Alfriston School

Name Alfriston School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 10 July 2013
Address Penn Road, Knotty Green, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 2TS
Phone Number 01494673740
Type Academy (special)
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Girls
Number of Pupils 147 (100% girls)
Percentage Free School Meals 20.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4.1%

Information about this school

This is a residential special school for girls with moderate learning difficulties. About 20 girls reside in the residence for up to three nights weekly, from Monday to Wednesday, mainly due to personal or social reasons. No students stay on Thursday nights. A high proportion of students have additional difficulties including autism spectrum disorders, physical disabilities, sensory impairments or social and emotional difficulties. The vast majority of students are White British and no students speak English as an additional language. A greater than average proportion of students is eligible for the pupil premium (additional funding for those known to be eligible for free school meals, those looked after by the local authority and those from service families). The sixth form has its own separate accommodation. Students have opportunities to undertake a wide range of accredited courses and spend some of their time following vocational courses at several different colleges, although most attend the local Berkshire College. Alfriston School converted to become an academy in March 2012. When its predecessor school, of the same name, was previously inspected by Ofsted in November 2009, it was judged to be outstanding.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school Outstanding leadership and management have led to very high quality provision and excellent outcomes, along with an exceptionally supportive environment in which all students blossom. The excellent personal and academic opportunities offered ensure that the school makes a huge difference to the lives of students. As a result, all groups achieve outstandingly well from their individual starting points. A high proportion of outstanding teaching enables students to make better than expected progress in English, mathematics and science, and in their personal development. Older students attain very good quality accreditation, including GCSEs in mathematics and science, Entry Level qualifications in English and Information and communication technology and BTech qualifications in many other areas by the time they leave the school at the end of Years 11, 12 or 13. The vast majority of parents say that their children enjoy school and are rightly very pleased with their children’s education. ‘The school meets the national minimum standards for residential special schools.’ Behaviour is impeccable. Students say they feel safe. Attendance is above that in other special schools and is similar to mainstream secondary schools. Vocational experiences prepare students extremely well for the world of work. An outstanding range of experiences for all groups of students in subjects and topics promotes their strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The headteacher has a very ambitious vision for the school. Senior leaders and managers place a significant focus on improving staff performance through regular high quality training and checks on their work. The governing body makes an excellent contribution to the school’s effectiveness and work tirelessly to raise achievement through its regular visits to check teaching and learning. The overall effectiveness of the sixth form is outstanding, preparing students exceptionally well for their futures.