The Beacon Folkestone


Name The Beacon Folkestone
Website http://www.thebeacon.kent.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 12 February 2019
Address Park Farm Road, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 5DN
Phone Number 01303847555
Type Special
Age Range 3-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 372 (66% boys 34% girls)
Local Authority Kent
Percentage Free School Meals 37.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.7%
Catchment Area Information Available No, we only have catchment area data for schools in England

Information about this school

The Beacon was formed to accommodate pupils from its two predecessor schools, Foxwood and Highview. The school opened in September 2016. The Beacon hosts a multi-agency support hub containing National Health Service provision, paediatric services and children’s social services alongside the school’s multi agency support team. Additionally, the Beacon runs the specialist teaching and learning service for the Shepway District. The school caters for pupils aged 3 to 19 with complex needs, profound and severe learning difficulties, and physical and sensory impairment. All the pupils have an education, health and care plan. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for support provided by the pupil premium is higher than average. The executive headteacher is also the lead professional of the Kent Special Educational Needs Trust. A senior leader was promoted in January and is now the headteacher at The Beacon.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school The executive headteacher, supported by the headteacher and senior leaders, has a clear vision for the future of the school. This is shared by all the staff, who believe that outstanding is just a word and that the school can always evolve further. The highly effective governors share the staff’s ambition. Senior and middle leaders are very skilled and ensure that each pupil can succeed. Pupils make excellent progress from their starting points because learning is personalised and expectations are high. Teaching is very effective. Teachers are encouraged to be reflective and are supported by well-considered training and coaching. The success of the self-reflective coaching practice has led leaders to recognise that this approach would benefit and support the teaching assistants’ professional development. The behaviour of pupils in classrooms and around school is outstanding. Pupils feel safe at school and this enables them to thrive. The school’s early years provision gives children a strong start. The children make excellent progress because activities are planned carefully to take account of their individual needs and starting points. Students aged 16 to 19 make outstanding progress. They are very well prepared for further education, training or employment. Staff work highly effectively with providers, parents and carers to make sure that students’ transition is as smooth as possible when they leave the school. The Beacon has two specialist teams that are co-located with specialist National Health Service (NHS) and social services colleagues in a multi-agency support hub (MASH). This is a huge benefit to the school community and has led to strong and effective partnerships with parents and external agencies. Leaders and teachers at The Beacon regularly offer their support and expertise to other schools in the local area and across the Kent Special Educational Needs Trust (KSENT).