phone: 01524 701217
headteacher: Mrs Kairen Dexter
15 boys 54%
10 girls 36%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
— Community Special School
- Establishment type
- Community Special School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 346139, Northing: 475159
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 54.169, Longitude: -2.8265
- Accepting pupils
- 2—19 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Morecambe and Lunesdale › Silverdale
- Town and Fringe - less sparse
- SEN priorities
- PD - Physical Disability
- SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.1 miles Silverdale St John's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School LA50RF (89 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Ridgway Park LA50UA
- 2.2 miles Arnside National CofE School LA50DW
- 2.2 miles Arnside National CofE School LA50DW (153 pupils)
- 2.6 miles Yealand Church of England Primary School LA59SU (43 pupils)
- 2.6 miles Prospect House LA59TG
- 2.9 miles Warton Archbishop Hutton's Primary School LA59QU (118 pupils)
- 3.2 miles Storth CofE School LA77JA (36 pupils)
- 3.5 miles Beetham CofE Primary School LA77AS (42 pupils)
- 3.7 miles North Road Primary School LA59LQ (143 pupils)
- 3.7 miles Carnforth Christ Church, Church of England, Voluntary Aided Primary School LA59LJ (92 pupils)
- 3.9 miles Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School, Carnforth LA59LS (103 pupils)
- 3.9 miles Fell House School LA116AS (8 pupils)
- 4 miles Grange CofE Primary School LA117JF (144 pupils)
- 4 miles Carnforth High School LA59LS (651 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Lindale CofE Primary School LA116LE (67 pupils)
- 4.4 miles Burton Morewood CofE Primary School LA61ND
- 4.4 miles Burton Morewood CofE Primary School LA61ND (193 pupils)
- 4.5 miles Milnthorpe Primary School LA77QF (183 pupils)
- 4.5 miles Wings School LA77DN (36 pupils)
- 4.6 miles Holme Primary School LA61QA (93 pupils)
- 4.7 miles Dallam School LA77DD
- 4.7 miles Riverside School LA77DN
- 4.7 miles Dallam School LA77DD (948 pupils)
|Inspection date(s)||25–26 April 2012|
|Unique Reference Number||119861|
|Inspect ion number||379898|
|Inspect ion dates||25–26 April 2012|
|Lead inspector||Hilary Ward|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Special|
|School category||Community special|
|Age range of pupils||2–19|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Nu mber of pupils on the school roll||24|
|Of which number on roll in the sixth for m||2|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of prev ious school inspection||11 March 2009|
|School address||27 Emesgate Lane|
|Telephone number||01524 701217|
|Fax number||01524 702044|
|Boarding prov ision||Bleasdale School|
|Social care Unique Reference Nu mber||SC058077|
|Social care inspector||Stephen Trainor|
This inspection was carried out with two days' notice. Eight lessons were observed taught by
four teachers. Meetings were held with members of the governing body, with school and
residential staff, nurses and therapists. The school's work was observed and documentation
provided by the school was scrutinised, including pupil profiles, teachers’ planning
documents, pupil assessments, safeguarding and medical administration information. The
inspectors reviewed the information on the 14 parent and carer questionnaires returned.
|Hilary Ward||Additional inspector|
Information about the school
Bleasdale School is a small day and residential special school for pupils with profound and
multiple learning difficulties and disabilities. Pupils often have significant health problems
which can lead to long periods of absence from school. All pupils have a statement of
special educational needs. Currently, all pupils are of white British heritage. At the time of
the inspection there were five children in the Early Years Foundation Stage, some of whom
attend part-time. The two students in the sixth form are taught with Key Stage 4 pupils in
the 14-19 department.
The school has a number of awards including Active Sports Mark, Healthy Schools Flagship
Status, Investors in People and Learning Excellence Awards for Inclusive Rebound Therapy,
Growing Together for Health and Leisure and Innovative Practice for Inclusive Play.
Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory and 4 is inadequate
Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms
|Achievement of pupils||1|
|Quality of teaching||1|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||1|
|Leadership and management||1|
- Bleasdale is an outstanding school which has continued to build on its previous
outstanding inspection findings, as a school which not only cares exceptionally well for
its pupils, but also ensures that all make the maximum progress they can. In this small
school, individual pupils’ needs in all areas of their development are understood and
planned for extremely well.
- Achievement is excellent. In response to teaching that is mainly outstanding and never
less than good, pupils make exceptional progress given their very low starting points.
Teachers, teaching assistants, residential support workers and other professionals form
highly effective teams that enable pupils to reach ambitious targets. The Early Years
Foundation Stage has been developed since the last inspection and ensures an
excellent start in all areas of children’s development. The sixth form is outstanding
and prepares students exceptionally well for their move to adult services.
