Presfield High School and Specialist College

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About Presfield High School and Specialist College

Name Presfield High School and Specialist College
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Lucy McLoughlin
Address Preston New Road, Churchtown, Southport, PR9 8PA
Phone Number 01704227831
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 123
Local Authority Sefton
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Presfield High School and Specialist College continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Each day, pupils are warmly welcomed to this happy and inclusive school. They benefit from a culture that celebrates uniqueness and difference. This provides them with a sense of respect and belonging.

Pupils enjoy strong, caring relationships with adults, who know them well. They value the wide range of pastoral support that adults offer them. They trust that there is always an adult available to help them if they are worried.

The school has high expectations. Staff put no ceiling on what they want pupils to achieve by the time they leave. They are successful... in ensuring that most pupils achieve well.

Pupils, all of whom have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are well prepared for their next steps in education.

Pupils behave well around school. Adults help them to learn well and to socialise during break and lunchtimes.

They skilfully help them to regulate their behaviour and manage their emotions.

Pupils enjoy the opportunities that the school offers them to develop themselves personally and ready themselves for adult life. For example, pupils, including students in the sixth form, learn to use public transport, go shopping, cook meals and complete domestic chores.

These valuable activities equip them well for life outside school. They become increasingly confident and independent.

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

The school has designed an effective curriculum which reflects a determination that every pupil should be well prepared for their next stage in education and for life in modern Britain.

In most subjects, the curriculum gives pupils the knowledge and understanding to be confident learners and achieve success. The school has thought carefully about what it wants to teach pupils and the order in which it wants staff to teach it. However, this is not the case in a small number of subjects for which the school has not yet finalised the curriculum.

Sometimes, this hinders how well some pupils learn. Despite this, most pupils achieve well in most subjects.

Teachers explain new ideas clearly.

They are knowledgeable about the subjects that they teach. They help pupils to revisit and remember important learning. They use assessment well to ensure that all staff know exactly what pupils know.

Learning goals in pupils' education, health and care (EHC) plans are interwoven into all aspects of the curriculum and each pupil's personalised pathway.

Developing effective communication and language skills is at the heart of the school's work. The school has given a great deal of thought to how to meet the wide range of pupils' communication, language and social interaction needs, such as those of highly academic students who want to work in industry or go to university.

Staff have helped these students to develop social skills to enable them to communicate confidently in these settings.

Although communication, language and social interaction have a high profile in the school, a few teachers are less confident in using the agreed strategies. Occasionally, staff do not provide pupils with enough opportunities to develop and apply their communication and language skills across the whole curriculum.

Reading and enjoying books and stories have a high profile in the school. Pupils are excited to be getting a new school library soon. They have played a central part in designing the new facility.

The school has a good understanding of where all pupils are in reading development. Adults help pupils who find reading more difficult. They support them effectively.

Pupils' behaviour is good. The nature of many pupils' needs means that they might occasionally disturb lessons. When this is the case, adults skilfully keep disruption to a minimum.

Pupils enjoy a harmonious environment that ensures effective learning. The school has worked hard to improve the attendance of pupils, which had dipped following the COVID-19 pandemic. There are signs of improvement in this area.

The school offers a range of opportunities to increase pupils' awareness and enjoyment of the world around them. Pupils visit museums and galleries and enjoy a range of residential experiences where they learn to climb, cave, kayak and abseil. Older pupils and sixth-form students take part in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme and have the opportunity to be reading and sports mentors at the local primary school.

Comprehensive careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) are available to pupils. This includes work experience, work-placement opportunities and other practical experiences, which are all aimed at developing pupils' confidence, resilience, and independence skills.

Governors hold leaders to account for their work to improve the curriculum.

They are an effective, knowledgeable and experienced governing body. Staff feel that the new leadership team is considerate of their workload and well-being and take this into account when making changes. They are proud to work at the school.

The school works tirelessly to help parents and carers both pastorally and in relation to their children's education.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a small number of subjects, the school has not given sufficient thought to the essential knowledge that pupils must have and in what order they should acquire it.

Consequently, some pupils do not achieve as well as they could in these subjects. The school should finalise its curriculum thinking in these subjects so that teachers have enough information to shape teaching and enable all pupils to achieve well. ? A few adults are less confident at using the agreed communication, language and social-interaction strategies.

As a result, pupils occasionally miss out on opportunities to develop and apply their communication and language skills across the whole curriculum. The school should ensure that all adults are well equipped and confident in using the school's agreed communication, language and social-interaction strategies.


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

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 good in March 2018.

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