Residential provision for students studying at Communication Specialist College Doncaster (CSCD) has been graded ‘outstanding’ in its latest Ofsted report.

The residential lodge, part of Doncaster Deaf Trust, has retained its outstanding status given in an inspection in 2012 and again in 2017.

CSCD provides individualised programmes of study to young people who are deaf, hearing impaired, have autistic spectrum condition or a communication difficulty.

Young people access a wide range of vocational courses delivered in real working environments, they are supported to develop their social and independence skills in college and the wider community.

“The young people are proud to be a part of the college. They like staying in residence as this provides them with the opportunity to socialise and make friends. The young people are supported by a staff team that knows them extremely well. The staff have a deep understanding of complex communication styles. Their knowledge enables them to listen to young people’s wishes and feelings effectively. As a result, the young people feel a strong sense of value and belonging,” the Ofsted report found.

The young people’s emotional well-being is extremely well supported by a range of on-site specialist services. These services include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and a college counsellor. The specialist services help to deliver a range of innovative therapies which are completely tailored to an individual’s needs. The young people engage well with the wealth of support offered. Over time, their emotional health and well-being significantly improves. Young people build a strong sense of identity and their self-confidence flourishes.

Alexis Johnson, executive principal at Doncaster Deaf Trust, said: “We are thrilled to receive another outstanding Ofsted report, our care home for children who attend Doncaster School for the Deaf was also rated outstanding in February this year, this shows a consistency in our provision across the Trust and is a real reflection of the facilities and support our teams provide.

“The report highlights the fact that our young people make remarkable progress with their education and the seamless approach between college staff and residential staff. There is a significant emphasis on preparing young people for work and life beyond the college.

“We are particularly proud to see recognised the fact that the voice of young people is central to what happens in the residence. They share their views in a variety of ways, including through regular ‘lodge meetings’. The young people’s attendance and engagement in these meetings is excellent.

"Ensuring our young people are at the heart of decisions around residency and activities is key to creating a safe, healthy, happy environment where they can thrive. Our approach to listening to young people means that they become confident in sharing their views, with an expectation that they will be listened to. For some young people, this is a significant improvement on their previous experiences and adds a great deal to their sense of self-worth. 

“None of this would be possible without our caring and dedicated staff who help to empower young people to make informed decisions about their lives.”

The residential provision received a grade of ‘outstanding’ across all three areas inspected: Overall experiences and progress of young people, taking in account how well young people are helped and protected and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

The report also highlighted the fact that young people become increasingly independent through their time in the residential provision and that they recognise how much progress they make and say this is one of the best aspects of being in the residence. Some of the approaches used are based around therapies and are truly innovative. From the work they complete, young people’s social skills increase significantly. 

Rebecca Loosemore, assistant principal at CSCD said: “We are all extremely proud of this report. We know that our residential provision is fantastic, but it is great for our team to have the recognition from Ofsted that they think it is outstanding.

“We have been working to refurbish the lodge and have a continued programme in place to ensure that students staying with us from across the country feel proud of their home from home.”