Royal School for the Blind (Liverpool)

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About Royal School for the Blind (Liverpool)

Name Royal School for the Blind (Liverpool)
Ofsted Inspections
Head of School Mrs Vicki Dwyer
Address Church Road North, Wavertree, Liverpool, L15 6TQ
Phone Number 01517331012
Phase Special
Type Non-maintained special school
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 81
Local Authority Liverpool
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Royal School for the Blind (Liverpool) continues to be an outstanding school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive at this school because leaders and staff provide them with a high-quality education. Throughout the classes, there is a buzz of eager activity as pupils learn new knowledge. Pupils said that they feel very happy and safe at the school.

Teachers and support staff work well together to meet the complex needs of pupils exceptionally well. This includes meeting the needs of pupils who have visual impairment.

Leaders and staff hold high expectations for all pupils' learning and behaviour.

Pupils behave extremely well. On the brief occasions... when pupils lose focus in their activities, staff are quick to bring pupils' attention back to their learning. Pupils said that leaders and staff resolve bullying quickly.

Pupils feel highly valued because staff respect what they say and do. Attractive displays of pupils' learning on walls around the school celebrate the high quality of their work and their involvement in educational trips. At breaktimes, staff give first-rate support for pupils' personal and social skills through worthwhile play activities.

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

Leaders make certain that all staff have excellent knowledge of curriculum subjects and teaching. Subject leaders know their subjects in expert detail. Leaders ensure that the school's curriculum gives all pupils, including children in the early years and students in the sixth form, a wonderful education, adapted to their individual needs.

Leaders set out the content of the curriculum in a logical order. They identify clearly the knowledge that staff will teach. Teachers double check that pupils' learning closely matches the targets in their education, health and care plans (EHC plan).

Staff focus fully on teaching because of limited low-level disruption by pupils.

The high-quality curriculum and effective support ensure that pupils attempt reading and pre-reading activities confidently. Pupils, including children in the early years, enjoy their experience of books due to the encouragement that they receive from staff and leaders.

Older pupils who are early readers showed attention and engagement when leafing through a book about sun hats. They pointed out particular features or objects, either naming them or responding to any questions from staff. As pupils move on through the school, the teaching of early reading focuses more on staff reading aloud to pupils.

Staff also enhance stories and texts, for example using audio devices and other tactile resources to very good effect when teaching pupils to read. Where appropriate, pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of phonics so that they read and spell words with independence. Pupils with visual impairment learn to spell their names using Braille.

Due to their complex needs, pupils make small but important steps in their learning. Experienced, skilful staff teach pupils to make many successful gains in their knowledge. Teachers revisit pupils' prior learning to help them to build on what they already know.

For instance, in the Nursery class, staff help pupils to tolerate repeated sensory experiences, such as when staff count to three while simultaneously touching pupils' faces with a soft cloth. In the sixth form, staff thoughtfully help students to prepare for adulthood. Due to staff's consistent, expert attention to pupils' needs, pupils throughout the school achieve exceptionally well.

Teachers very skilfully use assessment information about pupils' learning and development to improve teaching. Staff celebrate pupils' learning successes and share this information with parents and carers. Leaders make full use of the expertise of other professionals to help improve teaching.

For example, specialists in visual impairment train staff to understand and use multisensory resources, such as Braille, to support pupils.Leaders and staff give an exceptional focus to the wider development of pupils, including children in the early years and students in the sixth form. They prioritise pupils' independence and life skills as essential learning.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed many school trips and reduced the number of visitors to the school, leaders are re-establishing these opportunities for pupils. For instance, pupils made a recent visit to a pumpkin farm where they learned how to make pumpkin soup. Pupils enjoy a range of exciting activities, such as swimming, zoo trips and shopping.

They learn to apply their skills, such as using money, as well as becoming more independent. Staff give pupils regular guidance about possible careers. This includes explaining the opportunities to complete volunteering and work experience in the local community.

Leaders support the work of staff very well, including through access to training and development opportunities. They ensure that staff have a reasonable workload. Teachers and teaching assistants love being part of the staff team at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Leaders and staff hold up-to-date knowledge on safeguarding. They understand the many potential risks to pupils' welfare and safety.

Leaders ensure that staff fully understand the safeguarding policies of the school. Leaders have effective systems in place to monitor and support the needs of all pupils. Leaders and staff are vigilant for any signs that pupils may be at risk of harm.

They act effectively to ensure that pupils are properly safeguarded. They engage well with other agencies and professionals where required.


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

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in May 2011.

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