School etc

Calderdale PRU

Calderdale PRU
C/O the Whitley Phoenix Centre
Moorbottom Road
West Yorkshire

phone: 01422 244181

headteacher: Mr Simon Lee

school holidays: via Calderdale council

46 pupils aged 7—15y mixed gender

40 boys 87%


5 girls 11%


Last updated: June 20, 2014

— Pupil Referral Unit

Establishment type
Pupil Referral Unit
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 1, 2001
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 407666, Northing: 428745
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.755, Longitude: -1.8852
Accepting pupils
7—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Dec. 17, 2013
Region › Const. › Ward
Yorkshire and the Humber › Halifax › Illingworth and Mixenden
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Halifax

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles The North Halifax Grammar School HX29SU
  2. 0.1 miles The North Halifax Grammar School HX29SU (1131 pupils)
  3. 0.2 miles Whitehill Community Trust School HX29RL
  4. 0.2 miles Whitehill Infant School HX29RL
  5. 0.2 miles Whitehill Community Academy HX29RL (502 pupils)
  6. 0.3 miles Holy Trinity CofE Senior School HX29TD
  7. 0.3 miles Holmfield High School HX29SY
  8. 0.4 miles Abbey Park Junior, Infant and Nursery School HX29DG
  9. 0.4 miles St Catherine's Catholic High School HX29TH
  10. 0.4 miles Trinity Academy, Halifax HX29TZ (1660 pupils)
  11. 0.4 miles Abbey Park Academy HX29DG (196 pupils)
  12. 0.7 miles Moorside Junior School HX28AP
  13. 0.7 miles Moorside Infant and Nursery School HX28AP
  14. 0.7 miles Moorside Community Primary School HX28AP (296 pupils)
  15. 0.8 miles Bradshaw Primary School HX29PF
  16. 0.8 miles Dean Field Infant School HX28DQ
  17. 0.8 miles Bradshaw Primary School HX29PF (310 pupils)
  18. 0.9 miles Dean Field Community Primary School HX28DQ (222 pupils)
  19. 0.9 miles St Malachy's Catholic Primary School HX28JY (208 pupils)
  20. 0.9 miles Ash Tree Infants' School HX28QD
  21. 0.9 miles St Malachy's Catholic Primary School, A Voluntary Academy HX28JY (208 pupils)
  22. 1 mile Ash Green Community Primary School HX28QD (461 pupils)
  23. 1 mile The Ridings School HX35SX
  24. 1 mile The Ovenden High School HX35SX

List of schools in Halifax

School report

Calderdale PRU

The Whitley Phoenix Centre, Moorbottam , Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX2 9SR

Inspection dates 17–18 December 2013
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous inspection: Good 2
Achievement of pupils Good 2
Quality of teaching Good 2
Behaviour and safety of pupils Good 2
Leadership and management Good 2

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because

Pupils frequently arrive at the school with
Pupils join the school because they are in
Teaching is good. The majority of teachers
gaps in their learning due to missing time in
mainstream school. From their often low
starting points, pupils settle into well-
organised routines, which help them make
good and sometimes better progress. This
represents good achievement overall.
danger of being excluded, or have been
excluded, from mainstream schools. As a
result of the good progress they make both
academically and in improving their behaviour
many make a successful return to their
mainstream schools.
have high expectations for all pupils.
Teachers’ good subject knowledge and clear
explanations result in good learning.
Pupils feel safe and describe school as a
Since the previous inspection, the headteacher
The well informed, skilled and effective
welcoming place to which many enjoy coming.
Despite their high level of need, incidents of
difficult behaviour rarely interrupt learning. The
majority of pupils show courteous and friendly
attitudes to staff, visitors and each other.
and deputy headteacher have maintained and
strengthened or successfully built on standards
in both the quality of teaching and pupils’
achievement across the school. This
continuous commitment shows leaders’ ability
to make the school even better in the future.
management committee offers good levels of
both support and challenge to senior leaders.
Support staff sometimes spend too little time
Teachers’ marking is inconsistent in some
supporting pupils’ learning in lessons.
classes and does not give sufficient guidance
to pupils on how to improve their work.
The attendance of a small number of pupils in
Key Stage 4 is lower than it should be. Leaders
have yet to put in place systems which
successfully engage with these pupils and their

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed 14 lessons and parts of lessons taught by 13 teachers and support staff.
    Joint lesson observations were undertaken with the headteacher and the assistant headteacher.
    The inspection team also listened to pupils from Year 2 read in a lesson and examined the
    quality of work in the books of pupils from across the school with the deputy headteacher.
  • The inspection team held meetings and had discussions with pupils, senior leaders, members of
    the school staff and three members of the management committee. They also met a
    representative from the local authority.
  • The inspection team took into account the views of 17 parents who made their views known to
    the school in a recent survey. No parents made their views known on the online questionnaire
    (Parent View).
  • The inspection team studied health and safety documentation, teachers’ curriculum planning,
    documents relating to the procedures to check the performance of staff and the school’s system
    for checking pupils’ progress.

