The Westminster School

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About The Westminster School

Name The Westminster School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Oliver Flowers
Address Hawes Lane, Rowley Regis, B65 9AL
Phone Number 01215616884
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 7-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 231
Local Authority Sandwell
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of outstanding as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection.

However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now. The next inspection will therefore be a graded inspection.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at The Westminster School embody their motto 'Safe, happy and learning together'.

Leaders have created a nurturing environment where pupils are well cared for. They have high ambitions for all pupils. Leaders are determined to not allow any barriers to pupils' future success.

Pupils have a rang...e of special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), such as learning, communication, social, emotional or physical. Leaders work closely with parents and carers to understand these needs. Effective provision supports pupils' individual SEND needs.

Staff know that behaviour is a form of communication. Behaviour around school is exemplary.

Leaders have implemented a new curriculum.

Pupils enjoy a range of exciting opportunities. However, leaders know there is work to be done to improve pupils' reading. Leaders have ambitious plans.

There is a high focus on preparing pupils for life outside of school. Leaders have set this as a high priority for all pupils. Leaders have formed strong links with the local community and employers.

Leaders have clear plans for how to build pupils' skills. This supports pupils with future employment and educational opportunities. However, leaders have not identified how to build pupils' curriculum knowledge over time.

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

The newly formed leadership team leads with ambition and compassion. They want the best for their pupils, families and staff. Governors are highly supportive of the leadership team and the school.

Leaders have carefully designed a new curriculum. This offers a broad range of opportunities to meet pupils' individual SEND needs. It covers the breadth and range of the curriculum subject areas.

Leaders have clearly set out the skills they want pupils to learn over time across the curriculum. Pupils make rapid progress against these. However, leaders have not identified the key knowledge they want pupils to learn across the curriculum.

It is reliant on teachers identifying this for their individual pupils. As a result, it is not clear how knowledge progresses and builds over time across the curriculum.

Staff give pupils many opportunities to engage with a broad range of books and texts.

Books for older readers are adapted to make sure they are accessible for pupils who are at the early stages of reading. As a result, older pupils can communicate about stories and texts which are at an age-appropriate level. However, many pupils who are at the early stages of reading are not getting the support they need regularly enough.

Leaders have identified clear actions to improve this. Pupils love listening to stories and books but do not always enjoy reading them. This is because they find reading hard.

Teachers plan activities which are carefully matched to the individual SEND needs of their pupils. They use effective ways of assessing pupils' prior and current knowledge and skills. They use this information to plan activities and experiences for their pupils.

Lessons are planned to provide opportunities for pupils to be independent learners but to also work collaboratively with their peers. Information is presented clearly.

Pupils are supported by a wide range of communication aids.

These are tailored to meet individual needs. Pupils who do not use verbal language were able to communicate confidently with inspectors. They feel safe and happy, have friends and can name stories they enjoy listening to.

Pupils experience a wide range of enrichment opportunities. Leaders have a clear programme in place. For example, pupils experience archery and canoeing.

They work towards the Duke of Edinburgh's and the John Muir Awards. A highly effective travel training programme is in place. This supports pupils to attend school independently either through public transport or walking.

Pupils understand how this will help them in their future when going to college, work or meeting friends.

Careers education is exemplary at The Westminster School. Leaders have created a highly effective team dedicated to pupils' preparation for adulthood.

The team works relentlessly to give pupils the opportunities they need for their future. This includes entering the workforce or further academic and vocational study. From an early age, pupils are exposed to a range of opportunities in careers.

Leaders have a secure understanding of the local employment market. They support pupils with the necessary skills toward this. Leaders are innovative.

They have created opportunities for employers to engage with pupils. The 'Westminstore' shop has been recently renovated by pupils through their skills in painting and construction. This shop will be run by pupils, who will sell products that they make.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Safeguarding pupils is of the highest priority. Staff understand safeguarding is everyone's business.

All staff, including transport drivers and escorts, receive effective training. Staff know their pupils well and can spot any changes in behaviour or character. This helps staff to identify signs of neglect or abuse for pupils with complex communication needs.

Leaders have strong links with external agencies. Pupils and families are well supported from the earliest point of need. Recruitment processes are thorough.

Leaders make checks on staff and visitors to make sure they are safe to work with children.

Pupils learn about personal safety and how to keep safe online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders have not set out the key knowledge they want pupils to learn over time.

They are too reliant on individual class teachers setting this out for their individual pupils. As a result, knowledge is not clearly sequenced and built upon over time across the curriculum. This limits the progress in knowledge pupils are making across the curriculum.

Leaders need to identify the key knowledge they want pupils to learn over time and how this knowledge is built upon across the curriculum. ? Leaders have not yet implemented their plans to introduce a structured phonics programme for pupils at the early stages of reading. As a result, pupils at the early stages of reading are not receiving regular phonics teaching.

This is slowing down pupils' reading progress. Leaders and governors should implement the identified plans and actions quickly, and ensure it is effectively embedded.


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

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

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in November 2017.

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