PUPILS and teachers at Springwell School are celebrating their fourth consecutive Outstanding Ofsted rating.

During the Ofsted inspection that took place earlier this summer, inspectors saw pupils thriving in what they termed a ‘safe and smiling school community’.

The report states that the co-headteachers and their leadership team are ‘highly ambitious’ for pupils with ‘communication’ and ‘teamwork’ both recognised as strengths within the school and children’s ‘independence and communication skills’ being ‘central to the school’s ethos’.

Co-headteacher, Lisa Needham said: “We have maintained a relentless focus on the quality of education and use a range of approaches to engage our pupils with complex learning needs. These include shared attention, providing an ‘irresistible invitation to learn’ alongside a range of therapeutic approaches.”

Her colleague Maria Burrows added: “Our strapline is ‘Every child has a voice’, it demonstrates our sustained commitment to ensure we use every possible method to communicate with and allow our pupils to have meaningful interactions with staff and other pupils. We also use a range of communication strategies such as Makaton signing, PECS, symbols and communication rucksacks throughout the day.”

When Springwell school first opened in 2007 it had just 64 pupils in 8 classes, it has now grown to 270 pupils in 33 classes with provisions at Mount Pleasant School, Mason Moor and Bitterne C of E Primary.

It was first judged to be an Outstanding school in 2010 and in every subsequent inspection it has successfully maintained those high standards.

Councillor Alex Winning, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning said: “As a city we can be very proud of the transformation taking place in Southampton.

"From Children’s Services who were recently awarded the Ofsted rating of ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding Leadership’ to today with Springwell’s ‘Outstanding’ rating. We can also be proud of Mount Pleasant Junior School and St George Catholic College who have made significant improvements and have received Ofsted ratings of ‘Outstanding’.

"It’s wonderful to see the commitment, hard work and dedication our staff and teachers recognised and celebrated. Well done.”