Statement from Dr Rosemary Guy, Chair of Governors of Royal School for the Deaf Derby
The recent decision of an Ofsted Welfare Inspector to rate the residential provision at Royal School for the Deaf Derby as “Inadequate” is linked to her concerns about the way its Principal and former lead safeguarding officer, handled certain safeguarding issues.
In her Report the Inspector notes that as soon as the School became aware of these concerns, direct action was taken, which included the Principal’s suspension. In the meantime a safeguarding team of three is in place and its makeup has been agreed with the Inspector. A thorough and independent investigation into the Inspector’s concerns is taking place.
The staff in general, and care staff in particular, are devastated by the overall rating which detracts from the main body of the Report as it includes many otherwise positive and reassuring findings about the residential provision on offer:-
For example the Inspector notes that:
- Living in and feeling part of a thriving and inclusive deaf community helps pupils learn in education and develop socially. Pupils say staying at the school helps their education because they get support with homework and all the staff can communicate using sign language.
- Staff assist young people to develop an understanding and tolerance of each other. Daily chat time and weekly meetings with staff enables pupils to think about group living and the experiences of others . The meetings contribute to an anti-bullying culture and residential pupils say they have no concerns about bullying in the school.
- Residential pupils feel valued by the residential staff.
- Sharing of care plans and education targets demonstrates good communication between care and education staff. Residential pupils develop educationally because staff capture and celebrate the progress and achievements of the residential pupils
- The dedicated and experienced staff team have a good and varied knowledge about the backgrounds, complexities and communication abilities of the pupils staying at the setting. They demonstrate a good insight and understand the individual identities and needs of pupils
- Practical and useful behaviour related risk assessment enables residential pupils to enjoy a range of activities and learn new skills.
- Managers and staff work hard to develop and enrich the learning and communication of deaf pupils with additional complex and related needs.
The safety and welfare of our pupils is our foremost priority and robust action has already been taken to address the concerns raised by the Report.