Oaklands School

Name Oaklands School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 19 May 2015
Address Montgomery Way, Winsford, Cheshire, CW7 1NU
Phone Number 01606551048
Type Special
Age Range 11-17
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 166 (61% boys 39% girls)
Local Authority Cheshire West and Chester
Percentage Free School Meals 37.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0.6%
Persisitent Absence 16.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Oaklands is a special school for students with moderate learning difficulties. Many have additional and sometimes complex needs, including speech, language and communication difficulties, and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. All students have a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan. The school is situated in Cheshire West and Chester but also admits students from Cheshire East and, more recently, from Flintshire. The proportion of disadvantaged students, those supported by the pupil premium, is well above the national average. The pupil premium is additional funding from the government for students known to be eligible for free school meals and those in the care of the local authority. Almost all students come from White British backgrounds. Since the last inspection, the school has gained a sixth form and students will shortly be completing their one-year courses. There is provision for alternative placement with an organisation that provides vocationally based opportunities called Big X. The school does not enter students for external exams before the usual time to take them.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. Although outstanding in its last two inspections, the school remains focused on moving forward, for example in making teachers’ marking even more effective. It continues to be an improving school. Extremely strong and effective leadership has the full support of governors, staff, parents and students. Leaders at all levels support staff extremely well in the pursuit of excellence. Governors provide exceptionally well-informed challenge and support. They hold leaders to account for everything they do, having a detailed understanding of the school and its work. Students’ achievement is high and all gain success in examinations and awards. A high proportion are at GCSE or an equivalent level. Success is the norm and students share the same high expectations as the staff. Students love coming to school and attendance is high. Their behaviour is outstanding, which helps them do so well in their learning. Students say they feel extremely safe and that any problems are sorted out quickly. Parents show high levels of support for the school, which works very hard to ensure strong partnership working. Teachers and teaching assistants plan work extremely carefully, successfully meeting the needs of every student they teach. Students really enjoy their learning and are inspired to learn. Staff show strong commitment to their students. The same high standards of leadership, positive attitudes to behaviour and learning, and outcomes are seen in the sixth form. All sixth form students are on track to succeed. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is reflected throughout the school. Students get on together exceptionally well. Participation in the arts and sporting activities add a very positive dimension to school life. Staff are encouraged to develop their expertise and there is a high commitment to professional development. This reflects the continual focus on improvement and providing education of the highest quality.