Ashley High School

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About Ashley High School

Name Ashley High School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss D Wilson
Address Cawfield Avenue, Widnes, WA8 7HG
Phone Number 01514244892
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 116
Local Authority Halton
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. The headteacher's leadership is very effective. She constantly ensures the spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of the curriculum are embedded.

Her sensitive approach and determination results in as much success as possible for all students. The very able deputy headteacher has a crystal clear overview of strengths and weaknesses at the school. She is well supported by senior and middle leaders who have a range of diverse skills.

Together, leaders ensure that teaching and students' achievement continue to improve. They recognise that a consistent approach to the analysis of all data is the next step for the sixth form pr...ovision. Governors are extremely supportive of the school and challenge leaders to constantly provide exemplary practice for all.

Students' behaviour is outstanding and their attitudes are exemplary. Very effective arrangements are in place to ensure all students are safe and all safeguarding requirements are fully met. The new sixth form provision has got off to a good start with a smooth transition for all those students who joined in September.

All staff are experienced and highly trained in different aspects of special educational needs or specialist subjects. This, along with exceptionally high levels of care ensures students achieve extremely well from their starting points. The support staff are a huge strength of the school.

They are extremely well trained and focus constantly on students' well-being, personal development and academic achievements. Some students gain outstanding personal achievements due to the targeted support that they receive to recognise their talents in sports, poetry, music, drama, textiles and art. As a result, some students' personal achievements are exceptional considering their starting points.

Students make rapid and sustained progress over time. As they move up through the school, students are consistently well supported to achieve the very best they can in Key Stage 3 and 4. Lunchtime clubs, Cyber Café, trips, visitors, residential visits and sport are all particular favourites as students say they are learning to interact socially which is a skill they need for later life, especially in the world of work.

Information about this school

Ashley School caters for day students aged 11- to 19-year-olds with high functioning autistic spectrum condition, aspergers syndrome and social communication needs. Almost half have autistic spectrum conditions, often in combination with other learning difficulties. All students have a statement of special educational needs.

The school serves students from all over Widnes and Runcorn. There are some out-of-borough placements which include Warrington and Liverpool. In 2013, there was a redesignation of the school to include provision for students aged 16 to19.

New staff were employed from April 2014 to work on designing the new curriculum provision for this key stage. The alternative provision is the new sixth form department which has been created and students started there in September 2014. This is known to parents as the Ashley Sixth Form and Enterprise Zone.

These students are taught in purpose-built accommodation which has been built in the last 18 months. Some students have transferred from other schools and others are from Ashley School. The headteacher now works four days a week since January 2015, with the deputy headteacher now in post as acting headteacher for one day a week.

The school works closely with the local Teaching School and is a strategic partner within the Innovative Enterprise Teaching Alliance, delivering a range of special educational needs training to local mainstream schools and other settings. There are some students who enter the school at other times during the school year and during this year this number has risen due to the redesignation and the new sixth form provision. The proportion of disadvantaged students, those supported through the pupil premium, is well above the national average.

The pupil premium is funding to support those students known to be eligible for free school meals and those who are looked after by the local authority. The school has received a number of awards over the past three years, including the International School Award, NAS Autism Accreditation, Information, Communication and Technology Mark, Maintaining Health & Wellbeing Healthy School Award, Green Tree School Bronze, Silver and Gold Award (Woodland Trust) , Fair Trade Awards and Speaker's School Council Award. The school is currently working towards achievement of the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award.

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