Torfield School

Name Torfield School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Address Croft Road, Hastings, TN34 3JT
Phone Number 01424428228
Type Academy (special)
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 101 (77.2% boys 22.8% girls)
Academy Sponsor Torfield And Saxon Mount Academy Trust
Local Authority East Sussex
Percentage Free School Meals 46.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4%
Persisitent Absence 22.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Indicator Available No
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (19 September 2017)
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Information about this school

The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish. Torfield School became an academy in 2014. When its predecessor school, Torfield School, was last inspected by Ofsted, in December 2013, its overall effectiveness was judged to be good. The school provides education for pupils with a range of special educational needs and/or disabilities. The majority of pupils have needs associated with autistic spectrum disorders. Many have additional difficulties relating to communication and social, emotional and mental health. A few have visual and physical needs. Almost all pupils have an education, health and care plan. A few are currently awaiting a plan. The school is based on two sites. There are currently two combined early years and Year 1 classes, which also include a small number of Year 2 pupils who have higher levels of need. These are based at Parker Road Early Years Centre, within the campus of a mainstream primary school. There are five classes at Croft Road. In most classes pupils are grouped according to their age and abilities. When they leave Torfield, most pupils transition to Saxon Mount Secondary Special School. Approximately 20% of the pupils in the school have more complex needs. There are two specialist classes for these pupils, one at each site. Approximately three quarters of the pupils are male. A large number of pupils enter and leave the school at times other than the beginning of the school year. Around half of the pupils are supported by the pupil premium. This is well above the national average. The school works with a range of outside agencies. These include health and social care professionals. In 2012, the school federated with Saxon Mount Secondary Special School. In 2014, both schools converted to become part of the Torfield and Saxon Mount Academy Trust. The headteacher of Saxon Mount became the executive headteacher of both schools. He is also the chief executive officer of the academy trust. Both schools are accountable to a single federated governing body. The governing body is composed of a board of directors and an advisory board which supports their work. The school has established a partnership with the University of Brighton to provide for specialist postgraduate teacher training. The school currently does not place pupils in any alternative provision.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school Outstanding leadership at all levels has resulted in the school providing the very best education for its pupils. The executive headteacher and the head of school have established a highly effective team. The school has made rapid progress since it opened. Pupils’ achievement is outstanding. They make excellent progress from their starting points across a range of subjects. Pupils develop their communication skills rapidly. All groups of pupils achieve equally well. Pupils’ reading skills are exceptionally well developed and they develop a love of reading. Pupils make strong progress in improving their writing skills, and make outstanding progress in their understanding of mathematics. Those responsible for governance, including the academy board of directors and the advisory board, provide strong support and challenge. Provision in the specialist classes is outstanding. Teachers carefully build learning on what pupils already know. Effective leadership in the early years ensures that no opportunity is lost in developing children’s skills in all areas of learning. Children make rapid progress in the early years. The personal development of pupils is at the heart of the school’s work. Every opportunity is taken for pupils to develop an understanding of themselves and others. Teachers know their pupils exceptionally well. The quality of assessment is highly effective. Learning is planned that precisely matches pupils’ needs. Pupils behave exceptionally well. They are kept safe. Safeguarding arrangements are very thorough. Systems for tracking academic and personal progress are not linked together. Hence it is not always easy for the school to evaluate a pupils’ overall performance and refine the support provided further.