News Archive

Rowden House School Celebrate Ofsted Education Inspection

“Leaders and staff know every pupil inside and out” is the opening line of the inspection report for Rowden House School. The school was graded as overall Good with two Outstanding judgements, following an Ofsted Inspection at the end of June.

The report emphasises the success of the school in re-engaging pupils with a love of learning and the multi-disciplinary team approach and the attention of staff to thoroughly understand pupils starting points when they join the school, often after long periods out of education.

Inspector’s also praised the high level of care and nurture given to pupils and the exceptional skill levels of staff in supporting pupils to self-manage their behaviours.

In addition, the school received very high praise for its focus on pupils’ personal development including the development of communication and language skills, their involvement in the local community and having a choice of work experience settings, all of which helps pupils prepare for adulthood and life after school.

Ruth Nolan, Head of Learning said ‘We are delighted that the report reflects the hard work and dedication of staff to provide students at Rowden with a personalised and meaningful education which prepares them for their future.

To have outstanding grades for ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’ and ‘Personal development’ celebrates the way in which each individual is supported throughout their time at Rowden focusing on developing self-regulation, communication and life skills, which are the key areas of our curriculum.’ 

Alderwasley Hall School and Sixth Form is Outstanding

“Pupils thrive at this school” is the opening line of the inspection report for Alderwasley Hall School. The school was recently graded as outstanding in all areas following an inspection by Ofsted in mid-July.

Inspector’s praised the curriculum for its ambition, the staff for their seamless team work, the schools’ wide range of expert therapeutic support and the extensive range of enrichment experiences it offers, all of which they identified as reasons why children and young people placed at the school thrive in the way that they do.

The report not only emphasises the success of the school in re-engaging students who may have previously struggled in other settings back into learning, but also the skill of the teachers in closing the gaps in their learning, thus ensuring they fulfil their academic potential. In addition, the school received very high praise for its focus on the development of social and life skills in order to students prepare for adulthood.

Sara Forsyth, Headteacher said ‘I was absolutely thrilled to receive the judgement at the end of the inspection process. This is the first time that our school has been graded as outstanding in it’s 30-year history and I couldn’t be more proud to lead it. The findings of the inspectors are testament to the incredible work that our staff do in our school every day of the week. It’s hugely gratifying to receive recognition and acknowledgement of the passion, expertise and commitment of our staff who ensure that outcomes for our students are consistently outstanding. I have known for some considerable time what an exceptional school Alderwasley Hall School is and this report confirms that.’

Read the report in full

SENAD Group Welcome New Directors

After 15 years tireless work across the SENAD Group Mark Flynn, Chief Operations Officer has retired and he left the SENAD Group on the 31st August 2022. We wish Mark a long, happy and healthy retirement and send huge thanks to him for all the fantastic work he did for the Group.

We’re pleased to welcome 2 new Directors who joined the team on Monday 5th September.

Suzanne Pennington -Director of Education

After being Head Teacher of a large Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ special school in Buckinghamshire, Suzanne relocated to Derbyshire in 2012, joining the SENAD Group as Head Teacher of Pegasus School. She then successfully commissioned and set up both Ecclesbourne Lodge and OneNineFive transitional homes on behalf of the Group as she struggled to find suitable adult provision for Pegasus School leavers. Suzanne then joined St Andrew’s School in Derby as Head Teacher; a ‘Good’ school with a residential department that was judged to be ‘Outstanding’ at the first inspection under her tenure.

Suzanne is passionate about coaching and mentoring staff to achieve the best outcomes – for themselves and for the young people with whom they work. Suzanne was a Director of the Derby Teaching School’s Alliance, working across the City to provide high quality training for staff in all school settings. The focus was ensuring equality of opportunity and inclusion for learners with additional needs.

Suzanne has worked for over 30 years in specialist settings advocating for adults and young people with SEND. She has been successful at leading schools, colleges and adult settings to become highly effective organisations, also contributing to the development of specialist educational services locally through focus groups and working parties, countrywide through DfE action groups; and internationally in Moscow and Japan.

Mark Ryder – Director of Children’s Social Care.

