The Quay School

Name The Quay School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 17 March 2015
Address 160 Herbert Avenue, Poole, Dorset, BH12 4HU
Phone Number 01202716910
Type Academy
Age Range 5-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 78 (52% boys 48% girls)
Local Authority Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
Percentage Free School Meals 37.7%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The Quay is an alternative provision academy for students who have been permanently excluded, or who are at risk of permanent exclusion, and those that have been excluded for a fixed term. It provides also for students with medical needs, including hospital in-patients, and supervises the provision of home tuition. The school converted to academy status in April 2013. As a result of a request from the Department for Education to sponsor a special school in another authority, the academy trust converted to a multi-academy trust in July 2014, prior to sponsorship in September 2014. It is therefore designated as an academy converter even though it had previously already been an academy. When its predecessor school, also called The Quay School, was last inspected by Ofsted, it was judged to be good overall. The headteacher became executive headteacher of both schools, with an existing leader appointed as head of school. Pending finalisation of further leadership changes, an assistant headteacher is acting deputy headteacher and a curriculum leader is acting as an assistant headteacher. Since the last inspection, there has also been major expansion in the facilities of the school. A new building houses provision for students with emotional and social difficulties. A new facility has been built by the health authority to house a 10-bedded in-patient unit and a six place day-student adolescent psychiatric unit, where patients are also on the roll of The Quay. A former primary school has been fully redeveloped to provide for a range of vocational education opportunities. The proportion of students who are disabled or have special educational needs is very high, although the exact percentage varies as students join and leave at points throughout the year. Those who are hospital in-patients receive education from the first day of their admission and their progress is then monitored from the fifth day and reported back to their school if their stay is more prolonged. A very high proportion of students are from White British backgrounds. At the time of the inspection, no students spoke English as an additional language. A very high proportion of students are supported by the pupil premium (additional funding for students known to be eligible for free school meals and children who are looked after). Many students are dual-registered, and The Quay often does not receive this additional funding for them. Some students move into or leave the school during the year, bringing this funding or taking it away with them. The Quay is not in receipt of the primary school sports grant. All the primary-aged pupils registered at the school are dual-registered, and this additional funding goes to the mainstream school. The school does not provide for students to follow the early entry route to GCSE.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. Outstanding leadership inspires staff and students to produce outcomes of the highest quality in a happy and improving school where learning is transformed. This success is supported by governance of the highest standard. Expertise from leaders in education and health is included on the Board, while parents are also represented effectively. Although the school is based on four very different sites, highly effective leadership has created a common vision and uniformly high expectations across the whole school. From their starting points, a high number of students make progress that is much better than that found nationally. This is because engagement with learning is the focus throughout the school. The high quality premises and facilities help students to feel valued. This inspires them to engage strongly with learning, following often very difficult previous experiences of school. An outstanding range of information on the progress of every individual and of identified groups of students means that their progress and achievement are clearly identified. Students are challenged to be as successful as they can be and expectations are very high. Outstanding progress in learning is reflected in the success gained by disadvantaged students as well as the most able. Teaching is outstanding and inspires students to re-engage with learning. In an atmosphere of mutual respect, staff and students get on very well together and students are inspired to do the best they can. Training for staff is given a very high priority. It is supported by extremely rigorous systems to check their performance and set targets for improvement. Strong help is provided for individual members of staff to develop their personal expertise and interests. Students come to the school with a range of very challenging behaviours, some having effectively dropped out of education completely. They improve rapidly in their behaviour and their attitudes to learning because of a mixture of high expectations and consistently positive behaviour management. As a result, students very quickly re-engage with learning and achieve considerable success. In this positive learning community all are valued. Students, many of whom are potentially very vulnerable, thrive. They, and their parents, believe that the school is a very safe place. Students are given very effective support as they reach Year 11 and plan for the next phase in their lives. Care is taken to ensure that the gains they have made since joining the school are consolidated to their full advantage. The vast majority of students go on to college, happy to remain in education. Courses followed in school lead to access to opportunities that meet individual needs and aspirations. Some students talk of gaining a trade or apprenticeship, others of moving eventually into higher education. All look to the future with confidence.