect of their education and development. They said, “All pupils make outstanding progress from their starting points, not only in their learning, but also in their personal development, communication skills and in their preparedness for the future.”

Some secondary pupils participated in the Duke of Edinburgh award, and sixth form pupils had the opportunity to volunteer in places such as the recycling centre and the local primary school, according to the report.

Oliver House School is located in Astley Village, in Chorley, Lancashire. The school supports 6 to 19 year olds with autism. It is managed by Aspris Children’s Services.

Lisa Sharrock, Head teacher, said: “It is a real privilege to lead an ‘outstanding’ school. My staff team here do a brilliant job in helping young people to make progress in all areas. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work. I also want to pass on a massive thanks to our young people and their parents/guardians for working so closely with us to make this such a great school community.”

Chief Operating Officer at Aspris Children’s Services, said: “Lisa is a brilliant Head teacher who leads such a talented team at Oliver House School. It is a remarkable achievement to be rated ‘outstanding’ in every category, and all involved with the school should be really proud of everything they have contributed.”