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16 March 2023

The Gillford Centre, Carlisle rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted

The Gillford Centre pupil referral unit, situated in Carlisle has achieved a rating of ‘Good’ after their latest Ofsted inspection.

The rating was achieved following a routine inspection of the school held at the end of January this year.

As well as being rated 'good' overall, the inspectors found the school to have “effective” safeguarding provision, a “broad curriculum that meets the needs of pupils well” and is “a safe place where staff look after students well.”

The Gillford Centre provides education for pupils aged between five and 16 who have been permanently excluded, or are at risk of permanent exclusion, from mainstream schools, mainly in Cumbria. Many pupils have social, emotional, and mental health needs.

Ofsted added: “The large majority of pupils enjoy coming to school. Pupils benefit from the positive relationships they have with their teachers and support staff. Teachers help pupils to learn more successfully and improve their behaviour when they join the school.

“Leaders and other staff expect pupils to work hard and behave well. Most pupils meet these expectations, which helps them to achieve well.

“Pupils’ behaviour in class and around school is mainly good. Sometimes, pupils misbehave, which is typically because of their needs. This can result in their learning being interrupted. However, teachers have effective ways of managing pupils’ behaviour and calmly bringing them back to their work again.”

The positive news comes ahead of the highly anticipated opening of a new Alternative Provision School at the Edgehill Road site in Harraby, Carlisle which will be managed by the same leadership team as the Gillford Centre.

The new school, funded by Cumbria County Council, will provide specialist support to the growing number of young people who struggle to access mainstream education. The school is designed to provide state of the art facilities to support the achievement of Cumbrian young people by offering a broader curriculum with a range of creative and vocational pathways available.

The Head of the Gillford Centre, Rachel Clark, said: “I am delighted with the outcome of our recent Ofsted report as it reflects all the hard work by all members of our school community since I became Headteacher.

“We will continue to strive to deliver the best possible opportunities and outcomes for all our pupils.

“It is an exciting time as we are soon to be expanding to School 180 where we hope to be able to further develop our curriculum as well as being able to allow other pupils to join our community.”

Cllr Sue Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, said: “This Ofsted rating is a fantastic achievement by Rachel and her team at the Gillford Centre and is testament to all their hard work and dedication to the pupils at their school.

“It comes at an exciting time of expansion for the county’s alternative school provision and I know pupils and staff are going to benefit from the new facility.”

The Gillford Centre Ofsted report can be read in full on the Ofsted website.

The Gillford Centre pupil referral unit, situated in Carlisle has achieved a rating of ‘Good’ after their latest Ofsted inspection.