Mount Tamar School

Name Mount Tamar School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 13 July 2017
Address Row Lane, Higher St Budeaux, Plymouth, Devon, PL5 2EF
Phone Number 01752365128
Type Special
Age Range 4-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 105 (91% boys 9% girls)
Local Authority Plymouth
Percentage Free School Meals 45.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%
Persisitent Absence 45%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. Mount Tamar is a residential special school, maintained by Plymouth City Council. The school caters for pupils aged from five to 16 who have complex needs, including autism, and severe emotional, social and mental health difficulties. There are currently no children in the early years in the school. The school has recently refurbished the residential accommodation. During the refurbishment, no pupils were resident in this setting. The residential setting currently caters for 13 pupils who attend the school. The majority of the pupils are White British and there are significantly more boys than girls. There are currently 101 pupils on roll. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan. The school is based on its main site in Row Lane. The school also operates six off-site ‘Aspire’ centres in the City of Plymouth. These centres provide education for pupils with a history of poor attendance or complex social, emotional and mental health needs. One of these off-site settings is a farm where pupils go to learn land management skills. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for support through the pupil premium is above average. This is additional government funding provided for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals or who are looked after by the local authority. The school was previously inspected in March 2015. At this time, the overall effectiveness was judged to require improvement. The subsequent monitoring inspection in July 2015 found that leaders were taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement at the previous inspection. The most recent inspection of the school’s residential provision took place in January 2016, when the overall experiences and progress of children and young people were found to be good.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Leaders demonstrate an uncompromising drive to provide the very best education for their pupils. The school has improved rapidly since the previous inspection. Governors provide very strong support and challenge to leaders. Leaders have an in-depth understanding of the school’s strengths and the steps they need to take to improve it further. Senior leaders provide high-quality coaching and mentoring to staff. As a result, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment has improved significantly and continues to do so. Pupils’ outcomes have improved since the previous inspection. Most pupils make at least good progress from their starting points. Improving the progress of the most able pupils continues to be a focus for the school. Middle leaders support staff effectively to improve their teaching. Nonetheless, some inconsistency remains in the implementation of the school’s agreed approaches to improve the quality of teaching. The school meets the national minimum standards for residential special schools. Leaders have transformed the quality of accommodation in the residential setting. The recent appointment of an independent visitor is supporting pupils’ safety. However, the role is not yet sufficiently well developed to fully evaluate the quality of residential care. Staff build effective relationships with their pupils both in school and in the residential setting. Pupils’ behaviour improves over time. While the school forges constructive relationships with many parents, there are others who are dissatisfied. School leaders have recognised the need for better working relationships in some cases. Leaders provide effective training to support staff in managing pupils’ challenging behaviour. The number of physical restraints has fallen considerably this academic year. The curriculum supports pupils’ self-esteem and aspirations. However, leaders are aware that some pupils need to develop greater independence and resilience. Compliance with national minimum standards for residential special schools The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the national minimum standards for residential special schools and associated requirements.