A SCHOOL in Thornbury has been told by Ofsted it needs to improve. 

Sheiling School has been left with an overall grade of requires improvement after inspectors visited in November - a downgrade from good since its last full inspection in 2020.

The independent school on Park Road looks after children and young people - aged from six to nineteen years old - with special educational needs and disabilities. 

According to the report, the school currently teaches 29 students based on the principles of Rudolf Steiner and also offers day placements, weekly and full boarding.

Inspectors described the school as a “calm and nurturing environment” where pupils “receive high levels of support and supervision”. 

However, the report states that the curriculum is not “designed well” across many subjects, and students do not secure their knowledge over time.

The report even says that “pupils do not yet benefit from a high-quality education”. 

A spokesperson from Sheiling said they welcomed Ofsted’s recommendations and are “working hard to implement changes”. 

Gazette Series: The Sheiling School in Thornbury has been rated as requires improvement by Ofsted The Sheiling School in Thornbury has been rated as requires improvement by Ofsted (Image: Google Maps)

The school received a ‘requires improvement’ rating in two categories for education and leadership.

Meanwhile, it received a ‘good rating’ in the three other remaining categories - behaviour, development and its sixth-form provision. 

The report reads: “The school does not have an accurate view of what is working well and what needs to improve in relation to how pupils learn the curriculum. 

“The school needs to ensure they put systems in place to monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum and the impact on pupils’ learning.

However, inspectors praised the school for understanding the individual needs of pupils with staff providing pupils “carefully designed opportunities” to become active citizens

The report continues: “The school wants pupils to succeed.

“Pupils are ambitious about what they want to do beyond school. 

“Staff think carefully about the skills pupils need to become independent. “

It was revealed in the report that a new executive principal started at the school n October 2023.

Sheiling School statement 

A spokesperson from Sheiling School said: “We are obviously disappointed with the result of Sheiling School’s most recent Ofsted inspection. 

“But as recent media coverage has highlighted, the overall grading is a blunt tool and does not necessarily capture the many amazing aspects of the school. 

“We do, however, welcome the recommendations for improvement and are working hard to implement changes to continue to develop the quality and efficacy of our provision. 

“The students and our great team of people, as ever, remain our top priority.”

A spokesperson from Ofsted said: “We do not comment on individual inspection reports, but they are available on our website should you wish to see the reasons behind the grading.”

You can view the full report here - tinyurl.com/29kjks5t