Wigan special needs school gets much better marks this time from watchdogs

A specialist Wigan school has made great progress since attracting criticism from education watchdogs three years ago.

Expanse Learning is a school in Worsley Mesnes which provides additional support for students with special educational meeds and disabilities (SEND) who may be catching up with their learning following periods of absences from school.

Following their latest Ofsted inspection they have now been awarded a “good” rating in all areas, recognising the efforts put in to build on their previous overall rating of “requires improvement.”

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The pupils informed inspectors that they feel safe in school and that staff take care of them, with any bullying being dealt with promptly. Parents also commented that their child’s happiness and well-being irmpoved over time since arriving at the school.

Expanse school have improved following their latest ofsted inspectionExpanse school have improved following their latest ofsted inspection
Expanse school have improved following their latest ofsted inspection

The attendees’ learning is enriched through a range of clubs being on offer during the school day, including chess and mindfulness. Recently the school council has introduced a school uniform and worked on improving recycling.

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The report says leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum that maps out how the pupils’ subject knowledge will develop over time, while gaps are identified through assesement information gathered upon joining.

High importance is said to be placed on the development of reading and communication skills and this is achieved through dedicated reading time thanks to a new library facility.

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The pupils are also said to be well prepared for their next stage of education or employment, support is given when applying for jobs or college courses in addition to work experience being available to help in making choices for the future.

However there is room for improvement, as pupils are sometimes not assisted in making links between their learning in different subjects, this results in some students unable to deepen their understanding over time.

The college also received strong praise with inspectors citing that an “ambitious and challenging curriculum” had been created and that the students thrive in the friendly and supportive environment.

CEO for Expanse Group, Tony Brown said: “We’re thrilled with our latest Ofsted report and are really pleased that the comments of the inspector recognise the hard work and progress we have made over the last couple of years.

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"I would like to thank all the students, parents, staff and governors for their continued support and dedication to our work.”