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Aylesbury charity gets sixth 'outstanding' rating

Ofsted are really impressed with how Pace works.

Published by Dan Gooding at 8:01am 5th January 2020. 4-minute read.

Aylesbury charity gets sixth 'outstanding' rating

A sixth 'outstanding' rating has been given to a Buckinghamshire disability charity.

Pace, who work with children with physical issues, have been praised for their expertise and how pupils 'thrive' in their care.

The charity's Chief Exec says the rating shows off the 'nationally-significant work' going on in Aylesbury.

The latest inspection in November was the first for three years and demonstrated that standards remain as high as ever.

Pace's cutting-edge school services have never been graded anything other than Outstanding, testament to their innovative and highly impactful approach to learning for children and young people with complex disabilities.

The Ofsted report praises Pace for its expertise in providing for the complex needs of its pupils.  

The inspectors found that Pace's pupils, "including those with complex needs, thrive at this excellent school. They are upbeat, determined and joyous".

They also recognised the critical role that communication plays at the heart of the curriculum.

Commenting on the latest success for Pace, their Chief Executive Ian Sansbury, said:

"This is yet another demonstration of the highly specialist and nationally-significant work that Pace is doing here in Aylesbury, working with children with complex disabilities from all over the region. Pace helps those children and young people to reach their fullest potential in life and we are delighted that the exceptional quality of our school services has been recognised once again by Ofsted.

"However, that ambition comes at a cost - and through our Helping Hands appeal we are looking for support for our innovative communication curriculum.

"We need help to fund our specialist speech and language therapy provision, the cutting-edge equipment through which many of our children communicate and our relentless ambition to help our children and young people find their voice."

Pace's Helping Hands Appeal is seeking to raise £25,000 to give children like George, who attends Pace's secondary school, the ability to communicate.

George has cerebral palsy and although he is unable to speak, Pace has taught him to communicate through its specialist curriculum, first using a symbol-based book and now with an EyeGaze retina scanning computer.

It is painstaking work that Pace typically has to fund charitably.

Supporters can make a donation hereor by calling Pace on 01296 614287.

Headteacher Claire Smart said:

"Communication is such a critical part of what we teach our children and young people at Pace - it is literally the first thing that parents ask us to focus on, given the impact it can have on their child and their family. And so we are delighted that Ofsted has recognised that, and so much more, in this latest inspection."

Other key messages from the Ofsted report include:

    • "Leaders and staff are experts in providing for the complex needs of the pupils. They place the pupils at the heart of their work, ensuring that a high-quality education is available to all. They keep the high expectations they have for every pupil front and centre in all that they do".
    • "Learning programmes carefully combine therapy, subject-related content and life skills. For instance, pupils gain the hand skills needed to count money, knowledge about numbers and a firm grasp of how money is used in society".
    • "Leaders and staff rightly place communication at the heart of the curriculum. They ensure that pupils can have a say in their lives and futures".
    • "They [Pace students] can express their ideas and interact with their classmates. Staff train pupils so that they can use electronic devices to help them to communicate". 
    • "Staff successfully support pupils so that they can communicate their emotions and manage them".
    • "'Fantastic and exciting' was how one pupil described this school to inspectors. Others share this view".
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