Ofsted Press Release

By Nadine Herbert Gooding Headteacher at the Pilgrim Pathways School

Hospital school judged ‘outstanding’ in all categories by Ofsted inspectors

Tuesday 11 January 2024: Pilgrim Pathways School, the Cambridge hospital school which provides education to children and young people with complex mental and physical health needs, has been judged outstanding in all categories by Ofsted inspectors.

Ofsted visited the school in November and carried out a full inspection, noting improvements since their last visit, for a section 8 or ‘ungraded’ inspection, in July 2022.

In their report, the inspectors say pupils at the school “feel safe and well cared for” thanks to “warm relationships and encouragement from staff”. The team at the school do “all they can to make pupils feel at home” and “model politeness and respect”.

Alongside this, the school “has the highest ambitions for pupils to do well”, the report says. “Pupils learn that even when faced with significant challenges, adults will always help them on their personal and educational journeys,” it adds. Every young person in the school “experiences a bespoke education” in an environment which enables them to thrive, delivered by staff who are “subject experts” and “help pupils to understand and apply new knowledge”.

The school’s leadership team is praised for improving “many aspects of the curriculum” since the last inspection, with all subjects “taught to the same high standard”.

Its management committee provides “a range of expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm”, helping staff feel supported and to develop new skills.

Nadine Gooding-Hébert, headteacher at the Pilgrim Pathways School said: “We are delighted with the Ofsted judgement and the elements highlighted in the inspectors’ report.

“The school has a clear vision that education is a key to the wellbeing and recovery of young people who are in hospital, and we have developed an ambitious and creative curriculum which is flexible enough to meet all of a child’s needs, whatever point they are at in their educational journey. It is fantastic to see this recognised by Ofsted.

“I would like to thank our committed and dedicated staff who work tirelessly to engage, motivate and support our young people to help them achieve their full potential.

“Most importantly, thank you to the wonderful young people we have the privilege to support. Their courage and willingness to engage in education, even as they face the most significant challenges of their lives outside of school, is remarkable and inspirational.”

Staff at Pilgrim Pathways School work with children and young people across five different provisions, providing educational support to pupils during their hospital stays. Currently based at two sites in Cambridge, the team will soon be brought together in a purpose-built facility which will form part of the new Cambridge Children’s Hospital.

Colleen McLaughlin, chair of governors at Pilgrim Pathways School, said: “We were very happy to see that the inspectors had recognised all the values which are central to our school ethos.

“Ofsted noted the quality and success of our curriculum activities, the good leadership and governance on display, and the fact that pupils feel cared for and have good relationships with our team and each other.

“The report is a significant achievement for the staff and leadership of the school, all of whom should feel rightly proud of their efforts.”


For more information, or to arrange interviews, photography, and/or filming opportunities, contact:

Nadine Gooding-Hébert

Headteacher, Pilgrim Pathways School

07782 157145 ngooding-hebert@pilgrim.cambs.sch.uk