|Name||The Ashley School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Inspection Date||01 April 2014|
|Address||Ashley Downs, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 4EU|
|Religious Character||Does Not Apply|
|Number of Pupils||141 (64% boys 36% girls)|
|Percentage Free School Meals||42.6%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||1.4%|
Information about this school
This school is a smaller than average sized special school. The proportion of pupils entitled to benefit from the pupil premium, the additional government funding for those known to be eligible for free school meals, looked after by the local authority or from service families, is almost twice the national average. The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups and the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language are much lower than found in most other schools. All pupils have a statement for their special educational needs. These statements are mainly for moderate learning difficulties. However, many pupils have associated disabilities, such as speech and language difficulties, autism and behaviour difficulties. An increasing proportion of pupils are being admitted who have more complex needs. The school converted to become an academy in September 2011. When its predecessor school, Ashley School, was last inspected by Ofsted, it was judged to be outstanding. This is the first inspection of the academy. The school’s boarding provision was the subject of a separate inspection in February 2014. It was judged to be outstanding. The school has formal links with Lowestoft College and Otley College to provide pupils with work-related courses. The governing body also manages the Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre. The headteacher joined the school in September 2013.
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school. This is a school in which pupils thrive and are able to do as well as they possibly can. While standards in English and mathematics are low pupils’ progress across the school is outstanding. They acquire the basic skills of literacy and numeracy exceptionally well. Teaching inspires pupils to do their best. Teachers ensure that pupils understand how well they are progressing and are clear about what they need to do to improve further. Pupils’ attitudes to learning are outstanding and their behaviour is exemplary. Arrangements to ensure that pupils are safe are excellent. Pupils benefit greatly from an excellent range of opportunities that capture their interest and support their learning and progress exceptionally well. The promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and the efforts of staff to raise pupils’ confidence and self-esteem are highly effective. The work of the headteacher, senior leaders and the governing body to ensure that outstanding teaching and pupil progress are sustained is also highly effective.