A BOARDING school in Bradford is beginning to make improvements after several damning Ofsted visits in the past two years.

Darul Uloom Dawatul Imaan, in Harry Street off Wakefield Road, was inspected by the education watchdog on Wednesday, November 11 this year, with the report published on Friday, December 18.

Simon Morley, Lead social care inspector, was the person who visited.

The setting, a Muslim boys' boarding school which currently offers education to 167 pupils, was deemed to be Inadequate in its last full inspection back in February 2019.

Since then the school has had three monitoring visits in total (in April and September 2019 and November 2020).

This latest inspection was to check the school's progress towards an action plan that was put in place, and submitted to the Department for Education, to deal with issues raised back in September 2019.

This included, deficiencies in the leadership and management of the boarding provision, as well as not meeting national minimum standard (NMS) 13.

The action plan itself was described as "weak" by Ofsted.

The report added: "This has been an ongoing issue for at least 18 months, with little sign of progress."

But, the monitoring visit this November proved that the school has made wholesale changes and is moving towards a better future.

The senior leadership team has been reorganised and consolidated.

This includes the headteacher's temporary post being made permanent and a new head of boarding being appointed from within the school.

The report states: "The trustees have started making regular visits to the school to check on improvements and hold the school leaders to account.

"The quality of record-keeping of the senior leadership team meetings and the team's meetings with the trustees has vastly improved.

"The arrangements in place demonstrate better communication and accountability.

"The improved management oversight is supported by a realistic self-assessment of the boarding provision and an accompanying development plan.

"It is evident that the school’s leaders and managers are using appropriate skills to fulfil their roles.

"This is having a positive impact on the welfare of the boarders."

Physical changes in the school are also benefitting the boarders.

The common rooms have been decorated and equipped with new furniture, board games and pool and table-tennis tables.

The report states: "The boarders commented on how much nicer these rooms are now and that they enjoy using them."

Positive mental health is also being promoted among the boarders.

The report states: "This is a new whole-school initiative and needs to be embedded in practice before it can be assessed for any impact."

But boarders have already spoken about some changes that are helping their wellbeing.

The report states: "The boarders are also pleased that they can make telephone calls to their families in privacy.

"The boarders are encouraged to personalise their bed spaces and dormitories.

"Some of the boarders have started to do this, giving their living accommodation some personal identity."

Additional staff have also been employed to give the boarders extra support, with all staff undertaking a wide range of safeguarding training.

The report states: "Topics such as e-safety are regularly taught to the boarders and reinforced by boarding staff.

"The boarders think that the school rules are fair and that their behaviour is good.

"They report that there is no bullying.

"However, there has been one disclosure of bullying and related self-harm.

"School leaders took appropriate action to protect the welfare of those involved and address the inappropriate bullying."

The report adds: "The boarders report that there are always staff to talk to if they are worried about anything, and that the staff give them plenty of time."

Part of the monitoring visit was to inspect how the school has dealt with the Covid-19 crisis.

Darul Uloom Dawatul Imaan was closed from March this year until September due to the restrictions.

Remote learning opportunities were put in place to combat this.

The report states: "School staff kept in regular contact with boarders and their families, helping to ensure that they were receiving necessary emotional support during this difficult time.

"The school leaders took appropriate precautions in their preparations to reopen the school in September 2020."

Mr Morley outlines that the school can further improve by ensuring that the system of staff appraisals is maintained and that regular reviews of staff practice take place.

The inspector added that the school must also review and update the development plan for the boarding provision.