Maharishi Free School

Name Maharishi Free School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 08 November 2017
Address Cobbs Brow Lane, Lathom, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L40 6JJ
Phone Number 01695729912
Type Academy
Age Range 4-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 213 (40% boys 60% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 13.8
Academy Sponsor Maharishi School Trust Ltd
Local Authority Lancashire
Percentage Free School Meals 10.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%
Persisitent Absence 18.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 25.4%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Maharishi Free School opened in September 2011, designated as an all-ability non-selective school. It is a non-religious, non-denominational school for pupils aged 4 to 16 years, situated on the outskirts of Skelmersdale. The school includes ‘consciousness-based education’ and transcendental meditation within its curriculum. The school is owned by the Maharishi School Trust. There are three layers of management oversight. The board of governors (who are also trustees and directors) is responsible for the strategic direction and governance of the school. The board of members comprises the nominal shareholders of the organisation. They are responsible for the maintenance of the school’s ethos and educational objectives. A finance committee is responsible for finance and staffing matters and reports to the board of governors. The current headteacher took up her post on 1 September 2016. The school has seen a great deal of change to teaching personnel over the last two years. The proportion of pupils on roll who have SEN and/or disabilities has been increasing over recent years and this is now much larger than average. The proportion of pupils who are disadvantaged is also increasing and is also larger than average. The school does not use alternative provision or have any off-site provision run in conjunction with other schools. The school meets the Department for Education’s definition of a coasting school based on key stage 2 academic performance results in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish on its website.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The current headteacher took up post in September 2016. At that time, outcomes had deteriorated and the Department for Education considered the school to be coasting. The headteacher’s outstanding contribution has driven rapid and considerable improvement. Staff and school governors acknowledge that the headteacher has achieved this improvement in academic outcomes while maintaining the school’s ethos and the pupils’ excellent personal and spiritual development. Pupils are considerate, confident and socialise very well. They are interested in other people’s points of view. They communicate well. Pupils are very well prepared for their next stages in education. A considerable number of teachers have joined the school over very recent years. They have brought experience and fresh ideas. Teachers and teaching assistants have supported the headteacher well in bringing about school improvement. Morale is high. Children get off to a good start in the early years. However, underdeveloped outdoor provision limits their opportunities. Pupils’ attitudes and behaviour are outstanding. They are very keen to learn, they listen well and are able to express their carefully considered views respectfully. Pupils care for each other and make a major contribution to ensuring that their school is cohesive, safe and orderly. Pupils are happy and content. Outcomes in 2016 were the poorest in the school’s history. Achievement in Year 6 mathematics was inadequate. The quality of mathematics teaching improved quickly over the following year, and in 2017, results in mathematics at the end of key stage 2 improved considerably. However, not all teachers teach mathematics skilfully and confidently. There is some good teaching practice across the school. However, not all teachers plan learning activities based on a secure knowledge of their pupils’ prior understanding. Some teachers use questioning well, but not all. Although teachers’ expectations of their pupils are rising, some teachers do not routinely challenge their pupils to think more deeply and work at a higher level.