Orchard Manor School

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About Orchard Manor School

Name Orchard Manor School
Ofsted Inspections
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Mrs Nicola Jones
Address John Nash Drive, Dawlish, EX7 9SF
Phone Number 01626862363
Phase Academy (special)
Type Academy special sponsor led
Age Range 3-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 197
Local Authority Devon
Highlights from Latest Inspection
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are not kept safe. Registration processes are not followed closely enough.

Therefore, at times adults do not know if pupils have arrived at school or whether they are absent. This is a significant safeguarding risk.

Pupils forge positive friendships during their time here.

They particularly enjoy playing football together during social times. Pupils are not unduly concerned by bullying.

Pupils readily identify many aspects of schooling that they enjoy.

At the top of pupils' lists of positives is the way that staff make their education an enjoyable experience. Staff know their pupils well and have high expectations of what pupils are c...apable of. In return, pupils try their best and are determined to succeed.

They respond well to the ready encouragement that is on hand.

Pupils say that they like learning in this school, including in mathematics, science and cookery. However, the learning in some subjects is not well planned to promote secure learning.

Nevertheless, most pupils feel that learning is fun. They say that sometimes they are distracted by others' behaviour. However, pupils are confident that staff manage such situations effectively.

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

Leaders do not maintain accurate attendance information. Pupils' registration status is not always recorded consistently or correctly. Incorrect changes are made to pupils' registration marks without adequate justification.

The statutory guidelines for maintaining pupils' attendance records are not followed. All this means that pupils' attendance rates look better than they are.

Since the school amalgamated in September 2018, staff have had to adjust to considerable change.

Leaders have overhauled many systems and processes and introduced new ways of working. Leaders' school improvement planning is detailed and sets out appropriate school improvement priorities. Some aspects are improving securely, such as a reduction in the incidents of bullying.

However, everyone's efforts are not yet cohesive. Leaders have not yet gained the full confidence or trust of staff. Many staff say that they do not feel valued or treated with respect.

Staff do not feel empowered nor a proactive part of the school's improvement journey.

Leaders have strengthened the school's curricular offer. They are determined that pupils are well prepared for their adult lives, gaining the qualifications they need to be successful when they leave.

Leaders make sensible decisions about the subjects on offer and how they will be implemented. New subject leaders are beginning to take greater ownership of the school's curriculum. With support, these leaders have produced helpful subject overviews.

These demonstrate a clear and logical sequence to pupils' learning. This approach is making a positive difference, although the changes are not yet sufficiently embedded to ensure a consistently good quality of education.Leaders have implemented a consistent approach to teaching in some subject areas.

Staff demonstrate secure and shared subject knowledge that is supported well by useful training. Useful and proportionate assessment processes have started. However, there is some inconsistency in how teachers make use of this information to guide pupils' future learning.

In some instances, there is a mismatch between learning goals and pupils' capabilities.

Opportunities for pupils to read and learn about books are securely evident throughout the school. Most pupils are reading books that match their capabilities and interest level.

Leaders are rightly prioritising the teaching of reading and making appropriate adaptations as new ways of working take hold.

Pupils' life skills and their resilience are developed well. For instance, sixth-form students confidently set up lunchtime without the need for adult intervention.

Staff strongly promote pupils' independence through the adoption of well-established routines. Pupils are confident because staff create an ethos of belonging.

Sixth-form students are benefiting from the move to a new purpose-built facility.

This provides an attractive place to learn. Pupils are treated as young adults and benefit from the school's very personalised approach. Key areas such as literacy, numeracy, employability and the development of life skills are prioritised in equal measure.

This means that pupils are well prepared for the next stage.

Governors have played an instrumental role in supporting the amalgamation process. Governors are aware that there remains tension between leaders' priorities and levels of staff engagement and confidence.


The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective.

Leaders do not know, or record accurately, which pupils have arrived on site and which pupils have not. Accounting for pupils' whereabouts is not taken seriously enough.

This puts pupils at risk.

When concerns arise about adults or pupils, leaders ensure that they seek relevant advice or intervention from a range of services. The appropriate course of action is followed.

However, in some instances, first-hand accounts are not recorded. Although concerns are dealt with satisfactorily, there is a lack of emphasis on the importance of first-hand reporting.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The school's registration processes are not followed carefully enough, and this leaves staff unclear of pupils' whereabouts.

Frequently, pupils' attendance is either not recorded at all or inaccurately recorded. This poses a safeguarding risk. Leaders need to make sure that all pupils are accounted for and are kept safe.

. Staff have received appropriate safeguarding training. When concerns arise, leaders take appropriate action.

However, record-keeping systems need to strengthen so that all concerns are carefully recorded first-hand. . The school's attendance information is inaccurate.

Recording pupils' attendance information correctly is a statutory obligation. Leaders need to ensure that the school's attendance processes comply with the Department for Education's requirements. .

The school's curriculum is well sequenced. However, it is very new and, consequently, staff are still getting to grips with leaders' expectations. Leaders should ensure that staff continue to receive support and guidance to implement leaders' curricular expectations confidently and skilfully.

. The school has undergone significant change. Leaders have brought about improvement, and expectations have risen considerably.

Nevertheless, some staff and parents and carers remain unsettled by the rapid rate of change. Some staffing arrangements are still not fully established. Leaders need to ensure that they gain the full confidence of everyone, so to unify the school community towards common goals.

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