Lawrence House

Lawrence House


Name Lawrence House
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
Address The Coach House, Dean Terrace, Ashton-Under-Lyne, OL6 8AJ
Phone Number 03455215155
Type Independent
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 4
Local Authority Tameside
Pupils with SEN Support 75.0%

What is it like to attend this school?

When pupils join this school, most do not like the restrictions placed on them to ensure their safety. Despite pupils’ initial resistance, they soon engage with the education, care and therapy provided by the school. Pupils improve their attendance, reduce their high-risk behaviours and make progress with their learning because of effective support and strong leadership.

Teachers help pupils to rebuild their trust in adults. Teachers spend time getting to know pupils well. This helps them to plan learning activities which pupils enjoy. Over time, pupils start to think about their plans for the future. Most want to get qualifications, go to college and get a job. As a direct result of the school’s work, this new positive outlook is a ‘transformation’ for the school’s pupils.

Teachers have high expectations of pupils. Pupils are pleasant, polite and well mannered. They treat their teachers with respect. Pupils feel safe and well cared for. Bullying and incidents of poor behaviour are rare. Pupils trust their teachers to deal effectively with any issues as they arise.

Teachers nurture pupils’ individual interests and talents. For example, pupils interested in music access a recording studio weekly. They compose and record tracks using the specialist equipment.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

This school caters for some of the most vulnerable pupils across the country. Education is at the heart of the school’s programme. Leaders have set out an ambitious curriculum. This is an effective clinical, educational and therapeutic programme to help pupils to recover from their trauma and move towards a brighter future.

When they join the school, pupils have been out of education for long periods of time. The school’s comprehensive transition plans make sure that pupils get to know key adults before they start. Relationships are key to the school’s success with these hard-to-reach pupils. Teachers take time to understand pupils’ interests and talents. They plan activities which engage pupils and help them to succeed. Pupils settle in quickly and get off to a good start.

The school’s well-designed curriculum sets out what pupils should learn in each of the three phases of the programme. Pupils understand the requirements of each phase. They know what they must achieve to move on to the next phase. Teachers work well with other specialist staff who share the delivery of the programme. This team assess and track each pupil’s progress weekly. They use this information well to identify any pupil who is falling behind and to plan additional support.

Leaders have made considerable progress in putting together curriculum plans that complement the recovery programme. These plans make sure that as pupils move through each phase of the recovery programme, there is an increasing focus on education. Within a short space of time, pupils start to work towards a range of qualifications. For example, they study towards functional skills in English and in mathematics.

In almost all subjects, leaders have set out detailed plans for each of the three phases. However, the plans for English and mathematics require ongoing development because they have to be tailored precisely to pupils’ individual needs. Leaders have rightly waited to do this until teachers have assessed pupils’ starting points.

In this early phase, the focus has been on finding out where pupils are up to in their learning in English and mathematics. For example, teachers have assessed how well pupils solve mathematical problems, write letters and their ability to read a novel. As some of the school’s first cohort of pupils are coming to the end of the initial phase of the programme, these pupils will be moving on to a more formal academic curriculum soon. This is when the more detailed, personalised mathematics and English subject plans are crucially important.

At the Lawrence House School, teachers set high expectations for pupils’ behaviour. They insist that pupils are punctual, polite and smartly dressed. Teachers are excellent role models for their pupils. They help pupils to reduce their high-risk behaviours and make the most of their time in school. The school is calm and orderly.

Teachers find out what pupils like to do in their spare time. They plan activities which help pupils develop hobbies and interests. For example, a teacher takes pupils who enjoy sport to the local gymnasium. Together, the teacher and pupils plan workout programmes to help pupils achieve their fitness goals. This has motivated some pupils to visit a leisure club in the evenings and at the weekends.

Teachers help pupils to find out about their ethnic or religious heritage. Pupils find out about the beliefs, traditions and foods of previous generations. For example, pupils have visited places of worship and cooked traditional dishes.

Teachers focus on preparing pupils for their next steps. For example, teachers help pupils to develop resilience and perseverance. This means that pupils try hard with their work even when they find it tricky. Leaders make sure that teachers have the experience and expertise to work with the school’s pupils. They have also devised highly specialist personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) and citizenship curriculums. These lessons complement other aspects of the anti-gang and anti-radicalisation programmes.

The proprietor keeps a close eye on the school’s performance. The lead teacher provides him with weekly reports. These set out how well the school is doing against prescribed measures. This helps alert the proprietor to any potential issues. Moreover, the proprietor has arranged for an experienced school leader to supervise and support the lead teacher.Leaders provided inspectors with comprehensive documentation to demonstrate how they reassure themselves that the school is well run. The proprietor makes sure that policies are kept up to date. These policies are suitable given the specialist nature of the provision. The proprietorial group’s quality assurance team carry out routine checks on the school. These checks make sure that teachers follow the school’s policies and procedures. This team also checks on the school’s compliance with independent school standards. The proprietor makes sure that any issues are dealt with promptly.

Leaders have made sure that the school complies with Schedule 10 of The Equality Act 2010. They have set out a comprehensive accessibility plan.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Safeguarding is effective. Leaders carry out all the required checks to make sure that staff are suitable to work with pupils. All concerns are recorded and reported appropriately. Staff complete regular safeguarding training. The school’s safeguarding policy and procedures are tailored to the needs of the pupils. There are comprehensive risk-management plans for each pupil. The bespoke clinical, educational and therapeutic care programmes help to reduce the risks to these pupils. Staff put in place high levels of supervision for pupils until they can be certain that these risks have reduced. Pupils and parents agree that staff do their utmost to keep pupils safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and proprietor)

Leaders are in the process of reviewing the curriculum plans for English and mathematics so as to personalise them fully to meet individual pupils’ needs. As pupils complete phase one of the school’s programme, they will move to more formal academic learning in these subjects. Teachers require detailed plans so that they know what to teach pupils, and when, in phases two and three. Leaders must prioritise the next stages in curriculum planning for these subjects so that pupils can succeed.