John F Kennedy Special School

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About John F Kennedy Special School

Name John F Kennedy Special School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr James Robinson
Address Pitchford Street, Stratford, London, E15 4RZ
Phone Number 02085348544
Phase Academy (special)
Type Academy special converter
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 156
Local Authority Newham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school The executive headteacher is determined to make sure that all pupils have the required skills to become active citizens in society. She is supported exceptionally well by other leaders and staff who share her commitment to equality of opportunity for all.

Innovative and highly collaborative teamwork, between educationalists and therapists within school and across the multi-academy trust, secures high levels of staff expertise and talent. As a result, the school has moved rapidly over the last two years to outstanding. Tailored and memorable learning experiences for all pupils, irrespective of the complexity of their learning difficulties a...nd/or disabilities, result in outstanding teaching, learning and assessment.

Trustees and governors keep a careful watch over the school. They make sure that outstanding senior leaders are recruited and potential leaders are nurtured within the school. There is strong capacity to sustain excellence and to continue to improve.

Post 16 students learn with other pupils, and attend the site which is best suited to meet their needs. They receive the same outstanding teaching and, as a result, continue to make rapid progress from their various starting points. Safeguarding pupils is of absolute paramount importance.

Leaders describe the school's safeguarding role as 'a hub of care'. Staff are exceptionally well trained and supported to make sure every pupil is kept safe and secure. Leaders are highly systematic in their approach to monitoring every aspect of the school's performance.

They know precisely what they need to work on next, planning effectively for further improvements. However, these plans do not yet have information in an accessible format to enable governors to accurately measure the impact of the school's work. Staff have excellent professional development opportunities to sharpen their practice, including how they best manage some very challenging behaviours.

This, together with the calm and harmonious ethos, ensures happy pupils who are ready to learn with minimum disruption. The school has gained an outstanding reputation within the local community. It is a first choice for parents, hence the increase of pupils on roll.

Many parents describe the school as a family. Parents trust and respect staff. They appreciate all that the school provides for their children.

Information about this school

The John F Kennedy School is a larger-than-average special school. The majority of pupils have a statement of special educational needs and/or an education, health and care plan. All pupils have severe, profound and complex learning difficulties, with many having complex social and communication difficulties, including those with autistic spectrum disorders.

In addition, some pupils have complex medical needs. The proportion of pupils eligible for pupils premium funding is above average, as is the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language. Numbers on roll have increased significantly since the last inspection, particularly for younger pupils.

The school currently has three primary-aged classrooms. The school operates on two sites. The Stratford site is equipped to provide specialist provision for up to 60 pupils ages from four to 19 with specific, profound and multiple learning difficulties.

This includes sensory and soft play rooms and hydrotherapy, as well as large classrooms equipped with tracking hoists and outdoor equipment for pupils who are more independently mobile. The Beckton site is equipped and developed to offer specialist teaching and learning for up to 50 pupils from aged seven to19 who have social and communication needs, including autism. This site has developed its outdoor space to include a horticultural area, outside gymnasium and a primary-aged play area.

The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish. The school meets the requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. In September 2014, the school converted to an academy and formed a multi-academy trust (MAT) with Sheringham Primary School, the Learning in Harmony Trust.

Since then, the trust has grown and includes several other Newham and Southend-on-Sea schools. The school provides special educational needs support to mainstream schools and is a lead school for Team Teach in Newham. The executive headteacher has led the work with other special educational needs experts to find an alternative solution to the current statutory assessment of special educational needs pupils, commissioned by the Department for Education, culminating in the Rochford Review.

Both the executive headteacher and other leaders provide support for other schools within the MAT. A headteacher and deputy headteacher were appointed in September 2016. The school does not use alternative provision.

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