Forest Way School


Name Forest Way School
Website http://www.forestway.leics.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 03 November 2010
Address Warren Hills Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 4UU
Phone Number 01530831899
Type Academy (special)
Age Range 3-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 220 (71% boys 29% girls)
Local Authority Leicestershire
Percentage Free School Meals 25.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 1.8%

Information about the school

Forest Way is an area special school for pupils with a range of special educational needs and/or disabilities including, severe learning difficulties (SLD), profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Many pupils also have additional needs, such as deafness or visual impairment. The school relocated to its current site in 2009 and is now situated in an award-winning building. The school is co-located on a campus with three mainstream schools and a children’s centre. The school is oversubscribed and increasingly popular. There are currently six children in the Early Years Foundation Stage. All students have a statement of special educational needs or are undergoing statutory assessment. The school takes students from Leicestershire and three other local authorities. The student population is predominantly of White British heritage and there are twice as many boys as girls. The proportion of students who are known to be eligible for free school meals is in line with the national average. The headteacher is a National Leader in Education (NLE) and the school is a National Support School (NSS), providing support to a range of schools. The school holds specialist status for communication and interaction and has received a number of awards, including Inclusion Quality Mark, Healthy Schools Award, Football Charter, Sports Mark, Active Mark, Investors in People and ICT Becta.

Main findings

The highest of expectations are evident in all aspects of the school’s work and it is conspicuously successful in all that it does. The new building has been designed in meticulous detail to ensure that it functions as both an impressive resource and inspiring backdrop for the outstanding work of the school. The school places the pupils at the heart of every decision made and every lesson taught. All lessons seen during the inspection promoted at least good learning and progress, with a significant majority being outstanding. Nevertheless, the leadership and staff of the school strive for ever higher standards in all areas of their work. Staff who responded to the questionnaire unanimously agreed that they were proud to be a part of the school. This is confirmed in the high levels of commitment and professionalism from all staff, which enable the school to set and achieve ambitious targets in all aspects of its work. A superb network of well thought out partnerships contributes outstandingly to the level of education and care evident. The impressive headteacher and deputy headteacher provide motivating drive, passion and vision which permeate all areas of the school community. Relationships with parents are outstanding. The overwhelmingly positive response by parents to the inspection questionnaire shows that parents profoundly value the work the school does in maintaining a high quality education for their children. There are no weak links and every stakeholder plays a part in providing the best for the pupils. Staff and the outstanding governing body play significant parts in devising, monitoring and evaluating the school improvement plan. Pupils’ views are taken very seriously, through the school council, the annual review process and other systems, and they play an integral part in making the school the success that it is. Pupils’ excellent progress reflects the outstanding teaching seen throughout the inspection. Strong systems support the professional development of staff, so that good teaching moves rapidly to outstanding. Staff know pupils well so that their needs are met in a very precise and focussed way, both in lessons and in other activities around the school. Work is adapted through careful modification of resources, tasks, expected outcomes and the exemplary support provided by all staff in the class. Managers at all levels monitor the performance of the school in painstaking detail and use this information to inform improvements in the quality of the provision. All aspects of pupils’ personal outcomes are outstanding except for attendance, which is in line with the national average for all schools. However, nearly all absences are the result of the pupils’ medical needs and everything is done to ensure that attendance is as high as it can possibly be. This is confirmed by the 85% of parents who ’strongly agree’ that their child enjoys coming to school. All aspects of safeguarding are excellent, with some examples of exemplary practice such as the recently revised pro-forma which supports evaluation in this area and is used to provide detailed feedback to the governing body to ensure that they are meeting statutory requirements. The school’s specialism has already made an impressive impact through the implementation of programmes to develop language skills for targeted pupils. The outstanding Early Years Foundation Stage ensures that children receive the best possible start to school and the exciting work of the sixth form ensures that the high standards are maintained as students prepare for the next stage of their lives. The accurate in-depth knowledge that leaders have, together with the significant improvements since the previous inspection, demonstrate that there is outstanding capacity to make sustained improvement.