Special school with locations in Peters Marland and Barnstaple gets an Ofsted rating of ‘good’ across the board

Marland School principal Keith Bennett (centre) with staff and students. Picture: Marland SchoolMarland School principal Keith Bennett (centre) with staff and students. Picture: Marland School

A North Devon special school has been rated as ‘good’ across the board at its two centres in Torrington and Barnstaple.

Marland School, which has a residential school at Peters Marland and a day school at Springfield Court in Barnstaple, was hailed as ‘warm and caring’ by Ofsted inspectors.

Three years ago Ofsted judged that Marland ‘required improvement’, but it has now been judged as ‘good’ or better across all categories.

Lead inspector Andy Lole said in his report: “Under the clear and determined leadership of the principal, ably supported by a strong leadership team, the school has made good improvements since the last inspection.”

Principal Keith Bennett said: “This three-day Ofsted integrated education and residential care joint inspection was an intense process but one with a positive outcome and we are very pleased that the inspectors’ findings matched our own self-evaluation.

“Marland School has continued to develop and improve on both sites in spite of regularly increasing Ofsted expectations combined with public sector financial reductions and limitations.

“Achieving the overall grading of good in all nine categories is a major accomplishment and a true reflection of the hard work put in by staff, governors, students and parents alike and I am very grateful for their support.”

Marland’s residential school at Peters Marland is for boys aged from 10 to 16 and a its co-educational day school at Springfield Court is currently providing education for boys aged from eight to 16.

Inspectors noted that ‘pupils make good academic and personal progress’ and said all pupils who left the school last summer obtained a good range and quantity of qualifications.

The vast majority moved onto education, employment or training.

The report suggested a ways the school could improve further – it said new teachers should know how the school’s behaviour management policy operates and use assessment information to tailor work to each pupil.

It also said leaders and managers should improve their understanding of national standards in English and maths and how pupils perform in other schools and ensure pupils who make a complaint have adequate opportunity to feedback on how it is dealt with.