Downland School

Name Downland School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 08 October 2014
Address Downlands Road, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 5EF
Phone Number 01380724193
Type Special
Age Range 10-16
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 79 (93% boys 7% girls)
Local Authority Wiltshire
Percentage Free School Meals 43.0%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2.5%
Catchment Area Information Available No, we only have catchment area data for schools in England

Information about this school

Downland is smaller than the average-sized special school for up to 69 boys aged 11 to 16. All students enter school with a statement of special educational needs due to behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Many have associated disabilities including autism and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Students are drawn from a wide area, including parts of other counties. Most students are from White British backgrounds and all speak English as their first language. The proportion of students supported through the pupil premium, which is additional government funding for students who are known to be eligible for free school meals and those looked after by the local authority, is well above average. The boarding provision which the school used to offer closed in February of this year. Students attend alternative provision at times during the week. This is at Wiltshire College or The Springfields Academy. The school has been led by an acting headteacher since January of this year.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Students achieve well because they are well taught by teachers who keep careful checks on their progress. Student achievement improves from low starting points as a result of a wide variety of opportunities. The exciting curriculum prepares them well for their next stage in education. The curriculum across the school is adapted well to meet the individual needs of students, with a good emphasis on the basic skills of reading, writing and number. Teaching is almost always good, and sometimes outstanding. Students not only make good progress in English and mathematics but also in many other subjects. The management of behaviour has been successfully and rapidly improved. The behaviour of students is good. Students and staff get on very well together. Students report that they feel safe and happy, and enjoy being in school. Their attendance is above average for this type of school. The acting headteacher has introduced many new and effective innovations in the last year. These very successfully make the most of, the school’s existing systems to improve the quality of learning. The acting headteacher and senior staff regularly monitor the quality of teaching and its impact on students’ achievement. This ensures that improvement is on going across the school. The governing body has a good grasp of the school’s strengths and remaining areas for development. Governors provide significant challenge to, and support for, the school’s leaders. They ensure safeguarding procedures are maintained to the highest standards. The local authority offers the school good support. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Teaching is not consistently outstanding and so does not always enable students to make the progress of which they are capable. Teachers’ marking is not always effective in telling students how they can further improve their work. Staff do not share best practice enough as a means of improving teaching further.