Pioneer House High School

Name Pioneer House High School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 08 May 2019
Address 200 Yewtree Lane, Northern Moor, Manchester, M23 0FF
Phone Number 01612418100
Type Special
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Academy Sponsor Prospere Learning Trust
Local Authority Manchester
Percentage Free School Meals 63.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Pioneer House High School opened as an academy free school in September 2016. This school was set up to develop ‘confident, independent young people who enjoy life and make a positive contribution to their community’. It is one of the six schools that form a multi-academy trust. The chief executive officer of Prospere Learning Trust oversees the six schools. The school is governed by a local governing body which reports to the board of trustees. Pioneer House High School moved to a purpose-built new building two years ago. It has a range of facilities, including a one-bedroom bungalow, polytunnel, wooded area and play areas. The school caters for pupils with SEND. All the pupils have education, health and care plans. All the pupils have significant learning difficulties. Some pupils also have autistic spectrum conditions, while others are hearing impaired. The majority of pupils join the school from mainstream schools at Years 7 and 12, although the first three intakes have seen pupils joining in all year groups. In the first two years after the school opened, a significant number of pupils joined the school from Piper Hill School, a specialist support school within the multi-academy trust. Most recently, pupils have joined from a range of other providers, including special schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision. Currently, most pupils who attend the school are placed by Manchester local authority. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is well above the national average. A very small number of pupils are looked after by the local authority. Most pupils are of White British heritage. A small proportion of pupils speak English as an additional language. The majority of pupils are boys.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school This school’s success is the fruition of years of meticulous planning and preparation. Leaders have been relentless in their pursuit of excellence. Consequently, the first cohort of pupils to leave the school has secured qualifications and paid employment. Leaders, trustees and governors have an accurate view of the school’s performance. They use a wealth of reliable information, both qualitative and quantitative, to identify priorities and evaluate the impact of their actions. This has ensured sustained and substantial improvements to the provision since the school opened. This is a school where no one rests on their laurels. When pupils started to exceed the targets set for them, leaders set considerably more challenging targets. Teachers and pupils rose to this challenge so that current pupils, particularly the most able, make exceptional progress from their starting points. Lower-ability pupils do comparatively less well. Pupils’ behaviour, both in lessons and around school, is calm and orderly. Pupils quickly learn to better regulate their own behaviour so that incidents reduce in frequency and severity. Pupils are sensitive to each other’s needs and offer unsolicited support and guidance to each other. The school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well. Pupils understand and carry out their responsibilities as young citizens of Manchester. Safeguarding is effective. Pupils are exceptionally well cared for. Pupils are highly knowledgeable about the potential risks to them, both at school and in their community, and how best to manage these. Not a moment is wasted in the classroom. Teachers plan lessons meticulously so that they engage and enthuse pupils, build on previous learning and provide suitable challenge, particularly for the most able pupils. Leaders refine and improve the school’s curriculum offer continually. They make sure that teachers have the support, training and resources to plan and deliver lessons in the different subjects. Leaders’ investment in their staff is paying dividends. Leaders are adept at talent spotting, committed to helping staff develop their careers and confident to let staff take risks and try things out for themselves. This approach has helped them establish a successful team. Pupils are happy to come to school. Almost all pupils attend school on time every day. A small number of pupils have joined the school more recently with a history of poor attendance. All these pupils have improved their attendance as a result of the school’s support and challenge. The school’s 16 to 19 provision has gone from strength to strength. Pupils are well prepared to run their homes, manage their finances and hold down a job when they leave the school.