ACE Tiverton Special School

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About ACE Tiverton Special School

Name ACE Tiverton Special School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Hannah Smart
Address Orchard Way, Tiverton, EX16 5HB
Phone Number 01884763140
Phase Academy (special)
Type Free schools special
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 83
Local Authority Devon
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The welfare and education of pupils are at the heart of ACE Tiverton Special School.

Pupils are warmly welcomed. This allows them to settle into school life. Pupils receive the care and support they need to help them overcome the significant challenges they face.

This means that many pupils quickly gain the confidence and self-esteem they need to achieve success.

The school has high expectations for how pupils conduct themselves in class and during social times. Pupils know what is expected of them and strive to do their best.

They understand the consequences of poor behaviour.

Overall, pupils enjoy school and are keen to experience success their learning. However, the school recognises that there is more work to do to ensure that pupils achieve as well as they can.

For example, pupils sometimes struggle to link their learning across the subjects they study. This can slow the progress they make.

The school offers significant pastoral support to pupils and their families.

There is a nurturing environment for pupils to re-engage with their education. Pupils appreciate the warm relationships they build with staff. They know who to share any worries or concerns with.

This helps them to feel safe.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Pupils arrive with significant gaps in their knowledge and understanding. Many pupils have complex needs.

When they start, the school checks what pupils know and can do. In addition, staff carefully consider the information in pupils' education, health and care plans to ensure that the correct provision is in place to meet their learning, social and emotional needs.

School leaders are ambitious for the school.

They have accurately identified the improvements required. Also, the school knows that assessment is not fully developed. Consequently, some pupils have a patchy understanding in some areas.

There are plans in place to rectify this, but these are in the early stages of development.

As the school evolves, work continues to ensure the curriculum is well planned and sequenced to meet pupils' needs. The school wants pupils to gain the knowledge and skills to use when they leave for college, training or employment.

The school has high aspirations that pupils will achieve well. There is a strong focus on reading, writing and mathematics. Pupils achieve success in a range of qualifications, including GCSEs in English, mathematics and science.

The school ensures the environment is well resourced and looked after. Pupils benefit from great amenities, including a design and technology room, gym and science laboratory. These help pupils to have the same learning experiences as their peers in mainstream schools.

The school has a clear focus on preparing pupils for adulthood. Pupils' personal development is carefully considered. They have the opportunity to explore and understand the wider world in which they live.

They experience a wide range of activities beyond the school, such as residential trips to London and Kilve Court. Pupils can work towards their Duke of Edinburgh's Award. These and other activities help build confidence, develop organisational skills and increase independence.

As a result, pupils leave the school well prepared for their next steps.

Pupils receive impartial careers guidance. They are looking forward to their forthcoming work-related learning, which includes working in a bakery, the civil service or retail.

This helps them prepare for jobs and college applications when they leave school.

The school works with parents to promote good attendance. Where required, support and guidance are given.

As a result, pupils' attendance continues to improve.

Parents have mixed views about the school. For example, some parents are unhappy with communication.

However, other parents have confidence in the school and feel their children are thriving.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school has an ambitious curriculum.

However, some pupils are not able to make links between their learning across the subjects they study. This can hinder the depth of their learning. The school must ensure that all components are consistently in place so that pupils are able to connect their knowledge more securely.

• The school has not established rigorous systems to assess how well pupils remember the knowledge they have been taught. As a result, pupils' recall of prior learning can be insecure. The school needs to ensure assessment is used effectively to check what pupils know and remember across all subjects.

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