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Access School

Name Access School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 13 September 2016
Address Holbrook Villa Farm, Harmer Hill, Broughton, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 3EW
Phone Number 01939220797
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 5-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 30 (80% boys 20% girls)
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%

Information about this school

Access School is a small independent special school set within the grounds of a farm, on the outskirts of Wem in North Shropshire. It normally admits up to 20 pupils aged five to 16 years with social, emotional and associated mental health difficulties. However, the Department for Education granted temporary permission for the school to exceed this number to a maximum of 25. Pupils often join the school after a history of exclusion or long-term absence from mainstream or other special school provision. The school was first registered in 2000. It was last inspected in February 2012. The school subsequently submitted an action plan setting out how it would address the identified unmet regulations, which were deemed satisfactory. Although the proprietor is an individual, the school is part of a broader organisation, Family Care Associates Limited, which provides residential care and fostering services. At the time of this inspection, there were 25 pupils on roll aged seven to 16 years. All pupils have statements of special educational needs or education, health and care plans. Just under half of pupils receive additional funding in the form of the pupil premium. Pupils come from different local authorities across the country, but most attend from Shropshire. Nearly half of pupils are looked after children in foster care or resident in a Family Care Associates home or those of other independent providers. The school does not use any alternative providers. The school does not meet requirements on the publication of information about how well pupils achieve at the end of key stages 2 and 4. Some other key policies and information are also missing from the website.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Since her appointment, the headteacher has improved the school considerably. There is a clear sense of direction and the school is developing well. Staff have very positive views about the leadership and management of the school and effective teamwork has secured improvements quickly. Pupils feel safe in school. They enjoy lessons and all aspects of school. Their good behaviour and positive attitudes to learning contribute to their good social, emotional and academic progress. One pupil commented, ‘This school has changed my life’ and many other pupils echoed this positive view of the school. Teaching is good. Teachers know pupils well and the strong, positive relationships make a big difference to how well pupils engage in lessons. Pupils make good progress from their starting points. As soon as they join the school, they start to flourish socially and academically. They make good gains in English, including reading, which for many has been a source of failure in the past. Pupils also make impressive progress in mathematics. Effective therapeutic input helps pupils to become more emotionally resilient, improving their behaviour and helping their readiness for learning. The school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well. The positive school culture promotes equality for all very effectively. Staff actively promote British values through the curriculum and themed events. Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. The school does not use and analyse assessment information at a whole-school level well enough to identify trends. This does not help the management committee to monitor how well pupils are achieving. On occasions, the most able pupils are not stretched enough in their learning. Questioning by adults does not extend their thinking sufficiently. Sometimes, pupils complete work very quickly and more demanding challenges are not provided. Limitations in information technology, software and hardware mean that this resource is not used to its potential. Pupils are not always clear about how they can improve aspects of their work. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.