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  • "Well done to all those involved - the people who staff these places really are unsung heroes and heroines - quietly getting on with really valuable work, in contrast to all the hot air and negativity which makes the headlines.
    I had never heard of this unit so checked their website which says: " Meadowbrook offers all its students ‘a second chance for learning’ and works hard to ensure that they achieve successful outcomes despite the difficulties and setbacks they have experienced during their time at mainstream school. It’s about looking forward, not back." Inspirational..."
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Referral unit is praised for pupils' behaviour

First published in Education

A college that provides an education for children that other institutions will not take has been praised for behaviour standards.

Pupil referral unit Meadowbrook College, which takes children who have been permanently expelled or are at risk of exclusion from mainstream school, retained its good rating when Ofsted inspectors visited last month.

The college, which has about 100 pupils aged between 11 and 16, was told it had shown consistent improvement in all aspects of its work.

In his report, Melvyn Blackband said: “Students’ behaviour is good. The college is calm and students feel safe.

“Their attendance is average overall but there are a few students with high rates of absence. Nevertheless, the large majority have made substantial improvements in attendance since entering the college.”

Most of the children attending the school have behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

The college fell short of being outstanding because students did not make consistently outstanding gains in their learning over time.

But teaching across all three college sites, in Marston, Banbury and Abingdon, was praised, with teachers described as planning effectively and teaching with “enthusiasm and skill”.

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Headteacher Andrew Creese was singled out for his “relentless” drive for continual improvement.

While most pupils entered the college with low levels of attainment compared to their mainstream counterparts, by the end of Year 11, a large minority had narrowed the gap in attainment – against national expectations.

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