The school was rated ‘good’ in all categories, with inspectors noting the pupils’ outstanding behaviour, eagerness to demonstrate their learning and the tangible and vibrant way in which they ‘love their school’.
Inspectors noted the headteacher, Gerald Lebrett’s leadership, passion and drive. Together with his team and the governors they lead a school that inspires their pupils, ensures good progress as well as promoting the pupils’ personal development and welfare.
The report states that the quality of teaching and pupils’ outcomes are good and that teachers, therapists and learning support assistants work together effectively to meet the pupils’ varied and complex learning needs. In addition to the high-quality teaching and care, inspectors also observed how the parents and carers trust the school and noted the ‘fantastic’ progress their children were making.
The Early Years provision, highlights the schools truly and uniquely inclusive environment, where children with disabilities learn alongside their mainstream peers. Staff not only cared for the children but have high expectations of all the pupils’ learning and behaviour. For the older pupils (15 – 19), ASDAN accreditation, work experience placements and the pupils’ drive to succeed were highlighted as ‘preparing pupils well for their futures’.
A particular feature of Side By Side noted was the balanced curriculum, well designed to meet pupils needs, with a positive impact on their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. In addition to all the required areas of learning the pupil experiences were enhanced by additional trips and activities in the community that consolidate the classroom learning in a very practical way. The inspectors commented that the focus on Jewish religious education is balanced well with secular studies and that leaders are committed to preparing pupils for life in modern Britain as well-rounded Jewish citizens.
The report concluded with the inspectors’ observation that the pupils’ many achievements are celebrated widely, both in class, on displays and with their parents.
Reflecting on the inspection report, Gerald Lebrett, Headteacher of Side by Side, said: ‘The latest OFSTED inspection report is a testament to the dedication and care of our staff as they work tirelessly to ensure that our pupils have the opportunities to thrive and make progress. Our school is a leader in the education of children with special needs and I am thrilled to be at the helm of this remarkable school community.”