Park Community Academy

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About Park Community Academy

Name Park Community Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Gill Hughes
Address 158 Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9HF
Phone Number 01253764130
Phase Academy (special)
Type Academy special converter
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 322
Local Authority Blackpool
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Park Community Academy continues to be an outstanding school.

The headteacher of this school is Gill Hughes. The school is part of the Sea View Trust which means that other people in the trust also have responsibility for running the school. The trust is run by the chief executive officer (CEO), Angela Holdsworth, and overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Martyn Jones.

What is it like to attend this school?

Park Community Academy (PCA) is a school where everyone is welcome. The school recognises pupils, including children in the early years, and students in the sixth form, as incredibly talented individuals. All pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)....

The school's tenacious approach to enabling pupils to overcome their barriers to learning helps them to thrive.

Pupils and staff diligently follow the 'PCA way'. This approach outlines the school's high expectations for pupils' learning and behaviour.

Pupils learn to follow well-structured routines. Over time, pupils' behaviour improves considerably. This is clearly shown in the exemplary attitudes of older pupils.

Pupils receive a broad curriculum that meets their needs exceptionally well. Staff build strong relationships with pupils, parents and carers. Parents appreciate the wide range of support provided by the school which enables their children to excel.

These effective relationships, coupled with the exceptionally well-designed curriculum, mean that most pupils achieve highly from their starting points.

Pupils enjoy a vast array of wider opportunities. Clubs include cheerleading, horticulture, fitness and cooking.

Pupils spoke fondly of the school therapy dogs, Daisy and Molly. The school band and choir perform at concerts regularly.

Pupils benefit from residential visits that broaden their horizons.

They excel in many sporting competitions. Pupils benefit from high-quality play opportunities at social times. Due to these activities, they are happy and well-prepared for life beyond school.

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

The school's curriculum is well organised and highly ambitious. The school has outlined what knowledge pupils must learn and by when. As well as delivering the academic curriculum, staff are highly focused on improving pupils' personal, social and emotional development, as they move from the early years to the sixth form.

As a priority, the school has focused on ensuring that the curriculum meets the needs of pupils with increasingly complex SEND. For example, skilled staff use a range of highly effective communication strategies to enable pupils to learn new knowledge and skills. The curriculum is also successfully enhanced by the school's close work with specialists.

The school's collaboration with specialists enables staff to individualise each pupil's education with skill and with the upmost care. This, alongside thorough assessment information, helps staff to identify gaps in pupils' knowledge and any changes to their SEND.

The school supports staff to develop strong subject knowledge.

Staff also provide activities that help pupils to learn the curriculum exceptionally well. For example, pupils routinely revisit important topics and concepts. Consequently, pupils improve their depth of knowledge in all subjects.

For many pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, this leads to valuable external accreditations. These qualifications enable pupils to achieve their future ambitions.

The curriculum in the post-16 provision has a first-class focus on students' academic and personal achievement.

Students spoke highly of the school and the positive impact that it has had on their independence and preparation for adulthood.

The school has established a well-embedded phonics curriculum. Prior to starting this, pupils receive excellent help to develop their listening and attention skills.

The school provides strong support for pupils who are at the early stages of reading, or who are developing their pre-reading skills. This continues for as long as required. Over time, pupils improve their ability to read and/or communicate with confidence.

Highly trained staff deploy effective strategies to help any pupils who need support to improve their behaviour. Pupils are very polite and care for each other. They hold doors open for adults and peers, and welcome visitors to their classrooms.

The school interacts regularly with families. Parents are fully appreciative of the range of workshops and coffee mornings on offer. These activities help them to understand the school's approach to developing pupils' reading and communication skills.

The school is determined that pupils will become responsible, resilient and successful citizens. Pupils elect their peers to a range of leadership roles. Head pupils and prefects promote the 'PCA way'.

Eco warriors encourage their classmates to protect the environment.

The school provides pertinent careers information, advice and guidance. This includes work experience that is carefully matched to pupils' aspirations.

The school ensures that staff, including those new to teaching, quickly become part of the PCA team. Staff reported that their workload is considered carefully. They appreciate working across departments, and the trust.

Staff are very proud to work at the school.

Despite the many strengths of the school, everyone is firmly committed to continuous improvement. Those responsible for governance have a secure understanding of their statutory responsibilities.

Trustees and governors offer highly effective support and challenge to the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.


When we have judged a school to be outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in May 2018.

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