A SCHOOL in Skipton that offers a fresh start for pupils across Craven who have been permanently excluded - or who are at risk of exclusion - from mainstream education has once again been rated 'good' by Ofsted.

Following a two-day visit to the Craven Pupil Referral Service in February, Ofsted inspectors concluded that it could carry on being rated a 'good' school.

Rated good since 2011, the school in Keighley Road is part of North Yorkshire Council and is attended by children from 11 to 16 years old. At the time of the inspection, there were 18 pupils on the roll.

The Ofsted report describes it as 'calm and welcoming' school with staff getting to 'know children well' and who 'make sure that pupils are nurtured, feel safe and are valued as individuals'.

It continues that pupils 'appreciate that the school encourages them to be themselves', that they are listened to, their needs are understood, and that pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and or disabilities are well supported.

Most pupils at the school behave well and ‘skilled staff help pupils to develop a “toolkit” of ways to manage their emotions and behaviour' which allows pupils to 'develop their social skills to regulate their behaviour’.

It adds: "The school has developed a strong curriculum that focuses on developing pupils’ learning in English, Mathematics and Science enriched by a broad offer of wider curriculum subjects which builds pupils’ knowledge and skills well’. During their time at the school pupils’ attendance improves and they learn more and remember more of the curriculum."

The school also provides many opportunities for pupils to develop their life skills, helping them to consider their future options for further education and employment. "Pupils enjoy a range of trips and experiences that broaden their understanding of the world. These include learning first aid, canoeing, gorge walking and project work with local universities."

The Ofsted report acknowledges there has been a lot of changes at the school since the last inspection, that there had been a restructuring of staff and an increase in pupil numbers.

Its one area of criticism was that reading for pleasure could be improved.

Andrew Haughey, headteacher said: “I am so proud of the team, our young people and what we have achieved together.

"Changing a young person’s mindset is a significant challenge, however by ensuring students and teachers know how a young brain works and grows has shown it can be done. This approach works successfully alongside training in understanding trauma, attachment and a range of Special Educational needs in addition to overcoming the potential barriers created by these adverse events.

"Finally, I am particularly proud that we have only one area for development, which is reading for pleasure.”

Robert Bellfield, Chair of Governors added: "I am delighted by the outcome of the recent Ofsted Inspection of Craven PRS. It highlights the hard work of the headteacher and all the staff in supporting children to acquire skills and behaviours that help them make a success of their lives and an effective contribution to society".

To find out more about the school, visit: www.cravenprs.org.