- Teachers and their teams assess pupils’ needs rigorously. The new senior leaders use
these data well as part of their effective leadership of teaching. As a result, there is an
accurate picture of the priority areas for learning for individual pupils. Currently, the
use of this information is not fully exploited by staff in their planning. Nevertheless,
staff meet pupils’ needs exceptionally well because they incorporate the targets from
their individual education plans into all lessons. Lesson plans make it very clear how
different topics and activities are to be taught, but teachers do not always make it so
consistently clear what each pupil is expected to learn about the subject.
- Parents and carers feel very involved and well informed about the progress their
children are making. They are confident that their children are safe and secure and
the school’s partnership with other agencies ensures that their medical and therapeutic
needs are met exceptionally well. Boarding provision has been outstanding at all
inspections over the last few years and was found to be outstanding at this inspection.
- The senior leadership team has changed since the last inspection. Together with the
staff and governing body they have created a very purposeful and aspirational
environment. Extremely effective management of the school’s performance has led to
significant improvements in a number of areas, including the development of
partnerships with other providers to create inclusion opportunities. Changes have been
made to the way in which residential staff are deployed to ensure consistent
management of pupils across school and residence.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching even further by:
- incorporating the new analysis of tracking data into lesson plans to focus teaching
even more effectively in areas identified for improvement for individual pupils
- identifying more consistently what pupils are expected to learn from the subject
matter of each lesson.
Achievement of pupils
In the extremely supportive environment of Bleasdale School, pupils’ achievement is
outstanding. The responses from parents and carers to the inspection questionnaire show
that they too feel their children are achieving outstandingly well. As one parent put it ‘My
child thrives at this school.’ Due to the extent of pupils’ special educational needs, children
enter the school at very low starting points. They make excellent progress. Even the
smallest steps of progress are a major achievement, such as a pupil seen to have great fun
painting his face instead of his tray and knowing that it was a little bit naughty. Staff make
extremely effective use of assessment tools to determine pupils’ next steps and to set
challenging targets in their individual education plans. The proportion of pupils successfully
achieving their targets is very high.
Throughout their time in school learning is very effective in lessons because an emphasis is
placed on developing the early stages of communication. This links into all aspects of
learning so that pupils can begin to express their needs and wishes and make simple
choices. The focus on communication, through the use of a range of innovative strategies,
continues through the school so that by the time they leave, pupils are better able to take
control over their own lives. Relationships between pupils and staff are very strong and
respectful. Pupils respond well to the staff who support them and encourage them to try
new things and to complete tasks. Staff are extremely skilled at meeting pupils’ mobility and
health needs with little disruption to their learning.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children progress very well because they learn through
activity. They enjoy games when learning to recognise numbers, signs and symbols. They
enjoy using the interactive whiteboard and respond to the movement and sounds they
create when they press the touchscreen. They explore their senses imaginatively by feeling
different materials, listening to and playing different instruments. Some begin to make and
imitate vocal sounds. They make an excellent start in all aspects of their learning and
At Key Stage 4 and in the post-16 (sixth form) department, students continue to extend
their skills and confidence through programmes that promote their independence and allow
them to sample different vocational skills. All students enjoy work experience, often on site
but sometimes with other providers such as garden centres and shops. They enjoy links with
the local college and all students leave school with some form of external accreditation and
exceptionally well prepared for the next stage in their lives.
Partnerships have been developed with the local community, with playgroups, primary and
special schools and with the high school. Pupils thoroughly enjoy these inclusion
opportunities and develop a spiritual, social, moral and cultural understanding and
involvement in the wider world, which might otherwise be difficult in such a small school.
Quality of teaching
Teachers are extremely skilled at finding ways to engage and enthuse pupils in their
learning. Teachers and support workers know individual pupils very well and these excellent
relationships help them to plan lessons which will engage their interest and help them to
learn. Residential staff also work in school. This ensures that staff form highly effective
teams so that information is shared and consistent approaches to learning take place across
both settings. Improved analysis of pupils’ performance is providing more specific
information on pupils’ progress. As yet, this is not fully exploited by teachers when planning
lessons. Nevertheless, teachers set challenging targets in pupils’ individual education plans
to ensure that all strive to move forward step by step. Lessons are structured well to
incorporate these targets and ensure a focus on communication. Plans make it clear what
the overall theme is but are sometimes less specific about exactly what it is hoped each
pupil will learn in the subject matter of the lesson. Parents and carers share the view of the
outstanding teaching. ’The staff are enthusiastic, motivated and provide stimulating lessons’
was a typical comment.