Mark started his career as a qualified Social Worker and was then a Care Inspector for 11 years, 7 of which with Ofsted. In 2014 he joined the SENAD Group as Head of Care at Alderwasley Hall School and was part of the team in getting the care provisions to ‘Outstanding’ at both the Lower and Upper School sites for three successive years.

Mark has since worked with a large SEN provider as their Senior Regional Operations Manager where he was the Responsible Individual for 5 children’s homes and led on compliance for a further 27 homes. He was also the National Lead Safeguarding Manager for this group and more lately, he leads the care division with a group specialising in SEN and EBD children’s homes in the Midlands area.

Mark has successfully registered a number of specialist homes and received good and outstanding Ofsted grades for newly created and developing services. He is committed to excellent outcomes for young people and is a strong advocate for them, Mark brings a wealth of experience to the role and is looking forward to meeting with and supporting both previous and new colleagues.

Rowden Students Evening at the Circus

The Circus came to town in June and didn’t we all have fun.

Circus Starr is an independent, charitable organisation that supports disadvantaged, disabled and vulnerable children across the UK with the funds raised by our world-class circus production.

Thank you to all the staff for supporting the young people & residents on their afternoon & evening trips to Hereford.

West Midlands Learning Campus is very privileged to be gifted tickets each year by local companies who support Circus Starr.

A truly fabulous & entertaining show at King George V playing fields on Wednesday evening, a massive ‘thank you’ to all the performers and Chico the clown!

Rowden Festival Goers Scoop Bromyard Scarecrow Trophy

It’s official……………………………………….


Huge congratulations to Rowden House School on winning this year’s Scarecrow Competition.

Well done to Alina for all her hard work in ensuring everyone looked like they were off to enjoy the Glastonbury Festival!

Thank you to the Rowden entourage who enjoyed a great evening parading through Bromyard town – you all so deserve this win.🤩

Well done everyone.

A Right Royal Celebration in Herefordshire

Jubilee Celebration day at Rowden House School took place on Friday 27th of May.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this year’s day such a wonderful success. It was lovely to welcome all guests for the day to our campus; it was lovely to see so many familiar faces during the afternoon, it’s been far too long. We would like to thank the newly appointed Mayor of Bromyard for officially opening our afternoon & also for judging our ‘All Things Royal’ art competition. Some fabulous pieces of artwork were created by the students, residents & staff.

The winners of this competition were:

• Adult Home – Park House

• Young Person Home – The Grove

• Rowden Student – LBS

We had local store holders on campus selling lovely handmade art and food. Local musician Ray Mytton join us for the afternoon, taking requests. We drummed up some love with Drum Love, we enjoyed the Archery with Richard from Really Rural, the coconut shy was a real ‘hit’ with everyone, we enjoyed a game of croquet on the main lawns and the traditional British ‘wellie wanging’ went down a storm!

Lunch was served alfresco, looking out across our beautiful lawns, with views of the Malvern Hills in the distance, the ever-popular local Ice Cream man made a very welcome return later in the afternoon, much to everyone’s delight. Tea, coffee & squash were served all afternoon, along with some sweet treats for everyone to enjoy. The fabulous Jubilee cake was made by Emmas Farmhouse Cafe which lasted all of 5 minutes!! To close the day we had a traditional Punch & Judy show from Juggle Puppet along with circus skills. So many local businesses have been very generous with gifting donations towards our Grand Raffle; we will be very busy writing thank you cards next week!

Marking Social Care Day of Remembrance & Reflection

Today is Social Care Day of Remembrance & Reflection. It is 2 years since the start of the pandemic and when the UK went into Lockdown. Today is a day for us to pay tribute to all the people who work in social care, whether that be as a carer, maintenance, part of the domestic or catering team, or in a supporting admin role. Thank you.

Awarding Staff for Excellence

In May 2021 we launched the very first SENAD Staff Awards to celebrate excellence by recognizing members of our team that have gone the extra mile to make a difference to the lives of those we educate, care and support.
Award winners were announced at the end of the year, with 153 members of staff from disciplines across the group, receiving awards for their contribution to their service. 50 of these winners went on to win the overall SENAD Group awards. Categories included Care Practitioner of the year, Domestic Champion to IT Champion, and nominations were open to all employees. Huge congratulations to all of the 2021 winners… Look out for nominations opening for the 2022 awards soon.