Oaklands School


Name Oaklands School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 29 January 2014
Address Whitehall Road, Evington, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE5 6GJ
Phone Number 01162415921
Type Special
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 109 (75% boys 25% girls)
Local Authority Leicester
Percentage Free School Meals 31.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 45%
Persisitent Absence 13.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 0.9%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Oaklands School caters for pupils with very wide-ranging needs. While the school is designated for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, its intake over the past few years has changed. Only one quarter of the pupils has moderate learning difficulties and this group is steadily reducing. Most of the pupils have severe learning difficulties and autistic spectrum conditions. Some have very challenging behaviour. A small number of pupils have profound and multiple learning difficulties. The number of pupils on roll is rising steadily. New demountable buildings have been installed to cater for this and the need for fewer pupils in each class due to their complex difficulties. All pupils have statements of special educational needs, although occasionally, pupils are placed at the school for assessment. About three times the average proportion of pupils are from minority ethnic heritages, and the families of most of these speak English as an additional language. Increasingly, pupils enter the school at a young age, although some still transfer to Oaklands from local primary schools. There are four children of Reception age in the Early Years Foundation Stage who are taught in mixed-age classes with pupils in Key Stage 1. A much larger proportion of pupils than the national average is supported by the pupil premium. This is extra government funding to support those known to be eligible for free school meals, those looked after by the local authority and those with a parent in the armed services.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Pupils achieve well. Most pupils make the progress expected of them nationally, and the majority do better than this. The behaviour of pupils is good. Staff manage it consistently and pupils understand what is expected of them. Pupils’ attitudes to learning are good. They enjoy school and are keen to take a full part in the interesting lessons and activities. The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is outstanding. Staff are sensitive to any changes in pupils’ well-being and act promptly if the need arises. Teaching is good and is improving as a result of effective support and training from the senior leaders. Staff are highly supportive and caring, and pupils are cherished. This culture is strongly influenced by the headteacher. The new system for assessing and tracking pupils’ developing skills, and setting them demanding targets, is excellent. Leaders and managers throughout the school are working effectively to drive improvement. Staff are responding well to the widespread changes needed to provide for the school’s changing pupil population. They say they are proud to be a member of Oaklands’ staff. The Early Years Foundation Stage is good. It is led well, children have a good start to school and they make good progress. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Staff and pupils do not use aids to communication and understanding, such as symbols and signing, consistently enough throughout the day. This means that less-able pupils’ achievement in communication is weaker than other pupils’. Staff do not always use the best resources to help pupils with autistic spectrum conditions learn and understand. At times senior leaders do not check well enough on whether teachers have improved weaknesses identified in their teaching. Some members of the governing body do not visit the school frequently enough to gain first-hand knowledge of its work. This means that a few members are not confident that they have the expertise to challenge senior leaders about teaching and learning.