|Name||St John’s School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Inspection Date||17 September 2014|
|Address||Austin Canons, Bedford Road, Kempston, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK42 8AA|
|Religious Character||Does Not Apply|
|Number of Pupils||165 (72% boys 28% girls)|
|Academy Sponsor||Bedford Inclusive Learning And Training Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||33.8%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||24.2%|
Information about this school
St John’s Special School and College converted to become an academy on 1 September 2011. When its predecessor school, St John’s School, was last inspected by Ofsted, it was judged to be outstanding. This is a school for pupils with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties. A high proportion of the pupils have complex needs and an increasing proportion have autistic spectrum disorders. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan. Some of the students at Key Stage 4 and most in the sixth form are based at the school’s annexe at Biddenham International School and Sports College. Some students in the sixth form spend much of their time at Stewart House, which is a sixth form study centre shared with Biddenham. The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium is a little above average. (This is government funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals or who are looked after by the local authority.) The long-serving headteacher who retired in July 2014 is continuing to lead the strategic development of St John’s in the role of executive principal. An interim headteacher, who was previously an assistant headteacher at the school, took over day-to-day leadership at the beginning of this term. The school intends to appoint a permanent headteacher later this year though the executive principal will remain in post.
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school. Leaders, managers and governors are highly ambitious for the school and have a clear vision for its future development. Senior leaders’ high expectations, combined with excellent opportunities for staff training, promote outstanding teaching and achievement. The school gathers a great deal of information about pupils’ needs and progress. Teachers use this very well in planning lessons that match the next steps in pupils’ development. Achievement is outstanding because a high proportion of students make more progress than expected. Pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties and those with autistic spectrum disorders do exceptionally well. Pupils enjoy school a great deal and have excellent attitudes to learning. Their behaviour and safety are outstanding. Pupils are valued as individuals and the school does much to raise their self-esteem. It promotes their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development outstandingly well. The curriculum closely reflects the learning needs of the pupils and prepares them extremely well for taking the fullest possible role in society. The sixth form is outstanding. It is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the school’s work. There is an excellent match between learning opportunities provided and students’ individual hopes for the future. The Early Years Foundation Stage is good. New early years accommodation is currently being built.