Ernest Cookson School

Name Ernest Cookson School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 22 October 2014
Address Bankfield Road, West Derby, Liverpool, L13 0BQ
Phone Number 01512351350
Type Special
Age Range 6-12
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 56 (100% boys)
Local Authority Liverpool
Percentage Free School Meals 76.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 1.2%
Persisitent Absence 26.5%
Pupils with SEN Support 36.5%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No
Highlights from Latest Inspection:

Information about this school

Ernest Cookson School is located on a large campus that it shares with other Liverpool schools and a college. It can admit up to 58 boys aged between 5 and 16, but has not admitted any pupils in Key Stage 4 for some considerable time. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs in respect of their social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Some have additional learning difficulties and disabilities associated with communication difficulties and autistic spectrum conditions. Informal arrangements for mutual support are in place between the school and other education services in Liverpool. Ernest Cookson School offers outreach to other local authority primary and secondary schools and three teachers are employed specifically to undertake this service. Pupils can arrive at any stage in their school career up to age 14 and currently the great majority are of White British origin. In excess of 95% are supported by the pupil premium that provides additional funding for children in the care of the local authority and those pupils known to be eligible for free school meals. Music, modern foreign languages, cookery and swimming are taught through peripatetic services offered by the local authority. The school employs the services of private visiting instructors with the aim of helping pupils develop their self-esteem and self-confidence. A very few pupils attend part time at two alternative education provisions: Harmonize Academy, and Cornerstone Training. The headteacher was promoted from his previous post as deputy in the school in September 2013. The school recently renewed the Basic Skills Quality Mark (2013) and gained the Dyslexia Friendly Award (2014).

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. The outstanding leadership and management of the headteacher, senior team and governing body have brought about rapid improvements in the school. Leaders and managers understand the strengths and weaknesses of the school extremely well. They track pupils’ progress and the quality of teaching most effectively and use this information to set priorities. Actions are clear and have raised both achievement and teaching. Leaders are fully capable of improving the school even further. Following enrolment, all groups of pupils make rapid gains from their very low starting points, particularly in developing their literacy and numeracy skills. Their achievements are outstanding. Pupils are given great help from the staff in understanding and changing negative behaviour. Pupils’ attitudes to learning are excellent and their behaviour around the school is outstanding. The safety of pupils is outstanding. They say that they feel very safe and that they are not bullied or harassed. The quality of the safeguarding of pupils by staff is very high. Throughout their time in the school pupils make great gains in their ability to get on with others. They develop greater tolerance for each other and for those from different communities. Pupils’ personal development is excellent and they are very well prepared for moving on to the next stages of education. The outstanding teaching and excellent pastoral work of the staff are instrumental in enabling pupils to do so well. Teachers use a limited range of assessment methods and although they know their pupils very well, occasionally, they do not take sufficient account of pupils’ needs when planning activities.