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Acorn School

Name Acorn School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 04 October 2016
Address Seckington Cross, Winkleigh, Devon, EX19 8EY
Phone Number 01271859720
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 9-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 0

Information about this school

Acorn School is an independent, co-educational special school that is registered for boys and girls with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties and for those who have autism spectrum disorder and special learning difficulties. The school opened in 2007 and is registered for seven pupils aged 11 to 16. There are currently three pupils on roll, all of whom attend full time. All have education, health and care plans. The school is owned by Phoenix Learning and Care, a registered company, and is set in a rural location in North Devon. The school makes use of additional facilities for physical education. The school is overseen by a board of governors, which includes a director of education. The current headteacher has been in post since September 2013. There are three qualified teachers and two teaching assistants. Specialists visit the school when required to provide one-to-one support for pupils as part of their individual education, health and care plans. The school aims to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere where pupils can build trust and feel safe. Leaders aim to ensure that pupils have a consistent and personalised educational experience which helps them prepare for the next stage of their education. The school had its last standard inspection in February 2013. In July 2013, the school had a progress monitoring inspection. All of the independent school standards were met at the time of the progress monitoring inspection.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Senior leaders and staff have established a calm and caring ethos. Pupils are well looked after and nurtured in a safe and secure environment. The teaching of reading, writing and literacy is consistently good. This enables pupils to progress well and apply their skills across the wider curriculum. There could be more consistent challenge in mathematics. Staff act as excellent role models so that pupils adopt positive attitudes to learning, which in turn encourages them to attend school. Attendance and behaviour are improving as school leaders persevere with patience to help pupils to overcome difficulties in their lives. Leaders have improved the quality of teaching and assessment so that they match the individual needs of pupils more precisely. Assessment is used well by teachers to plan lessons and next steps for pupils, building on their previous knowledge. Personal, social, health and emotional (PSHE) development lessons develop pupils’ self-esteem, and their understanding of the importance of positive relationships and how to keep safe. Pupils appreciate the fact that the school is teaching them to be safe. The broad and balanced curriculum promotes pupils’ personal development well, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils are well prepared for examinations and for transition to the next stage of their education. Individual help with careers advice and guidance, including on vocational courses and apprenticeships, provides pupils with options for further training and education. Governors and senior leaders have ensured that all of the independent school standards are met. Each governor has a designated area of responsibility. This enables the governors to challenge and support leaders effectively to secure further school improvement. 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.