Independent school in Wigan town centre hopes to expand to teach younger pupils

A small independent school for children disengaged or excluded from education looks set to expand its age range.

Monday, 16th November 2020, 7:00 am

Progress Schools Wigan currently has pupils in years nine to 11 at its centre based in Wigan Youth Zone, but hopes to welcome children in years seven and eight too.

The maximum numbers of pupils allowed to attend would remain at 35, though there are currently only 10 on the roll.

An Ofsted inspection found the school was “likely to meet” the independent school standards if the change was made.

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The school is based in the Wigan Youth Zone building

It noted the school had a “well developed curriculum” and plans and schemes had been developed for the younger pupils.

Lead inspector Pippa Jackson Maitland wrote in her report: “Year seven and year eight will follow a broad and balanced curriculum. The school’s curriculum offer for year seven and year eight fulfils the requirements of the independent school standards.

“Leaders intend that this curriculum will prepare pupils well, so they can return to mainstream school.

“This will also make sure that pupils who remain at the school are well prepared for study towards accreditation and qualifications from year nine.”

The school teaches boys and girls who have been disengaged from education, permanently excluded or are at risk of exclusion from education because of their behavioural difficulties.

The inspector found there was a “detailed scheme of work” for personal, social and health education, which helped children overcome their previous challenges.

Teaching was described as “effective”, the resources needed by pupils were available and children “generally” behaved well in school.

There were sufficient facilities for more pupils, a large outdoor area and access to the sports hall and other facilities in the youth zone.

The inspector wrote: “Leaders’ plans show that the school can provide a suitable education for pupils who are in year seven and year eight.

“Leaders demonstrate a high level of experience and expertise in providing a good quality of education for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs. They provide effective support to pupils who have been excluded from school or are at risk of exclusion.”

In its last full Ofsted inspection, which was carried out in September 2018, the school was judged to be “good” in all areas.

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