An education centre in Stevenage for children at risk of permanent exclusion from mainstream schools has been rated outstanding by Ofsted, with "staff relentless in their determination for every pupil to flourish".

"Stevenage Education Support Centre (SESC) provides exceptional support for its pupils," Ofsted said following an inspection in May.

"The curriculum at SESC is hugely ambitious for every pupil," the education watchdog said.

"When pupils arrive, staff rigorously check what pupils know, and find out how they learn best. Staff identify how well pupils can read. They use this information to plan a tailored curriculum that precisely meets the needs of each pupil."

The SESC is a pupil referral unit offering alternative provision for pupils at risk of permanent exclusion from secondary school.

Pupils in Key Stage 3 attend SESC on short-term placements before they return to mainstream school. These pupils are dual-registered with the school from which they came.

Pupils in Key Stage 4 are usually on longer placements and are solely on SESC’s school roll.

The unit, which is for 11 to 16 year olds, currently has 32 pupils on its roll.

The education watchdog noted that "pupils greatly improve their behaviour, attendance, and attitudes to learning while they are here.

"Mentors and staff work closely with pupils to develop their self-esteem. They feel safe and valued.

"With the support and encouragement of staff, pupils learn how to manage challenging situations. As a result, pupils leave SESC much more confident and resilient than when they arrive."

Ofsted also highlighted how "staff at SESC are relentless in their determination for every pupil to flourish", citing a parent who said "they move heaven and earth" to help each pupil overcome obstacles to success.

"In lessons, staff work tirelessly to help pupils take on demanding tasks. They adapt the curriculum with great skill, including for pupils with education, health and care plans (EHCPs). Consequently, pupils make exceptional progress in their time here."

The Ofsted report continues: "The environment at SESC is exceptionally calm and positive.

"Staff have very high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. They are always patient and consistent in how they support pupils to meet them.

"When pupils become dysregulated, staff work with them to understand what went wrong, and how to improve."

Headteacher James Anderson said: "I would like to say a huge thank you to each and every one involved for their dedication and hard work working to provide an education for the young people in our care.

"The positive outcome of the report is a testament to the collective efforts by all stakeholders, not only during the two days, but throughout the years securing successful outcomes for our students."