Future Horizons Leeds: Ofsted rates special needs college in Kirkstall as Requires Improvement
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Future Horizons Leeds, located on Wyther Lane in Kirkstall, was rated as Requires Improvement during its inspection after falling short in three of the five key areas.
In their latest report, Ofsted rated the independent specialist college as Good in the areas of behaviour and attitudes and personal development but Requires Improvement for quality of education, leadership and management and provision for learners with high needs.
The education watchdog praised the behaviour of students and the actions of staff to quickly identify escalating behaviour, and use “effective strategies” to de-escalate incidents. They said that students “feel safe” and know who they should speak to if they have a safeguarding concern.
Inspectors however noted: “When working with larger groups, tutors do not allow sufficient time for students to process complex concepts in lessons. They move on too quickly to the next topic, and students often become confused.
“Staff photograph students completing tasks to highlight the progress that they make. However, in a few cases staff do not accurately assess what students can do and where they need to improve.”
They praised the college’s leaders and managers, who work closely with Leeds City Council and have “responded positively” to requests to provide more opportunities in the region for students with high needs, particularly those with more complex needs.
Adding: “Staff identify accurate starting points for new students through a comprehensive assessment of what students know and can do at the beginning of the course. They repeat this process for returning students.
“However, they are too slow to set precise targets for these students to enable them to make rapid progress in developing their knowledge, skills and behaviours.”
A spokesperson for Future Horizons Leeds said: “We are really pleased with the positive feedback we have received from Ofsted during our recent inspection, who judged our students personal development and behaviour and attitudes to be good. Inspectors commented that students benefit from staff who know them very well and understand their support needs. They also found that students benefit from the caring and respectful culture that staff have created.
“The report identifies that ‘Leaders and managers work closely with the local authority and have responded positively to a request from the authority to provide more opportunities in the region for students with high needs, particularly those with more complex needs. This has given students, and their parents and carers, a greater choice in making decisions about their education.’
“Trustees and the newly appointed senior leadership team have an accurate understanding of the strengths and areas for development in the provision. They have identified a number of measures that they need to implement to improve the quality of the provision.
“We are excited about the journey we continue to take to support our students in their life long learning and prepare them for life beyond college. We have recently recruited two experienced specialist tutors who will begin working at the college in the very near future and are in the process of recruiting instructors to strengthen our provision further.”