Vranch House School

Name Vranch House School
Website http://www.vranchhouse.org/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 26 June 2018
Address Pinhoe Road, Exeter, Devon, EX4 8AD
Phone Number 01392468333
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 2-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 39 (51% boys 49% girls)
Local Authority Devon
Percentage Free School Meals 0.0%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school’s previous standard inspection was in July 2015, when it was judged to be good overall. Since then, the school opened a secondary department in September 2018, following a material change inspection in July 2017. The school opened in 1961 and is currently registered for 33 girls and boys aged from two to 18 years of age. The school does not use alternative providers. The school is funded by commissioned places for pupils with physical difficulties. The majority of them are wheelchair users, have learning difficulties and increasingly complex medical needs, along with speech and language difficulties. In addition, some of them have visual and/or hearing impairments and life-limiting and/or deteriorating conditions. The current headteacher took up post in September 2016. The school is owned and operated by a registered charity, directed and managed by a board of trustees. There is a governing body that oversees the education and therapy provision at the school. On the same site, the charity provides a paediatric therapy centre for mainstream outpatient children. The therapies include physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy. Various outpatient clinics are also on-site, targeted for orthotics, dental, continence and wheelchair needs. The charity does not consider the school a ‘therapy school’. It ensures that Vranch House School offers no more therapy than at any other school for which the charity is commissioned to provide services.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school Vranch House provides a highly effective education for its pupils. Pupils make excellent progress in their academic and personal development. The senior staff, the governing body and the trustees provide the challenge and support required to ensure that the school continues to improve. Leaders, governors and trustees ensure that the school consistently meets the independent school standards (ISS). They ensure that the school provides the highest quality of education and care, through close monitoring, assessment and review of all that the school provides and pupils achieve. All staff receive high-quality training. They are committed to ensuring that pupils reach their potential. Regardless of their role or position, all staff see themselves as equal members of the Vranch House team. Staff morale is high. Staff use a comprehensive range of communication systems to ‘talk’ with pupils. As a result, pupils learn to be increasingly independent in expressing their views, needs and desires. The curriculum is exceptionally well planned. Leaders monitor teachers’ work to check that pupils achieve highly and develop well. The integration of pupils’ physical therapy needs with academic learning helps them to make outstanding progress in all aspects of their learning. All aspects of the early years foundation stage are outstanding. Children make an excellent start to their education. Pupils benefit greatly from the on-site provision of clinics to ensure that their medical needs are quickly attended to. The immaculately kept grounds and the high-quality hydrotherapy suite provide pupils with rich, stimulating sensory experiences. Parents and families are kept very well informed about their children’s development and day-to-day activities. However, on occasion, communication between home and school does not enable staff to build on pupils’ achievements which take place out of school time. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.