Just three pupils, but school is outstanding

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An independent school for children with special educational needs has risen in the ratings from good to outstanding after its latest Ofsted inspection.

The Ignite School – based in Woodhall Farm Community Centre and part of the WorldShapers Academy – caters for youngsters in Years 9 to 11 who find it difficult to do their best in a traditional school environment.

They have either been excluded permanently from school or have had their education severely disrupted by long periods of absence.

There are currently just three children at the school, and their £20,000 annual fees are paid for by Herts County Council.

Arno Steen Andreasen, headteacher at Ignite and director of WorldShapers, was delighted by the results of the inspection.

“Everybody was extremely excited to get outstanding,” he said. “It shows that the staff have been recognised for all their hard work over the years.

“I had hoped that it would be good with strands of outstanding, but I had not dared to dream of getting outstanding overall.”

The report said that the school had addressed all of the points given for improvement in its previous inspection and that “students make outstanding progress from their individual starting points.”

The inspector also noted that “all staff are totally committed to students achieving their very best, regardless of their circumstances.”

Mr Andreasen is now hoping to continue the development of the school – and believes a new location is needed to make this possible.

“We are looking at a new site for the school,” he said. “It will help our staff to be able to do more specific things.

“We hope to move within the next few months.”