News release: Ofsted praises Knowle special school

A sixth form for students with a range of learning difficulties has been singled out for praise by government inspectors, Ofsted today (Monday 1 December).

Knowle DGE Learning Centre, which educates 140 pupils aged 5 to 18 with behavioural and emotional difficulties and speech and language needs, is continued to be rated as ‘good’ across all measures with the sixth form rated ‘outstanding’ after their latest Ofsted inspection.

Highlights from the report include:
th- the longer students are at the school, the more mature and thoughtful they become towards others due to the good examples of behaviour set by staff;
- teachers know individual pupils very well and pupils speak highly of them;
- although students join the school at various times of the year and at different stages of education the all make good progress and a good range of examinations are passed; and
- students are well-prepared for the next steps of their education.
The sixth form takes students from across the city and inspectors were impressed that last year everyone gained either employment or further education places. They found that students are proud of the provision and grow in confidence during their time there.

Headteacher Darren Ewings said:

“We take children at very different stages of their education with a range of needs we are delighted to be recognised for the quality of our teaching and care and the progress that can be made by students. We have a close and experienced team here at Knowle DGE with good links with a number of the agencies we work with.

“Our next step is to embed outstanding teaching across all Key Stages”.

Chair of Governors Teresa Hopper said:

“A well deserved good. It is very encouraging to see that the sixth form has been rated as an outstanding provision.

“This result reflects the consistent drive by the headteacher, leadership team and staff to provide the best possible educational opportunities for all students at KnowleDGE.”

Notes for Editors

1. The full inspection report is available at

2. Knowle-DGE has recently joined the Malago Learning Parnership - a collaboration between nine schools in south Bristol that strives to raise attainment and improve the life chances for all local children. The sharing includes the buying of outside services, professional development for staff, school improvement and joint events.

3. The schools in the partnership are Bedminster Down School, Cheddar Grove Primary, Greenfield E-Act Academy, Headley Park Primary, Illminster Avenue E-Act Academy, Knowle DGE special school, Parson Street Primary School, St Peter’s C of E Primary and Victoria Park Primary School. Between them they employ more than 500 staff (including support staff) and educate approximately 4,000 children and young people.
4. Since the partnership started all schools have now been rated by Ofsed as either outstanding or good.

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