Many of the pupils have sensory disabilities in addition to their medical needs. Staff are
innovative in providing imaginative multi-sensory experiences which enable them to
participate in all aspects of the curriculum. For example, in a lesson on Wordsworth’s poem
‘Daffodils’, older pupils got a sense of the meaning of the poem by feeling cotton wool
‘clouds’ and smelling the perfume which staff had put on silk flowers. Teachers successfully
incorporate spiritual, social, moral and cultural elements into all aspects of the curriculum,
often by using community facilities and their links with other providers.
Pupils’ personal development and their welfare needs are exceptionally well supported by
the attention paid to their mobility and nursing needs throughout the day in both school and
residence. Teachers find ways of incorporating therapy programmes into lessons so that
time is used very effectively. Teachers are supported to develop their skills through their
continuing professional development programme and at each Key Stage teachers adapt the
excellent curriculum to offer rich experiences which are age-appropriate.
Behaviour and safety of pupils
Pupils at Bleasdale School feel very safe and happy. In the questionnaires returned, all
parents and carers expressed their confidence in the school’s ability to keep their child safe.
In view of the extent of pupils’ disability and special educational needs, behaviour does not
present problems. Nevertheless, the school has trained some staff to manage any incidents
of challenging behaviour which might occur from time to time. Parents, carers and staff are
adamant that there is no bullying. Staff encourage pupils to develop their personalities and
express their wishes so that they can say ‘no’ if they do not like or want to do something.
However, pupils are also encouraged to move out of their comfort zones and try new things
such as riding round the grounds on the specially adapted bikes and using the trampoline at
the high school, where the mainstream pupils have been taught rebound therapy techniques
to use with Bleasdale pupils. Staff are realistic about their responsibilities in safeguarding
pupils since most are unlikely to be able to develop a meaningful understanding of how to
keep themselves safe. Within the supportive framework of familiar routines and excellent
staff to pupil relationships, pupils respond exceptionally well to the secure environment that
Leadership and Management
The new senior leadership team has most successfully built on previous outstanding
inspection findings, particularly in the quality of teaching and use of assessment. This has
raised achievement for pupils. Areas for improvement have been promptly identified and
addressed. For example, effective monitoring of teaching has led to changes in staffing and
teaching time. Performance management and professional development are correctly aimed
at meeting the specific needs of the school and its pupils. Senior leaders track each pupil’s
progress from their starting points more robustly and are able to interrogate the data to
identify subjects and aspects for development. This information is not yet shared with
teachers so that they can plan individual programmes even more efficiently, although this is
a planned next step.
The curriculum at all Key Stages is outstanding. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development of pupils is very effectively incorporated into all lessons and extended day
activities. There were no children in the Early Years Foundation Stage at the time of the last
inspection but this now makes an outstanding contribution to the provision offered by the
school. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is extremely well adapted to ensure
that children can make a confident start on the very early learning steps of their education.
The sixth-form curriculum offers outstanding opportunities to develop the independence and
life skills of the young people preparing for adult life. The boarding provision is outstanding
and pupils move seamlessly between school and residence due to the excellent collaborative
working of staff and the perceptive management overview.
The school is outward-looking and uses the partnerships it has developed with other
settings, not only to enhance the curriculum, but also to moderate assessments with
colleagues from other schools, when Bleasdale staff are often regarded as lead practitioners.
Partnerships with other agencies, such as health and social care services, ensure that all of
the pupils’ complex therapeutic and nursing needs are met exceptionally well. Parents and
carers are very appreciative of the efforts made to ensure that they are informed thoroughly
about their child’s learning and personal development, through home-school books, texts, e-
mails, phone calls and reviews. Contact with parents and carers by both school and
residential staff is frequent.
Equality of opportunity is outstanding. Throughout their time in school and residence every
pupil is valued and their individual needs respected. Arrangements for safeguarding fully
meet requirements with examples of rigorous practice. The governing body makes an
outstanding contribution to school improvement. Together with senior leaders and all staff,
governors share a very clear vision for the future of the school. The school continues to
build on its many successes and all work as a team to collectively demonstrate an
outstanding capacity to improve the school even further.
The quality of residential provision is outstanding. All recommendations from the previous
inspection have been successfully addressed to further improve the already outstanding
practice which fully meets with the requirements of Residential Special Schools’ National
Minimum Standards. The experience of boarding and the high quality of care makes an
exceptional impact on the educational, personal, social and cultural development of pupils.
There are excellent relationships between pupils and the teams of staff who look after them
and this allows pupils to fulfil their potential.
The highly personalised planning and practice demonstrates a commitment to the promotion
of equality and diversity. Pupils behave very well and grow in confidence through their
boarding experience, making sustained progress socially and educationally. Pupils fully enjoy
their boarding experience and take every opportunity to participate in a range of stimulating
extra-curricular and leisure activities matched to their ages, interests and needs. Targets are
set for each pupil which are shared with school and support pupils’ academic and personal
progress. Staff are proactive and imaginative in finding ways to support pupils and their high
aspirations lead to excellent progress.
