A HEREFORDSHIRE school for pupils with special needs has been rated good by Ofsted – but inspectors are concerned about attendance.

The independent special school in Leominster, which has just 15 pupils on roll, was rated good for the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes and leadership and management.

For personal development, the school, run by Cambian, was rated outstanding, leaving it with an overall rating of good – a grade lower than the last inspection in 2018.

Inspectors said the school met independent school standards and praised leaders for setting clear expectations for how everyone should behave.

Staff are friendly, caring, firm and consistent with pupils, and the children knew what to expect every day.

The school, that caters for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs, offers many different subjects, with personalised learning for each pupil, inspectors said.

"Pupils are expected to work hard and most gain qualifications that help them go to college or get jobs," they said after their inspection on April 26 to 28.

"While the school has a strong track record in doing this, the way staff check on what pupils already know could be improved."

In the report, published on June 22, inspectors said that pupil's have usually missed a lot of school and have gaps in their learning, as well as struggling to manage their behaviour.

But at the school, in Coningsby Road, they are helped to re-engage with education and work is done to improve their behaviour.

"Staff provide personalised learning plans for pupils because they arrive at different stages in their education," inspectors added.

"These plans set out a broad, ambitious curriculum which is taught by well-qualified staff with good subject knowledge."

Pupils’ attendance, which has often been poor in the past, usually improves at the school, inspectors said.

But, for some, poor attendance continues to be a problem.

While leaders work with other professionals to try to improve this, external support is said to not always be effective, and problems persist.

Attendance, along with resources to support early reading and teachers checking more carefully what pupils know in subjects, are three things Ofsted said the school should improve on.

Ofsted also said that reading is a high priority, and drama is used to support pupils' personal development, and the school's work to build children's confidence and character is "exceptional".

Safeguarding was also said to be effective at the school, which the report said charged £48,661 annually for day pupils.

The school has been contacted for comment.