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Acorn Cottage


Name Acorn Cottage
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 04 July 2017
Address Ipswich Road, Elmsett, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP7 6NY
Phone Number 01473657030
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Girls
Number of Pupils 5 (100% girls)
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%

Information about this school

Acorn Cottage is a small independent special school owned by Care Focus Ltd. The school opened in 2005. The school acquired a second site in 2013. The school is registered with the Department for Education to admit eight girls. There are seven girls on roll. The two proprietors of Care Focus Ltd, alongside two appointed directors, are responsible for the governance of the school. All pupils have social, emotional and mental health needs. One pupil has an education, health and care plan. All pupils are looked after by their respective local authorities. In the recent past pupils have attended the alternative providers Easton and Otley College, Suffolk New College and West Suffolk College for parts of the week.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement Leaders’ self-evaluation and school improvement planning is not focused enough on the strategic development of the school. Many school policies are out of date. Leaders’ plans do not have clear timescales or measures for success to enable the governors to monitor their overall impact. Too much of the monitoring and evaluation is informal and is not helping leaders to know what needs to improve. Teachers do not provide effective guidance that helps pupils to improve their work. Teaching does not ensure that the most able remain fully challenged. Therefore they do not make as much progress as they should. Leaders are not checking pupils’ progress enough throughout the school to raise pupils’ achievement to the highest levels. Staff performance is not checked and developed well. Not all teachers make sure that support assistants make a good contribution to pupils’ outcomes. The school has the following strengths Leaders ensure that all of the independent school standards are met. Leaders provide an education that transforms the lives of the vast majority of pupils. Pupils feel safe, secure and happy in school. High levels of care and trusting relationships ensure that pupils thrive in a nurturing environment. Pupils’ attendance rates increase rapidly once they settle at the school. Pupils make good progress socially, emotionally, culturally and academically, often from low starting points. A broad and balanced curriculum with a wide range of extra-curricular activities successfully engages pupils with learning. Careers guidance is a strength. All pupils leaving Year 11 successfully go on to further education or training. Pupils read well and fluently. 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.