Acorns School

Name Acorns School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 05 February 2019
Address 19b Hibbert Lane, Marple, Stockport, Cheshire, SK6 7NN
Phone Number 01614495820
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 5-17
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Stockport
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Acorns School is owned by Keys Group Limited. The group’s director of education is the proprietary body’s representative. Members of the proprietary group act in the capacity of a governing body. The group’s director of education is the chair of the governing body. The school is registered with the DfE to meet the needs of up to 40 pupils between the ages of five and 17 years. There are no students in the sixth form currently. All the pupils have social, emotional and mental health needs. All the pupils on roll have an education, health and care plan. The school has a mobile population. Very few pupils join at the usual times, such as the start of Year 7, although most pupils remain at the school until the end of Year 11. All pupils speak English as their first language. The school’s aim is to offer ‘a holistic education that will provide pupils with learning opportunities, which target their specific individual education needs and nurture confident individuals and responsible citizens, who can lead safe and happy lives and who will make a positive contribution to society.’ The headteacher has been in post for two years. He has worked at the school for nine years in total. The school was previously inspected in May 2016. No alternative provision is used by the school. The school makes use of local facilities, such as a leisure centre to provide physical education for pupils.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement The proprietary group has not ensured that all independent school standards are met consistently. Senior and middle leadership is underdeveloped. Too much rests on the shoulders of the headteacher. This limits the school’s capacity to improve. The quality of teaching is variable. The lack of specialist subject knowledge, detailed curriculum plans, and effective teaching approaches limits the pace and challenge of some lessons. Leaders do not have an adequately detailed understanding of pupils’ attainment and progress across the curriculum. The data they gather does not always give the information they need to evaluate effectively how well pupils are learning. The school’s plans and curriculum policy meet the requirements of the independent school standards. However, the curriculum plans are not sufficiently detailed to ensure that pupils acquire the essential subject knowledge during the time they attend the school. The school has the following strengths Pupils are well cared for and safe. Pupils trust the adults who work with them and so will share any worries or concerns. Staff go the extra mile to help pupils by providing clothing, food and equipment when needed. Pupils’ attendance and behaviour improve significantly when they join this school. Pupils generally attend on time, every day. Serious incidents are rare. Relationships are a strength of the school. Pupils and staff get on well together. Over the past four years, all pupils have moved on to education, employment or training when they have left the school. Pupils gain qualifications, including unit awards, entry-level and functional skills qualifications, as well as certificates. Most key stage 4 pupils are well motivated to sit examinations and complete coursework. Some younger pupils are helped to move successfully back into mainstream school. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.