Furze Down School


Name Furze Down School
Website http://www.furzedown.bucks.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 27 March 2014
Address Verney Road, Winslow, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, MK18 3BL
Phone Number 01296711380
Type Special
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 167 (67% boys 33% girls)
Local Authority Buckinghamshire
Percentage Free School Meals 23.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2.4%
Persisitent Absence 26.6%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Furze Down School is a special school for pupils aged 4–19 with a wide range of special educational needs. At the time of the inspection, there was only one four-year-old in the school. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs. Pupils mostly have moderate learning difficulties or autistic spectrum disorder. However, many have more complex additional needs, in particular, speech, language and communication needs. Furze Down is a specialist school for communication and interaction. Mobility in the school is much higher than the national average because a sizeable number of pupils join the school at different times, arriving from other schools. The proportion of pupils from ethnic groups other than White British is lower than the national average and most pupils speak English as a first language. The proportion of pupils eligible for support through additional pupil premium funding is a little higher than the national average. The pupil premium is additional government funding provided for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, those looked after by the local authority and those with a parent in the armed services. In this school the pupils receiving additional funding are mostly those known to be eligible for free school meals. The school also receives the literacy and numeracy catch-up premium, which provides schools with additional funding for each Year 7 pupil who did not achieve at least Level 4 (the nationally expected level) in reading and/or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2. In this school the funding applies to all Year 7 pupils. In common with all schools with primary-age pupils, the school also receives extra funding to improve physical education (PE) and sport. The school is being re-built with a planned completion date of October 2014. Most students in the sixth form were in off-site accommodation during the inspection because of the building work. The school does not use any alternative provision other than work-experience placements for sixth form students.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. From their different starting points, pupils make outstanding progress. They acquire excellent reading, writing, communication and mathematics skills and are exceptionally well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment. Pupils have outstanding attitudes to learning and love being in school. They readily take on demanding work and aspire to reach challenging personal targets. Teaching is outstanding as staff have consistently high expectations and skilfully enable pupils of all abilities to make rapid progress. Pupils receive high-quality feedback from staff so that they know how they are doing and how to improve. The sixth form is outstanding. Students follow personal learning plans to develop both their personal and academic skills. They have consistently excellent attitudes to learning. The school provides an excellent range of learning activities for all age groups. The skills pupils acquire include a strong social awareness and respect for other points of view, including those from different times and cultures. Pupils’ excellent behaviour makes a significant contribution to life in the school. They feel safe and happy. Staff create a very safe environment in which pupils thrive. Parents agree that their children are looked after well. Highly effective leadership has created a culture of high expectations and aspiration. Pupils, parents and staff are fully committed to the school and to upholding its values. Leaders, including the governing body, have ensured that the school has continued to improve since the last inspection, and that high-quality teaching and outstanding achievement have been sustained.