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Mary Hare School celebrates following Ofsted report

Newbury school for deaf children rated 'good' by inspectors

Chris Ord


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STAFF and students at Mary Hare School, Newbury, are celebrating after Ofsted inspectors rated the school ‘good’.

The residential school for deaf children received the second-highest rating following the inspection in June, an improvement from the previous rating of ‘requires improvement’.

Inspectors noted that the pupils “take great pride in their school”, calling their behaviour “exemplary”, while also saying adults, including the therapy staff, attended well to pupils’ learning, emotional and healthcare needs.

The teaching at the school, at Snelsmore Common, was also praised with inspectors calling teachers confident, passionate and enthusiastic.

The school, which currently has 203 pupils enrolled, is a registered charity providing for profoundly and severely deaf children and young people from all over the UK.

The report said the school’s governors offered a valuable set of skills, knowledge and expertise, adding: “Since the previous inspection they have re-focused their roles and made clear what they expect of leaders within the school and what leaders can expect of them.”

Special praise was also given to principal and chief executive of the school, Peter Gale.

The inspectors said: “The principal has restructured the leadership of the school successfully.

“With a clear focus on raising achievement, he has established a strong team of middle and senior leaders.”

Following the inspection, Mr Gale said: “I am delighted with this report.

“We are pleased to have achieved good in every judgement but the real pleasure comes from reading the full text of the report.

“I am especially pleased that there are such wonderful comments about teachers, teaching assistants, residential care staff, governors and the pupils themselves.

“I have spoken to all staff, however, to assure them that whether they work in the kitchen or maintain our beautiful grounds or in any other department, that they have all contributed to this success.

“We are a very happy school and this comes across very plainly.

“It is not always easy for families to persuade their local authority to fund a place at Mary Hare and such a positive report can only help that process.”

The report comes as the Mary Hare Hearing Centre, in Weavers Walk, prepares to hold its annual open day.

This year’s event is entitled ‘Celebrating 70 years of Mary Hare School’ and will offer preliminary hearing checks, a hearing aids cleaning and repair service, and show off the latest hearing technologies.

The open day will be addressed by Mr Gale, who will speak about the school’s 70-year history..

The free event will take place at the Arlington Arts Centre, at the school, on Tuesday, September 20, from 9.30am to 2.30pm.

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