Peak Education – Cannock School are delighted with a Good Ofsted rating

Peak Education – Cannock School has just been awarded it’s first Ofsted rating, and it’s a very well-deserved Good!

Andrew McCreedy, Peak Education, Executive Head said,” I am absolutely delighted that all our students and staff have had their hard work recognised by Ofsted in our recent inspection. The inspection process lasts for two and half days and is always an exhaustive but exciting time for the school. The report recognises the value of our unique blend of educational, enrichment, adventurous and vocational programmes which support our students to achieve their potential. I am proud of the commitment and dedication of all of our students, parents / carers and our staff for their contribution to our fantastic school.”

Sharon Cliff, Head of Cannock School said, “It has been a very exciting opportunity for us to develop the Cannock school. It has been a fantastic journey so far. The staff and students have worked so hard to achieve this. Well done to our amazing school community. We all look forward to many more adventures and successes.”

The Ofsted inspectors reviewed the Cannock school based on four main areas. All of which were rated good:

• Quality of education
• Behaviour and attitudes
• Personal development of pupils
• Leadership

What makes this Good rating special for Peak Education – Cannock?

Peak Education are a little different to your regular schools. They help young people in Secondary education who have difficulties accessing mainstream education to re-engage with learning. The leadership team focus on preparing pupils for their next steps in education, employment, or training.

Peak have four registered independent day schools located at Cannock, Gailey, Stoke-on-Trent, and Audley. Along with seven adventure centres in the Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, and the West Midlands that are used by the students to do everything from watersports to climbing.

All Peak Education staff are specially trained to work with young people facing social, emotional, and mental health challenges and life changing circumstances. The Team know how to engage, inspire, safeguard, and de-escalate situations for everyone’s safety and to keep young people in education.

They achieve this by building confidence and skills to help students overcome personal challenges through a blend of outdoor and classroom-based learning.

Education, Vocation, Enrichment and Adventure:

Peak Managing Director Paul Ball explained the Peak approach. “Our students need to be engaged and supported, to help them become receptive to classroom style education. Our holistic Engagement Programmes bring down barriers, enabling us to gradually re-introduce qualification-based learning that is aligned to the National Curriculum. This also improves attendance.

Our approach to supporting students is based on 4 tried and tested pillars of activity.

  1. Education – We gradually re-introduce National Curriculum-based education, working to the individual’s capabilities to give them the best opportunities for success and attainment.
  2. Vocation – The Peak vocational curriculum is a big strength. Pupils can choose from a wide range of subjects. These provide training and qualifications related to specific jobs and sectors, such as engineering, health and social care, construction, retail and many more.
  3. Enrichment – Academic programmes are enriched by adventure and fun, which are embedded throughout our Vocational and Adventurous Activities curriculum.
  4. Adventure -This is the cherry on the cake and really helps support students. From hiking and climbing to sailing and archery, we use a broad range of activities to restore self-esteem, build resilience and improve social skills.

Paul continued. “Our holistic Engagement Programmes are the foundation for the successful delivery of our individual learning plans. Each plan is tailored to the individual’s needs, aspirations and abilities, developed in partnership with Local Authorities, parents and other supporting agencies.”

The Peak Ethos – ‘Together Everyone Achieves Excellence’

Students who have completed their school careers with Peak Education have gained vocational and National Governing Body qualifications such as British Canoeing to support a variety of employment and training paths. This includes reintegration to mainstream education, employment as instructors at outdoor activity centres, further training, college placements and direct employment in careers such as building or car repair.

Andrew McCreedy explained more…

“The majority of our pupils have social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH) needs. In many instances, this means that pupils have large gaps in their knowledge and skills. When pupils start at the Cannock school, teachers check what they know and what they don’t know. External agencies support this process when required. This information is used to develop individual teaching plans.

Our pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development is at the heart of our work. Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. The Peak personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum is comprehensive. It strongly supports the school’s ethos ‘respect yourself, respect all others, respect the environment’

Peak Keyworkers provide support for pupils. They are well trained and know our pupils well. They help pupils learn in lessons and support them with their behaviour to help pupils stay focused and engaged in their learning. Keyworkers also support pupils with their social and emotional needs as a strong sense of pastoral care exists throughout the school. The team work successfully with pupils to prepare them for the next stage of their education. This includes preparations for Year 10 in other settings and opportunities to explore future career choices. Our staff expect pupils to behave well and work hard. They have high expectations.

The education focus has an ambitious blend of academic study with vocational courses with numeracy and literacy at the heart of the plan. We also pick the children up in the morning and take them home to help improve attendance.

What we do differently is offer Education through Adventure, with outdoor activities at Audley Climbing Centre, Trentham Treetop Adventures and Chasewater Activity Centre. This helps students learn a mix of team skills and individual skills. The success is down to great team, hard work and dedication from Instructors, the learning support Team, teachers, and our Activity Centre staff”

But the story doesn’t’ end there!

The schools are going from strength to strength. We are looking to expand and recruit more staff to accommodate more students in our schools. Each student needs a team of Key Workers. If you would like to be part of the team, you can find out about our current vacancies here.

To find out more about how Peak Education can help your students, call 01543 622461 or visit the website at

The full Peak Education – Cannock Ofsted report can be found here.