Bamburgh School

Name Bamburgh School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 11 December 2013
Address Norham Avenue, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7TD
Phone Number 01914274330
Type Special
Age Range 3-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 196 (69% boys 31% girls)
Local Authority South Tyneside
Percentage Free School Meals 52.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2%
Persisitent Absence 23%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Bamburgh School admits pupils from three to 16 years with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities that include specific learning difficulties, autistic spectrum conditions and physical difficulties. Some have additional difficulties such as speech and language impairments and behavioural, emotional, social difficulties and complex physical and medical difficulties. Pupils are admitted at any stage of their school career and at all times of the year. In September 2012, the numbers on roll increased following the closure of a nearby school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, all of whom have been placed on the roll here. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs. The great majority of pupils is of White British heritage and, for almost all, their first language is English. Approximately, two thirds are entitled to support from the pupil premium (additional funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, from service families or looked after by the local authority) and this is much higher than the national average for most schools. Around 40% are girls. The school does not use alternative education but has made an informal alliance with a number of other local schools. Very occasionally, pupils attend mainstream schools part time. A new headteacher was appointed in January 2013. Around 50% of the governing body has changed within the last year and a new Chair has been appointed since the previous inspection.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. The starting points for most pupils here are much lower than the national averages. Nevertheless, all groups progress well including those in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Their achievements are good. Teaching is good overall and teachers skilfully manage their classrooms to enable all pupils to contribute in lessons. The care and support offered by adults are extremely high quality. The excellent relationships that result ensure that all pupils are included in learning, whatever their learning difficulties or disabilities. Pupils’ behaviour is good and often outstanding. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural developments are good. On their journey through the school, the personal developments of some are outstanding. The leadership and management of the school are good. The new headteacher, supported by senior leaders and the governing body, has successfully and rapidly improved the quality of teaching and pupils’ learning. The good governing body demonstrates the necessary skills to challenge and support school leaders and managers effectively. It is not yet an outstanding school because : A small proportion of the teaching requires improvement because, in some lessons, pupils do not work on tasks that develop their knowledge and understanding. Occasionally, teachers’ marking contains insufficient information for pupils to know how to improve their work. The rate of progress made by pupils in most lessons is not as great as it could be because : pupils’ targets for learning are not always as clear as they should be. Teachers do not always direct teaching assistants to support pupils’ learning as effectively as they could.