Church Lawton School

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About Church Lawton School

Name Church Lawton School
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mr Paul Scales
Address Cherry Tree Avenue, Church Lawton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST7 3EL
Phone Number 01270877601
Phase Academy (special)
Type Free schools special
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 71
Local Authority Cheshire East
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, and students in the sixth form, enjoy accessing the wide range of enrichment opportunities on offer at Church Lawton School. They benefit from activities such as swimming and cooking. Pupils enjoy taking part in art and games clubs.

These opportunities help pupils to broaden their experiences and improve their independence. Many pupils confidently shared their achievements with inspectors. Pupils are clearly happy at this school.

Pupils respond well to leaders' high expectations for their behaviour. Leaders ensure that the school is calm and orderly. Pupils strive to gain student or class of the week in assemblies.

They value the time that they spend ...with Lottie, the therapy dog. This helps pupils to feel safe in school.

Pupils know who to speak to if they have any worries or concerns.

They trust staff to sort out any problems that they experience. Leaders deal with bullying effectively.

Leaders expect pupils to achieve well.

Pupils, including those students in the sixth form, enjoy learning and they achieve well in most subjects. Caring staff ensure that pupils receive suitable support to meet their special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The relationships fostered between staff, pupils, and parents and carers are typically positive.

Most parents reported that their children appreciate the help and guidance that leaders provide.

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

Leaders have devised a curriculum that matches the ambition of the national curriculum. In most subjects, leaders have set out what they expect pupils to learn at the different stages in their education.

In these subjects, most pupils build up knowledge that prepares them well for their next stage of education, employment or training. However, in a small number of subjects, this knowledge is not as clearly defined. Consequently, in these subjects, some pupils do not achieve as well as they should.

Leaders offer pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, a range of suitable qualifications. In addition, leaders successfully support pupils to access local colleges and other providers, when appropriate. This widens the range of academic and vocational courses available to pupils.

Leaders endeavour to ensure that pupils' interests and talents lead to an appropriate accredited qualification.

In the main, teachers deliver the curriculum well. They check pupils' progress in lessons regularly.

Teachers provide useful feedback that helps pupils to learn more knowledge. However, in a few curriculum areas, subject leadership is not as effective as it could be. This is because some leaders do not make sufficiently detailed checks to ensure that teachers deliver the curriculum consistently well.

Occasionally, this hinders leaders' ability to offer effective support to help teachers improve their delivery of the subjects.

Leaders prioritise reading, so that pupils become confident and fluent readers. Staff follow the phonics curriculum diligently.

Children learn how to use phonics knowledge to read words in the early years. If any older pupils, including students in the sixth form, are still at the early stages of learning to read, staff help them to catch up quickly.

Leaders identify pupils' emerging and changing SEND well.

Staff provide effective support for difficulties typically associated with autistic spectrum disorder. Leaders provide teachers with useful guidance about how to meet pupils' needs. When required, leaders provide more specialist support.

For example, pupils receive support from the in-house therapeutic team.

Pupils do their best to behave well. Staff provide effective support that helps most pupils to regulate their behaviour in lessons and around the school.

Most pupils improve their ability to recognise and manage their own behaviour, even if they find this difficult.

A small number of pupils do not attend school often enough. That said, leaders offer these pupils effective support.

Leaders' use of part-time timetables is appropriate. Parents and staff work together to develop supportive strategies to improve pupils' attendance. Over time, most pupils attend more regularly.

Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. They learn about different religions and cultures. Leaders have established a carefully designed personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum.

As a result, pupils learn how to travel confidently, manage their finances carefully, and make and maintain healthy relationships.

Pupils receive a comprehensive careers education programme. They benefit from a range of work experience opportunities, including at sports clubs, local businesses and by working with animals.

This helps them to develop their personal, social and academic skills in the workplace.

Trust leaders have recently improved the arrangements for governance. They have established a transformation management board that scrutinises a range of appropriate information about the quality of education that pupils receive.

This has resulted in a sharper oversight of leaders' work. Those responsible for governance hold leaders fully to account for their work. Staff reported that leaders consider their workload carefully.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure that all staff know how to keep pupils safe. Staff understand that due to their SEND, pupils may have additional vulnerabilities.

Leaders ensure that robust procedures help to keep pupils safe. For example, staff ensure the safe management of traffic on the school's site.

Staff quickly pass on any concerns about pupils to those leaders responsible for safeguarding.

Leaders work closely with other agencies, including the local authority, to make sure that vulnerable pupils get the timely support that they need. Leaders escalate their concerns if pupils do not receive the help that they require.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a small number of foundation subjects, leaders have not ensured that the knowledge that pupils must learn is identified in sufficient detail.

As a result, some pupils do not achieve as well as they should in these subjects. Leaders should ensure that they refine the curriculum to clearly identify the knowledge that pupils must learn. ? In a few curriculum areas, subject leaders do not make detailed enough checks to ensure that teachers implement the curriculum consistently well.

This hinders how well leaders can support teachers to improve the delivery of the curriculum. Senior leaders should ensure that subject leaders are well trained to monitor the quality of the delivery of the curriculum. This is so that subject leaders can provide teachers with effective support and guidance.

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