Percy Hedley School

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About Percy Hedley School

Name Percy Hedley School
Ofsted Inspections
Head Teacher Dr John Steward
Address West Lane, Killingworth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE12 7BH
Phone Number 01912161811
Phase Special
Type Non-maintained special school
Age Range 3-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 157
Local Authority North Tyneside
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of outstanding as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now. The school's next inspection will be a graded inspection.

The headteacher of this school is Dr John Steward. This school is part of Percy Hedley Foundation, which means other people in the trust also have responsibility for running the school. The trust is run by the chief executive officer, Rob McDonald, and overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Janet Donnelly.

What is it like to attend this school?

Percy He...dley School is a welcoming and friendly place. The school is calm and orderly. Leaders at all levels have developed the curriculum to ensure that it is ambitious and engaging.

The curriculum is well designed and meets the needs of pupils from the early years to post-16 well. Preparing pupils for adulthood and developing pupils' communication skills are key features of the curriculum. Staff have a good awareness of pupils' individual learning needs.

They successfully adapt lessons to ensure pupils progress well.

The school has specialist facilities and resources to support a range of complex special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). These facilities include a hydrotherapy pool and outside play areas that promote movement.

There are therapeutic spaces and resources to support pupils with physical disabilities. On-site specialist staff such as speech and language therapists and physiotherapists support pupils and advise teachers well. This helps to ensure pupils receive regular specialist support.

The school places a high emphasis on pupil welfare. Pupils can seek the support of the pupil well-being team if they have any worries or concerns. This ensures pupils feel safe.

Bullying is infrequent. On the very rare occasions it does happen, staff intervene swiftly.

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

Since the previous inspection, the school has strengthened its curriculum.

It is split into three learning pathways that match pupils' SEND needs and academic ability. Across age groups, the curriculum is skilfully delivered by knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff. Adaptations are made that ensure all pupils access lessons well.

Reading and communication are prioritised across the school. Books typically match pupils' reading ability. Pupils routinely use their phonic knowledge to tackle new words successfully.

Pupils who are not yet ready to learn phonics are supported to develop their listening and speaking skills. Some pupils learn Makaton to communicate or use assistive technology, such as voice output communication aids.

Curriculum maps for science and for personal, social and health education (PSHE) are clearly organised.

They detail what is to be learned and when. The school has ambition for all pupils to progress well. Older pupils pursue a range of qualifications that meet their individual needs.

This prepares them for the next steps in their education and towards adulthood.

Pupils interact confidently with visitors. They are polite and courteous.

Most pupils are happy in the school. They say it is a 'privilege' to have a place there. Pupils know that adults will support them if they need help.

Pupils behave well. If they need help to manage their behaviour, staff steer them back on track effectively. Pupils fully engage with learning.

This means lessons are calm.

Overall school attendance is not good enough. Despite receiving transport into school, too many pupils are frequently absent.

The school's actions to reduce absence have increased over the last academic year. However, progress is limited. The school has recently invested in extra staffing to help tackle absence.

The school is further developing its work to promote pupils' regular attendance.

The school prioritises pupils' personal development. Leaders at all levels ensure there is a sharp focus on all aspects of pupils' development.

There is a comprehensive wider development offer that is informed by pupil voice. Staff lead a variety of activities during the day to develop pupils' creative, sporting and social skills. Pupils follow the school's '30 activities' pledge.

This includes visiting museums, places of worship and the local area.

Pupils learn to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy. They know the link between movement and positive physical health.

They understand that what they eat plays an important part in their well-being. Pupils have an age-appropriate understanding of consent and physical touch. They know what is acceptable.

Pupils have some awareness of the risks they face in the community. They have a stronger understanding of how to keep themselves safe while using technology.

Staff speak highly of the school.

Leaders at all levels engage staff to minimise any workload issues. Staff have enough time to assess pupils regularly and prepare for meetings. Early career teachers feel well supported.

They receive appropriate mentoring and time to organise lessons. Trustees are proud of the school's work to support pupils with SEND. They are willing to share successful practice with other schools.

Governors challenge the school's work effectively. Trustees and governors are aware of their statutory responsibilities. This includes all matters relating to safeguarding.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Too many pupils are frequently absent. This limits their learning and has an impact on their academic progress.

The school should strengthen its attendance systems and attendance strategy to promote regular pupil attendance. The school should provide challenge and support for parents to help them to overcome any barriers that may prevent their child from attending school regularly.


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 second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in March 2013.

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