|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Inspection Date||08 April 2014|
|Address||Armadale Road, Ladybridge, Bolton, Lancashire, BL3 4TP|
|Religious Character||Does Not Apply|
|Number of Pupils||242 (63% boys 37% girls)|
|Percentage Free School Meals||39%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||13.6%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||No, we only have catchment area data for schools in England|
Information about this school
The school provides for pupils from 11 to 19 who have a range of disabilities and special educational needs. The largest group are those with moderate learning difficulties. There are also sizeable groups who have severe learning difficulties or with autistic spectrum disorders. A minority has sensory difficulties, physical or health-related difficulties, speech, language and communication difficulties or social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. All pupils have statements of special educational needs. The school has specialist provision for pupils with autistic spectrum disorders, but these pupils often attend main school lessons wherever possible. The provision is included as part of the whole school. The school has a sixth form which provides for students up to the age of 19. The majority of pupils are boys. The proportion of pupils supported by pupil-premium funding is higher than the average. This is additional funding for those pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, for pupils who are looked after by the local authority and for the children of service families. Most pupils are of White British heritage. There is a minority of pupils looked after by the local authority. The headteacher and assistant headteacher have been recently appointed within the last year. The school has strong partnerships with other local special schools and secondary high schools. The school makes use of sport facilities at Ladybridge High School. Students attend courses at Bolton College.
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school. The new headteacher and his leadership team have established a very clear vision for the school which is shared by all of the school community. Because teaching and the support provided by teaching assistants is so effective, pupils thrive at the school. They have a real thirst for learning and make good or outstanding progress in all areas of their development, including personal and social skills, communication, literacy and numeracy. Different groups of pupils, including those who are eligible for the pupil premium or who have autistic spectrum disorders, learn extremely well, matching and sometimes exceeding the progress made by their peers. The sixth form is outstanding because : students have opportunities to improve and make use of their literacy and numeracy skills alongside attending college or work-related courses and activities. They develop greater independence and self-confidence as a result. The wide range of subjects taught and courses offered to pupils of all abilities means that everyone has equal opportunity to do well. All leavers advance to further education, employment or training. The behaviour of pupils is outstanding as is their attendance. Their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is of the highest order. They are very sensitive to the needs of their peers, especially if they have emotional upsets. Partnerships with other professionals and with parents are exceptional and contribute much to pupils’ well-being and progress. The headteacher and governing body have ensured that the middle leadership team and all staff colleagues have had the opportunity to contribute to the school’s policy for teaching and learning. As a result, teaching and learning are never less than good and are often outstanding. However, leaders have yet to ensure that the school’s marking and feedback policy is consistently followed.