Red Boots School (National Institute of Conductive Education)

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About Red Boots School (National Institute of Conductive Education)

Name Red Boots School (National Institute of Conductive Education)
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Fiona Bilsborough
Address Cannon Hill House, 14 Russell Road, Birmingham, B13 8RD
Phone Number 01214491569
Phase Independent (special)
Type Other independent special school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 17 (47.1% boys 52.9% girls)
Local Authority Birmingham

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy school. They attend well, arrive on time and cannot wait to engage with the school day. Pupils are well cared for by adults who understand their individual needs.

Leaders have created a safe, ‘can-do’ culture where anything is possible. The specialist curriculum is planned with precision, right from the start in early years. It takes into account the specific needs of pupils and is delivered with expertise. Therefore, pupils achieve well academically, physically, socially and emotionally towards their personal targets.

Leaders have high aspirations. Well-planned learning and skilled staff ensure that pupils learn well. Staff are patient and persistent. They make sure that pupils meet challenging goals. Pupils make gains in their basic skills, including in English and mathematics. Reading is prioritised. Pupils read with confidence and fluency.

Pupils’ behaviour is exceptional. Kindness and tolerance are at the heart of the school. Pupils thrive as a result. Positive relationships between staff and pupils make this a happy place to learn. Differences are valued and achievements are celebrated.

Staff prepare pupils for independence. Pupils access a range of trips and visits and engage with outside speakers. These experiences equip pupils well for their future.

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

Leaders are aspirational for all pupils. They want all pupils to experience success. Leaders ensure that the specialist curriculum is well planned and considered to promote movement, communication and independence. These opportunities are placed at the heart of pupils’ learning experience. The ambitious and challenging aims span the academic, physical, social and emotional development of each pupil.

Staff are highly specialised. All pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities. Each pupil has an education, health and care plan supporting a range of complex physical and neurological difficulties. A number of pupils use additional equipment to support their mobility and communication. Staff know pupils well and understand their needs. They adapt learning carefully to make sure that it is accessible to all.

Positive learning experiences start in the nursery. Teachers plan activities with precision to support children with their physical development and communication. Children learn songs and rhymes in an immersive, play-based environment. This language-rich environment develops children’s readiness for their next phase.

Reading is prioritised. Pupils access regular phonics sessions with sounds reinforced through movement and songs. Pupils read books that match the sounds they are learning. They read with fluency and confidence. Teachers ask appropriate questions to make sure that pupils understand and remember what they have read.

In English and mathematics, teachers know the important curriculum content and the order in which it needs to be taught. Key learning and skills are regularly revised and practised. Pupils remember what they have been taught exceptionally well as a result. Regular assessment identifies the next steps for pupils and is used to inform their personal plans. This helps pupils to learn well.

Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. Leaders and all staff set high expectations around behaviour. Pupils learn about turn-taking, manners and kindness. Where gentle reminders are needed, pupils respond quickly to the requests of adults. Pupils told inspectors that school makes them happy and helps them to make friends.

Pupils engage in a wide set of experiences beyond the curriculum. Learning is enriched with purposeful trips and visits. Often, these take time to plan to ensure that pupils are well prepared. For example, to help pupils visit a supermarket, teachers created a pretend shop in the classroom. This provided pupils with the skills to visit a local supermarket. Pupils are encouraged to play an active role within their community. They recall these visits with excitement.

Leaders have carefully implemented the relationships and sex education curriculum. Appropriate emphasis is placed upon safe and healthy relationships, safe touch and consent. This is sensitively delivered as part of the specialist programme.

Leaders are considerate of staff’s well-being. They make sure that staff are able to access support if required. Staff speak highly of the professional development they receive. Leaders ensure they get appropriate training and expertise to carry out their roles effectively.

Parents and carers say their children have achieved more than they believed would be possible. The work of the school reaches far beyond the child, into the community. As one parent said, ‘The school provides a lifeline to support the entire family.’

The proprietor and governors oversee all aspects of the school’s performance. They are aware of their statutory responsibilities and ensure that these are met. The school meets the requirements of schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010 through a detailed accessibility plan.

Leaders’ frequent, robust checks on regulatory compliance ensure that the independent school standards are consistently met.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Processes to keep children safe are robust. Staff are appropriately trained in all aspects of child protection, including abuse and neglect. High levels of staff vigilance mean they are quick to identify when something is not quite right. Concerns are reported quickly, and leaders take swift action.

Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. They know about online safety, road safety and stranger danger.

The safeguarding policy is written with due regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. It is published on the school’s website.

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