Oakfield Lodge School

Name Oakfield Lodge School
Website www.oakfieldlodge.cheshire.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 25 September 2018
Address Warmingham Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 4PP
Phone Number 01270685626
Type Pupil Referral Unit
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 54 (79% boys 21% girls)
Local Authority Cheshire East
Percentage Free School Meals 18.5%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school moved to a new site in November 2015. Since then, the school has been housed in temporary accommodation. The construction of the new school building is about to start. An interim executive board (IEB) replaced the governing body in May 2015. In April 2018, the IEB was replaced by a management committee. Since the previous inspection, the school has been supported closely by the Adelaide Academy Trust. Plans for the school to join the Adelaide Academy Trust are well developed. However, the regional schools commissioner has paused this process and the school remains maintained by the local authority. Two members of the management committee, including the new chair of the committee, are employees of the Adelaide Academy Trust. The school caters for boys and girls who have been permanently excluded from school or who are at risk of permanent exclusion. A small number of pupils have an EHC plan. A number are in the process of assessment for a plan. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is above the national average. A very small number are looked after. The majority of pupils are of White British heritage. Since the previous inspection, the school has had three different substantive headteachers and one interim headteacher. The current headteacher has been in post since February 2018 and the current deputy headteacher has been in post since September 2017. For many years, a high proportion of staff have been on temporary contracts or on supply. However, all staff, including those who tutor pupils off site, are now on permanent contracts. There are more pupils on roll than the temporary accommodation can house. The local authority has therefore decided that a large proportion of pupils in Year 11 will be taught at The Fermain Academy for the current academic year. The school also uses a number of other alternative providers to complement the education provided by the school: Reaseheath College, ‘Cre8’ and ‘Project Ink’. A number of pupils are tutored away from the school site. Some pupils are tutored at their homes whereas others are tutored in spaces such as public libraries and council offices.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement After the previous inspection, the development of the school was hampered by regular changes in leadership and high staff turnover. The rate of improvement has increased significantly with the appointment of current leaders. Despite them overseeing significant improvements across the school, pupils do not benefit from a good standard of education. Leaders’ systems for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching and judging the quality of pupils’ learning lack precision. The curriculum does not fully meet the needs of all groups of pupils. Subject leaders have not given enough thought to the development of their curriculums. Pupils are not supported well to develop their literacy skills. Pupils who need support for their special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities are not helped as well as those with an education, health and care (EHC) plan. Teachers do not routinely set pupils challenging work. Teachers’ use of assessment does not consistently help them to improve pupils’ learning. Rates of absence remain too high, as do the number of fixed-term exclusions issued by leaders. The development of pupils’ cultural and spiritual understanding is not as strong as other aspects of their personal development. The school has the following strengths New leaders have transformed the school’s ethos and culture. The number of pupils who do not have a place in education, employment or training when they leave the school has dramatically reduced. Pupils are making much faster progress in key stage 4, particularly in art and mathematics. Many more pupils are being reintegrated into mainstream schools or joining special schools. Improved training for teachers is leading to significantly better teaching. Pupils behave very well. They enjoy warm and respectful relationships with staff. Pupils benefit from good arrangements for their personal development. Leaders have further strengthened the school’s safeguarding culture. Pupils are supported effectively to manage risk themselves.