Firwood High School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

Post 16
Special school

Stitch MI Lane
11 - 19
Academy special converter
4 1 1 2 3 4
Ofsted Inspection
Full Report - All Reports

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Happiness Rating
Persistent Absence
Pupils first language
not English
Free school meals
Pupils with SEN support

This school is now an academy. If no data is available for the new academy,
we link to the last available data set as this type of academy is treated as a continuing school

School Description

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. The school faced a difficult period approximately two years ago. At that time, the local authority raised concerns about the school’s effectiveness and, in particular, some aspects of safeguarding pupils. Since then, an executive headteacher and a new headteacher have been appointed, the governing body has been reconstituted and a number of members of staff have left the school. The school has moved through a period of rapid improvement and is now, once again, effective, including in its approaches to safeguarding. You and other leaders have identified a clear path to becoming even more effective as the experience and confidence of leaders grow further. Leaders are currently working towards the school becoming an academy in partnership with a local primary special school. This process has taken longer than anticipated. However, leaders now expect academy conversion to be completed later this school year. Many pupils in the school have complex needs and their academic starting points are very low. However, this does not reduce leaders’ and teachers’ determination to help pupils learn as well as possible. The school sets out to provide ‘Learning without limits!’ Staff achieve this in many different ways, for example by providing pupils with increasing confidence in the skills that will help them to live as independently as possible in the future. This focus on learning is not at the cost of close attention to the care of pupils. Staff are highly aware of pupils’ individual learning and personal needs and make sure that they address them properly. Pupils understand the commitment staff have towards them. They enjoy coming to school and sometimes show this by being reluctant to leave at the end of the school day. Adults’ careful support encourages pupils to try hard and to engage well in learning. The positive relationships between staff and pupils, and among pupils, also contribute to the school’s culture of learning and success. Very nearly all of the parents and carers who shared their views with inspectors were very complimentary about the work of the school. They recognise the impact of the recent changes to leadership and management and value the support the school provides to their children and their families. One parent summed this up by indicating that the school, ‘allows parents to be proud of their children’. Pupils’ views are similarly very positive. They say that they enjoy school, and are happy and feel safe. At the previous inspection, inspectors asked leaders and teachers to develop teaching further by making the best use of the school’s new facilities and teachers’ subject expertise. Teaching in the school helps pupils to make good progress. The school’s specialist facilities are well used. Inspectors saw pupils enjoying cooking in their specially adapted food technology room and developing their physical skills in physical education and hydrotherapy sessions. Leaders have ensured that the best use of the buildings is made to provide a suitably attractive and stimulating learning environment. Previously white walls have been redecorated and wall display is used to celebrate pupils’ learning and to provide information for members of staff. You and other leaders acknowledge that, while teaching works well, the models of effective practice that you have developed in some subjects could be further extended. Safeguarding is effective. Leaders ensure that the arrangements for safeguarding pupils are systematic and robust. The child protection and safeguarding policy is easily available for reference on the school’s website. This policy provides clear information and advice. Together with regular training, it gives a tight framework for the active response of leaders and other members of staff to any child protection issues. Leaders are prepared to act and challenge outside agencies when they identify potential gaps in the provision available. Such circumstances have included ensuring that paediatric nursing has continued to be available in the school and that there is as smooth as possible a transition in social care responsibility from children’s to adults’ services for the oldest students. Teachers, teaching assistants and other adults in the school are aware of potential additional risk to pupils resulting from their needs and linked additional vulnerability. Staff are confident about taking appropriate action when needed. The building is secure and visitors are properly checked before they have access. The arrangements for pupils’ arrival and departure on school transport are well organised to minimise any risk to pupils and the adults supporting them.

Firwood High School Catchment Area Map

This school is an academy and does not conform to the general school admission criteria set down by the Local Education Authority.

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