There is an extremely sensitive and well-designed induction process. Health care
arrangements are highly effective in promoting pupils’ physical and emotional health.
Detailed health plans are supported by qualified nursing staff. Staff place the well-being of
individual pupils at the centre of their practice. Placement and care plans are well focused,
detailed and rigorously implemented.
Safeguarding practices are outstanding and there is excellent work with key agencies. There
are thorough vetting procedures for recruiting staff, all of whom are fully trained in child
protection at the appropriate level. The safety and welfare of pupils is of paramount
importance, sitting at the very heart of staff practice. Care plans identify the risks and
protective factors for individual pupils. Regular monitoring and review of plans support
constant improvement. The school provides a secure and very safe environment for young
people. Health and safety policies and procedures are robust and executed consistently to a
high standard. Managers have considered all potential hazards and run regular and
exhaustive checks. Fire precautions and fire safety are particularly well managed. Boarding
accommodation and facilities are to a high standard; maintenance and servicing is prompt
and effectively supports a safe whole-school environment.
The boarding provision is led and managed very well. Accurate and insightful self-evaluation
drives improvement, informed by members of the governing body who monitor on a regular
basis. The management team clearly demonstrates the capacity for continuous
improvement. The availability of high quality data from the school's monitoring and quality
assurance systems informs where future improvements can be made. There is a
comprehensive development plan.
Staff are deployed in sufficient numbers to support pupils’ specific needs but some staff are
not aware of recent changes to inspection frameworks. Their enthusiasm and skills make
the whole school environment an extremely caring and positive place for pupils. There are
consistently very positive views from parents and carers about the quality of the boarding
experience. Communication between education, nursing and social care staff, parents and
carers and other partners is excellent.
National minimum standards
The school meets the national minimum standards for residential special schools.
Area for improvement
- Ensure that training keeps all levels of staff up to date with professional, legal and
practice developments (NMS 19.1)
These are the grades for the residential provision
|Overall effectiveness of the residential experience||1|
|Outcomes for residential pupils||1|
|Quality of residential provision and care||1|
|Residential pupils’ safety||1|
|Leadership and management of the residential provision||1|
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An outstanding school |
provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is |
good is serving its pupils well.
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school |
is providing adequately for its pupils.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An |
inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in
order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will
make further visits until it improves.
Overall effectiveness of schools
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral units||9||55||28||8|
New school inspection arrangements have been introduced from 1 January 2012. This means that inspectors
make judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September to 31 December 2011 and represent judgements
that were made under the school inspection arrangements that were i ntroduced on 1 September 2009. These
data are consistent with the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes
The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as weaker
schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Primary schools include primar y academy converters. Secondary schools include secondary academy
converters, sponsor-led academies and city technology colleges. Special schools include special academy
converters and non-maintained special schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Common terminology used by inspectors
|Achievement:||the progress and success of a pupil in their learning and |
development taking account of their attainment.
|Attainment:||the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and |
examination results and in lessons.
|Attendance||the regular attendance of pupils at school and in lessons, |
taking into account the school's efforts to encourage good
|Behaviour||how well pupils behave in lessons, with emphasis on their |
attitude to learning. Pupils' punctuality to lessons and their
conduct around the school.
|Capacity to improve:||the proven ability of the school to continue improving based |
on its self-evaluation and what the school has accomplished
so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain
|Floor standards||the national minimum expectation of attainment and |
|Leadership and |
|the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just |
the governors and headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the school.
|Learning:||how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their |
understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing
their competence as learners.
|Overall effectiveness:||inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall |
effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of
|Progress:||the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over |
longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing
the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their
attainment when they started.
|Safety||how safe pupils are in school, including in lessons; and their |
understanding of risks. Pupils' freedom from bullying and
harassment. How well the school promotes safety, for
27 April 2012
Inspection of Bleasdale School, Silverdale, Carnforth, LA5 0RG
Thank you for welcoming us to your school when we visited recently. I really enjoyed
seeing what you were doing in school and my colleague, Steve, joined you in some
of your activities in residence. Your parents and carers were able to let us know that
they are very glad you go to Bleasdale School. They think it keeps you safe and
happy and meets your needs exceptionally well.
We agree with them. We think your school is outstanding. Your teachers, support
assistants and care staff use their imagination to come up with interesting and
exciting ways to help you learn. They offer exciting activities in school and in
residence so that you learn in many different ways. We think you are cared for
exceptionally well by all the people who meet your different needs. They respect
your different personalities and you feel you can trust them.
Your headteacher and her staff are constantly looking for ways to make things even
better for you. We have asked them to be very clear about what they want each of
you to learn in every lesson and to make even more use of their assessments when
planning your activities. We think and hope that this will make your learning
experience even better.