The Russett School

Name The Russett School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school, converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Inspection Date 08 July 2014
Address Middlehurst Avenue, Weaverham, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 3BW
Phone Number 01606853005
Type Special
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Academy Sponsor The Russett Learning Trust
Local Authority Cheshire West and Chester
Percentage Free School Meals 52.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.1%
Persisitent Absence 23.6%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The Russett is a school for pupils and students who have a range of severe, profound and complex needs, including a large minority with autism spectrum conditions. The school also makes provision across Cheshire and from neighbouring authorities for pupils who have multi-sensory impairments. Pupils can be admitted to the school at any time, with a significant proportion of those with autism being admitted at later stages in their schooling, sometimes after periods out of school. Nearly all pupils are White British. A much higher proportion than average is known to be eligible for the pupil premium, which is additional funding for those known to be eligible for free school meals and for children who are looked after by the local authority. All Year 7 pupils are eligible for the Year 7 catch-up funding. (Additional government funding for those pupils entering Year 7 below the attainment level expected for their age in English and mathematics). Key Stage 4 and sixth-form students make use of alternative provision, such as Mid Cheshire College, Reaseheath and PettyPool, as well as individual businesses to enable individual students to access vocational courses or attend work experience placements. The school provides an outreach service, COaTS (Community, Outreach and Training Service), offering advice and training in the management of disability and special educational needs to pre-school settings, primary and secondary schools and other providers on request. During the last year there has been a significant turnover of teaching staff and a restructuring of the senior leadership team.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. Pupils across the school, with a range of complex special educational needs, make outstanding progress in their academic, personal and social development. Those children who enter the school in the Early Years Foundation Stage get off to an excellent start in a well-planned learning environment. They make particularly rapid strides in learning to communicate. Students in the sixth form do equally well. They are proud of their achievements and say that the school prepares them very well for their future lives. Pupils in the multi-sensory impaired unit make outstanding progress from usually very low starting points. The tiny steps of progress they make represent huge strides for these pupils over time. The quality of teaching has improved since the previous inspection. Year on year more of the teaching has been at least good, with an increasing amount which is outstanding. Now the majority of teaching is consistently outstanding, although very occasionally reluctant learners are not provided with alternative activities linked to the lesson. Pupils say they feel very safe and well-cared for in school and their parents agree with them. Pupils develop excellent attitudes to their learning. They want to do well and revel in praise for their hard work and to the reward of trips out of school where they learn to behave extremely well in the community as well as in school. Teaching assistants and specialist staff make a huge contribution to pupils’ success. They are skilled at developing caring and supportive relationships which give pupils the confidence to try new things. The headteacher and senior leaders, including the governing body, have had very clear goals in sight to make sure this is a continually improving school. They make frequent checks on the quality of teaching and learning and ensure that staff have the necessary skills and expertise to meet the differing needs of pupils, resulting in outstanding achievement. The governing body has developed excellent links into school to check on the provision at first hand. Together with senior leaders they make sure everything possible is done to enhance the lives and improve the chances of pupils at The Russett School.