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Specialist Doncaster college provides ‘outstanding’ residential care, says Ofsted

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A residential provision for young people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have communication difficulties has received an outstanding rating from education watchdogs.

The residential units at Communication Specialist College, Doncaster, has been given the top rating possible by Ofsted inspectors.

The report states that the overall experiences and progress of young people, at the college, run by Doncaster Deaf Trust, is outstanding.

Bobbie Roberts, chair of Trustees said: “We are thrilled that Ofsted have recognised our excellent residential provision which is an integral part of the college in providing students with outstanding experiences.

“They comment on our person centred student support which contributes towards students achieving realistic goals and maximising their potential.

“The skills and experience of our staff is highlighted in the report which recognises the support that they give to all students, including those who have complex needs.

“Dedication, hard work and a passion for delivering great support drives our staff and we are all celebrating this fantastic news.”

The report highlights the fact that students are happy and are able to talk to staff about any concerns, knowing that they will be listened to and taken seriously.

It goes on to praise the extremely caring, homely and friendly living environment where it is said that students feel comfortable to be open about their wishes and feelings, their confidence flourishes, and they are far more independent in speaking up for themselves.

Rebecca Loosemore, assistant principal of Communication Specialist College Doncaster said: “We are very proud of our residential offering and our great reputation means that we attract students from all over the country to Doncaster.

“We work hard to provide a considerable student voice that can influence the running of the college and their day-to-day care, this was acknowledged in the report.

“We have a very active student council, residents’ meetings, and consultation about work placements and daily conversation with staff.”

Inspectors felt that students receive high levels of support with their diverse communication needs and try out their developing communication skills in different social settings. These opportunities make a significant difference to students’ social skills and self-esteem.

One parent commented: “It is an excellent college, he would not go to school before. He socialises, makes friends, and is far more independent and now thinks about his future.”

The college was also praised for the programme it has in place to deliver work placements for students which are planned resourcefully and imaginatively. Staff have links with a wide range of employers and can match students successfully. These arrangements are boosted by the provision of deaf awareness training for employers. The quality of support for students and employers helps students progress into paid apprenticeships and employment.

“We feel that this report reflects the supportive, caring environment that we have all strived to achieve. Our students enjoy their time with us, they grow and develop as individuals and they are given great insights, experiences and opportunities to help them into the world of work,” added Bobbie.

For further information about Communication Specialist College Doncaster visit www.deaf-trust.co.uk/college