Taunton Deane Partnership College

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Taunton Deane Partnership College


Name Taunton Deane Partnership College
Website http://www.tauntondeanepartnershipcollege.org
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 03 December 2019
Address Northfields, Bishops Hull, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 5DR
Phone Number 01823349338
Type Pupil Referral Unit
Age Range 5-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 36 (66% boys 34% girls)
Local Authority Somerset
Percentage Free School Meals 22.9%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Taunton Deane Partnership College provides pupils with a calm and safe place where they learn to re-engage in their education. Pupils begin to understand the importance of education and the need to learn. This was summed up in the following comment from a pupil, ‘I have high aspirations, I want a future.’ Pupils appreciate the support and guidance they receive. They feel staff believe in them and that their future success is important to them.

Pupils feel safe and are confident that staff keep them safe. Pupils learn to trust staff and are able to share their worries and concerns. They are adamant that bullying does not happen. Pupils talk about the numerous ways staff help them to regulate their emotions. Consequently, pupils behave well.

Leaders have high expectations of pupils. Staff share the belief that all pupils will be successful in their learning. As a result, pupils achieve well and their gaps in knowledge are closing quickly.

The curriculum generally meets the needs of pupils. However, leaders recognise there is more work to do in developing the curriculum offer. At the moment, pupils do not have access to a wide range of vocational qualifications.

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

All pupils who attend this school are highly vulnerable and have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Their previous experiences of education have not been positive. A lot of the pupils have had poor attendance. Some have had long gaps in their education.

Personal, social and health education is at the centre of the school’s work. Staff work closely with other agencies to ensure that pupils get the correct guidance and support to meet their needs. For example, leaders have worked hard with pupils to significantly reduce their nicotine intake. This work, along with the range of therapies available, is helping to reduce pupils’ anxious behaviours and increase their ability to regulate their behaviour.

Relationships are a significant strength of the school. There is mutual respect between staff and pupils. Pupils describe how they now have a future because of the care and support they are given. As a result, on arrival to the school, pupils settle quickly. Parents and carers who spoke with inspectors could not speak highly enough of the school. They appreciate the difference that it has made to their child’s life. Consequently, behaviour is good and pupils demonstrate a positive attitude to their learning. Attendance is also improving but leaders acknowledge this is still not good enough. They know that if pupils do not attend, this can have a detrimental effect on their achievement.

Leaders work hard to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of each pupil. Subjects are well planned and sequenced appropriately. There are high expectations that pupils will study subjects across the national curriculum and sit their GCSEs. This is because leaders are determined that pupils will be successful in returning to mainstream education and, therefore, want pupils to catch up and not fall behind their peers. Nevertheless, the curriculum for vocational studies is underdeveloped. Leaders have secure plans in place to ensure that they can offer vocational qualifications such as mechanics and hospitality, but these courses are not yet available to pupils.

The headteacher is determined that every pupil will be a fluent and confident reader. Phonics is taught effectively to ensure that younger pupils gain the knowledge they need to read well. Many older pupils have lost their love and enjoyment of reading. Staff are working hard to reignite pupils’ enthusiasm, for example, having newspapers around for pupils to access when they arrive in school.

Leaders, including committee members, have an accurate understanding of what is and is not going well. However, they agree that their improvement plan lacks precision. It does not show clearly how actions are going to improve pupils’ achievement and who is responsible for monitoring this work. Too often, it is left to the headteacher to implement the plan and monitor the effectiveness of actions taken.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose. Systems for reporting and recording safeguarding concerns are robust.

Staff receive regular updates on safeguarding in line with current legislation. They know what to do if they have any concerns or worries to minimise risk to pupils and keep them safe. Leaders have a strong focus on ensuring pupils’ good mental health is a high priority in their work to safeguard pupils. Parents appreciate the support and guidance their children receive ‘an absolute life saver’ and ‘my child is thriving’ were typical comments made.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders’ improvement planning is not yet sufficiently precise in setting out the actions that need to be taken to improve the school. The plan does not show how, and by whom, these actions will be checked for their effectiveness. As a result, improvement work is not targeted or checked precisely enough to make the identified improvements. Leaders need to be more precise in their improvement planning, detailing who will make these checks. . Leaders have designed a curriculum which is generally well planned. They acknowledge that more curriculum development is required in response to the needs of the pupils. Leaders need to ensure that pupils have access to an equally well-planned and sequenced curriculum for all subjects, particularly in vocational qualifications. . Leaders are working hard to make sure that pupils attend school regularly. However, they acknowledge that, while improving, pupils do not attend as often as they should. Leaders need to ensure that robust strategies are in place to secure better attendance for all pupils.