George Hastwell School Special Academy

Name George Hastwell School Special Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 05 June 2018
Address Moor Tarn Lane, Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 3LW
Phone Number 01229475253
Type Academy (special)
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 63 (74% boys 26% girls)
Academy Sponsor The Queen Katherine School Multi Academy Trust
Local Authority Cumbria
Percentage Free School Meals 70.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%

information about the school’s performance from a range of sources, including external

consultants. This provides reassurance to the governing body about the impact of the school’s improvement plans. Safeguarding The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Leaders carry out thorough pre-employment checks to ensure that all staff are suitable to work with children, pupils and students. The safeguarding governor carries out regular checks to reassure herself that systems and procedures are working well. Comprehensive staff training makes sure that all staff understand and carry out their responsibilities effectively. Staff use the school’s online systems well to record and report any concerns. The designated safeguarding lead follows up meticulously on these concerns. The school works closely with other agencies to keep pupils safe. Staff signpost pupils and their families to specialist advice and support when needed. Pupils and staff agree that any rare incidents of bullying are dealt with well by staff. Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe, both online and in the community. The school carries out comprehensive risk assessments to make sure pupils are safe both in school and when out on trips and visits. Staff are highly vigilant and quick to spot any potential causes for concern, particularly for those pupils with medical conditions. Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Requires improvement There is too much variability and inconsistency in the impact of teaching on pupils’ learning across the school. Although the youngest pupils get off to a good start, as they move through key stages 2 and 3, pupils’ progress slows so that despite stronger progress in key stage 4, pupils are not sufficiently well prepared for the transition to post 16. Some teaching staff use questioning well to probe pupils’ understanding and challenge their thinking. These teachers use this information well to reshape tasks as required if pupils are struggling or to move pupils’ learning on quickly when objectives have been met. For example, in English, questioning is used effectively to develop pupils’ inference and deduction skills. Moreover, pupils’ understanding of the meaning of unfamiliar words is checked, to help them make sense of the text and develop their vocabulary. Most teachers work closely with support staff so that the class team understand their roles and work seamlessly together. Where this happens, support staff are highly attuned to pupils’ moods so they are able to step in quickly to avert any potential disruptions to learning. Moreover, these skilled support staff take an active role in teaching, which enables the teacher to plan lessons which better meet the diverse needs of the pupils. As a result, teaching and learning generally proceed without interruption.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement The quality of teaching and learning is inconsistent between classes and subjects. The impact of middle leaders on pupils’ achievement is limited. They lack the skills and expertise required to carry out their roles and responsibilities effectively. The school’s curriculum, most notably at key stages 2 and 3, is not sufficiently flexible to adapt to the wide range of pupils’ needs. As a result, some pupils are not sufficiently well prepared for adulthood as they move into post-16 education. Pupils’ progress slows as they move through key stages 2 and 3. As a result, pupils do not achieve the personal and academic outcomes of which they are capable. The school’s assessment and tracking systems hinder leaders from gleaning valuable information about pupils’ progress as they move throughout the school. Pupils do not have enough planned opportunities to take on roles and responsibilities across the school. A small minority of pupils are persistently absent from school. The school has the following strengths The early years provision is a strength of the school. Teachers’ high aspirations, clear expectations and effective planning help children get off to a good start. Strong leadership has transformed the quality of education for students in the 16 to 19 provision. These students gain a wide range of qualifications, which help them to gain places at the colleges of their choice. This is a calm, orderly and happy school. Pupils are well cared for and safe. A culture of vigilance permeates the school. Senior leaders, including governors, have an accurate view of the strengths and weaknesses of the school. The urgency with which the governors’ ‘rapid improvement committee’ is tackling issues is starting to pay dividends. Senior leaders now keep a closer eye on the quality of teaching and learning. Regular learning walks, checks on work in pupils’ books and pupils’ progress meetings, are used well to hold teachers to account.