|Name||Abbey Hill School and College|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||04 February 2014|
|Address||Box Lane, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST3 5PP|
|Religious Character||Does Not Apply|
|Number of Pupils||279 (71% boys 29% girls)|
|Percentage Free School Meals||47.7%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||6.8%|
Information about this school
The school caters for students from four to 19 years-of-age who have a range of disabilities and special educational needs. The largest groups are those with moderate learning difficulties and those with autistic spectrum conditions. A small minority have more complex difficulties. All have a statement of special educational needs. The majority of students are boys. The proportion of students supported by pupil premium funding is higher than the average. This is additional funding for those students known to be eligible for free school meals, for students who are looked after by the local authority and for the children of service families. Most students are of White British heritage. A very small minority of students are looked after by the local authority. The school is currently seeing an increase in the numbers of students arriving with autistic spectrum conditions and more complex needs. More students than average join the school at times other than at the usual times of admission. The school is recognised as a high performing specialist school and has specialisms in Performing Arts and in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion (Communication and Interaction). Recent awards include the Inclusion Quality Mark, Quality in Study Support Award (Established) and Dyslexia Friendly School Status. It has gained Autism Accreditation. The school is part of a wide informal network of schools in the locality who share specialisms and a member of the region’s Teaching Alliance. It has a significant role in supporting the development of specialist practice in the locality. The school is due to move to new, purpose-built accommodation in September 2014. A very small number of students attend local schools for some of their education through informal arrangements. The majority of students attend courses away from the school site for some or all of the time at Newcastle College and Sporting Stars.
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school. From low starting points, most, but not all students, make rapid progress in all subjects. Students make particularly good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage, in Key Stage 1 and 2 and in the school’s sixth form. Teaching across the school is frequently good, with a small minority of teaching which is outstanding. Students’ behaviour around school is impeccable. They show respect to adults and other students. Students feel safe, enjoy very supportive relationships with staff, and students make great strides in their personal and social development. Leaders, managers and governors have provided training and support for teachers to improve the quality of teaching so students have now improved their progress. Members of the governing body work well together and know the school well. They are confident in questioning the headteacher and other leaders about what is already good, what is improving and what still needs to be done. The sixth form is outstanding. The rate of progress made by students has increased and they achieve highly from their starting points. Students follow carefully planned courses, well matched to their individual needs, and gain useful qualifications so they can move on to college, training or employment. It is not yet an outstanding school because : More teaching needs to be outstanding so all students make rapid progress. Resources and materials in lessons are not always used carefully enough so students can make the progress of which they are capable. Communication systems and sensory experiences are not used fully to ensure students with more complex needs learn effectively. Teaching assistants (known in the school as Special Needs Practitioners) do not always have the necessary skills to support students’ learning fully.