Fairmead School

Name Fairmead School
Website http://www.fairmeadschool.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 26 February 2014
Address Mudford Road, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4NZ
Phone Number 01935421295
Type Special
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 99 (69% boys 31% girls)
Local Authority Somerset
Percentage Free School Meals 40.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3%
Persisitent Absence 21.7%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school caters for students with moderate learning difficulties. The vast majority have additional complex needs, including autism spectrum disorders, behaviour, emotional and social difficulties, specific learning difficulties, speech, language and communication difficulties or severe learning difficulties. Students come from across south Somerset, with a few from adjacent authorities. All students have a statement of special educational needs for their learning difficulties. Most students are White British. The proportion of students from minority ethnic backgrounds is low, and only a very few speak English as an additional language. There are more than twice as many boys as girls. The proportion of students supported by the pupil premium (additional funding for students known to be eligible for free school meals and those looked after by the local authority) is well above average. The school opened a new sixth form in 2013, catering for up to 18 students. These students undertake extended learning opportunities at places away from the school, such as at Yeovil College and Rylands Farm. There are currently no children in the Early Years Foundation Stage or in Key Stage 1. The school is part of the Yeovil Foundation Partnership with another special school.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The majority of students achieve well during their time at Fairmead. Achievement in English, mathematics and science is good. Students in Year 11 attain good quality qualifications, including some GCSEs in English, mathematics and art, entry-level qualifications and BTEC, OCR science and functional skills qualifications. The sixth form is good. It provides good quality facilities enabling students to achieve well and build successfully on previous learning. Extensive opportunities for work-related learning prepare students well for their futures. Teaching has improved since the previous inspection and is now good, with some that is outstanding. On these occasions, students are highly challenged by their tasks so that progress is rapid and sustained. Students behave well. Many benefit from good quality additional support to meet their individual needs fully. Students feel safe at school. Parents are pleased with the school. The vast majority say that their children make good progress and enjoy coming to school. Improvement in the range of topics and subjects promote students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well. The headteacher has an ambitious vision for the future of the school. There has been a strong focus on raising achievement through setting targets for teachers and through high quality training and monitoring. The governing body manages the budget well and has an accurate view of the school’s work. Governors make sure that students who receive additional funding fully benefit from it. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Not all students make effective use of information and communication technology to undertake research or to improve their presentation skills. Younger students sometimes lack confidence and skills in writing letter shapes because : support from staff is inconsistent and is not always accurate.