Wargrave House School

Name Wargrave House School
Website http://www.wargravehouse.com
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 05 November 2014
Address 449 Wargrave Road, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, WA12 8RS
Phone Number 01925224899
Type Special
Age Range 5-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 47 (83% boys 17% girls)
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2.1%

Information about this school

Wargrave House School and College is a non-maintained day and residential special school for students who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition. The majority of students have additional learning difficulties and disabilities and for some students, these learning difficulties are severe. Students come from local authorities across the north west of England. All have either a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan. Students are admitted from the age of five, but at the time of the inspection there were no students at Key Stage 1. The school does not admit children in the Early Years. Typical admission times are at Year 7 and Year 10. Almost half of the students are in the sixth-form provision known as Lakeside College. Typically for such schools, there are significantly more boys than girls in the school. The proportion of students from minority ethnic backgrounds is about the national average, but none of these are learning English as an additional language. Currently the school does not receive the pupil premium from any of the placing local authorities for any of its students. The pupil premium is additional government funding for students known to be eligible for free school meals or for those looked after by the local authority. Students who stay in the boarding provision do so for varying numbers of nights and for different lengths of time to meet their and their families’ needs.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. This is an exceptional school offering the highest quality provision for students with autism spectrum conditions. As a result, they make outstanding progress from the time they join the school, particularly in their personal, social and communication development. The leadership of the head of education is outstanding. She and her highly-knowledgeable colleagues at all levels ensure the best possible practice to meet the needs of the students. At present, trustees are reviewing the management structure and this is temporarily holding up the appointment of staff across the school. The quality of teaching is outstanding. Students are continually assessed in order to plan next steps to challenge each individual to make the best progress they can in reading, writing and mathematics. Although the progress of individuals is monitored extremely well, senior leaders do not always collate the available data to have an overview of the progress of different groups of students. The teamwork of the therapists with school and residential staff is highly effective. Staff across all settings plan together and with parents to find consistent strategies and agree management plans. Their combined work prepares students extremely well for their future lives. Students in the sixth form college grow in maturity, enjoying a curriculum which helps them to develop excellent independence skills for their future lives. Students love coming to school. Although many are very anxious when they arrive at the school they quickly settle into the nurturing environment, feel very safe and display excellent attitudes to their learning. Parents are highly positive about the improvements they see in the lives of their children. Students themselves speak about how their lives have changed for the better since coming to Wargrave House. Staff manage students who experience behaviour difficulties associated with their autism with a high level of consistency, which ensures that learning is not disrupted for other students. Students learn how to manage their own behaviour through a sensitive and empathetic approach. Students who stay in the residential provision enjoy a wide range of activities which enrich their lives. Residential care staff liaise exceptionally well with school staff and therapists to ensure consistent management of students at all times. Links with parents are excellent. The school meets all of the national minimum standards for residential special schools.