Inspection team

Marian Thomas, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Nell Banfield Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • Calderdale Pupil Referral Unit makes provision for the needs of 60 pupils who are in danger of
    exclusion or are already permanently excluded from their mainstream schools because of their
    behavioural needs. These pupils live in the Calderdale local authority area.
  • Pupils attend for a varying length of time depending on their level of need.
  • The pupil referral unit is situated on three sites. The Key Stage 2 site is located next to a
    primary school and pupils often join others in the school for social occasions. Key Stage 3 and
    Key Stage 4 units are situated in separate locations across Halifax with the greatest number of
    pupils attending the Key Stage 4 site.
  • Approximately 50% of pupils are supported by the pupil premium which provides additional
    funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, those in the care of the local
    authority and those from forces’ families.
  • The vast majority of pupils who attend come from families of White British heritage. A very
    small number come from families from other ethnic groups.
  • Approximately a third of pupils who attend have identified special educational needs which are
    supported through school action.
  • Few pupils are supported by school action plus or with a statement of special educational
  • The school has a range of awards and accreditations and has achieved Healthy Schools

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Further improve pupils’ achievement through increasing the proportion of outstanding
    teaching by:
    ensuring more of teaching assistants’ time is spent on supporting pupils’ learning, rather
    than their behaviour, in order to increase progress
    improving the consistency in the marking of books so that pupils are clear about what to do
    to improve their work.
  • Improve the attendance of a small number of Key Stage 4 pupils who are hard to reach by:
    reviewing and improving the strategies currently used to engage these pupils and their
    taking a more creative approach to reducing the barriers which currently prevent them from

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is good
  • Most pupils arrive with low levels of attainment because of gaps in their education, often due to
    their complex behavioural needs. Staff are highly skilled at meeting the needs of these pupils
    and once they have learnt the skills required for learning they begin to make good progress.
    School data shows that in 2013, the majority of pupils across the school made good progress.
    This represents good achievement overall.
  • Key Stage 2 pupils often attend for short periods of time in order to assess their needs and
    improve their behaviour. Those that stay longer often make accelerated progress in reading,
    writing and mathematics as they start to re-engage with learning and enjoy the interesting and
    exciting curriculum on offer. As one young pupil commented: ‘I love coming here and enjoy
    learning now’.
  • Leaders are justifiably proud that almost 40% of pupils in Key Stage 3 successfully return to
    mainstream school. This is because they make good progress socially, emotionally and
    academically during their time at the unit and are able to return with levels of achievement
    which are closer to those expected nationally.
  • Overall, many of those who continue to attend through Key Stage 4 make good progress. Last
    year some reached nationally expected levels and the vast majority made good progress from
    their individual starting points. While the majority went on to gain a range of GCSE and other
    accreditations by the end of Year 11 last year, a small number left without gaining qualifications
    and accreditations because of low levels of attendance.
  • The most-able pupils achieve well, particularly in mathematics. This is because teachers provide
    them with challenging activities which enable them to make good and often better progress.
  • Key Stage 2 pupils enjoy reading, often for the first time in their school career. This is because
    teachers focus on reading and offer a range of exciting opportunities to read both in class and
    independently. As a result of this intensive approach, in 2013 pupils made an average gain of 18
    months on their initial reading scores which represents good, and better, progress from their
    individual starting points.
  • In 2013, the school did not receive pupil premium funding. However, despite this, pupils known
    to be eligible for free school meals made very similar levels of attainment and progress to their
    peers in both English and mathematics and their achievement was good overall. Senior leaders
    plan to use extra funding due to be received this year to support these pupils in a variety of
    different ways including the provision of more intensive one-to-one support for pupils in Key
    Stage 3 and 4.
  • All pupils who attend the school have identified behavioural needs. Some also have additional
    learning needs, for example being on the autistic spectrum. These pupils receive extra support
    through individual learning plans and as a result, disabled pupils and those with special
    educational needs group make equally good and sometimes better progress than their peers.
  • The small number of pupils who are from other ethnic groups also make good progress because
    staff are committed to supporting all pupils, evidencing the school’s clear commitment to
    equality of opportunity.
The quality of teaching is good
  • Progress in pupils’ books and in lessons observed during the inspection confirmed that teaching
    is good overall. In a small number of classrooms it is outstanding.
  • The vast majority of teachers are good at using information about how well pupils are doing to
    plan future lessons. Their subject knowledge is good and they have high expectations of pupils’
  • Teachers provide a good level of challenge, including for the most-able, and pupils clearly enjoy
    learning. An example of this could be seen in a Key Stage 4 mathematics lesson in which pupils
    were learning about trigonometry in preparation for GCSE examinations. The teacher’s
    exceptional levels of knowledge and clear explanations engaged pupils well and frequent
    reference to GCSE levels enabled pupils to be clear about what they needed to do to reach the
    next level. As a result, pupils were motivated and worked with enthusiasm, applying good levels
    of logic in using formulae and solving problems.
  • Parents of pupils who responded to a recent school survey felt that school staff were good at
    helping their children to overcome their problems and make a new start. Many praised the work
    of teachers and support staff.
  • While all teachers diligently mark pupils’ books and often give positive oral and written feedback,
    not all are consistent at ensuring pupils are clear about how to improve their work or progress to
    the next level.
  • Teachers and support staff work closely together and strong partnerships are evident across the
    school. However, in some classrooms support assistants lack sufficient direction from teachers
    and spend too much time focusing on pupils’ behaviour and too little on supporting learning.
    When this happens, progress slows.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
  • ‘I enjoy coming to school here because I feel respected’, commented an older pupil: ‘We feel
    safe here’, commented two younger pupils. This was clear evidence of what a safe and caring
    place pupils feel school is.
  • Despite the very high level of need within the school population, learning is rarely interrupted by
    incidents of difficult behaviour because staff and pupils deal with it effectively. Behaviour in the
    corridors is generally calm. Break and lunchtimes particularly in the Key Stage 4 provision are
    seen as social time which is enjoyed by staff and pupils alike.
  • Pupils feel valued as members of the school community and their views are communicated well
    to senior leaders.
  • Pupils are clear about the different forms bullying can take. They feel that incidents are rare
    because pupils are made aware through, for example, the school’s internet safety policy of the
    effects bullying can have on others. They are helped through the good quality of advice and
    guidance given by staff.
  • Attendance has improved significantly since the previous inspection for all groups except for a
    small number of Key Stage 4 pupils who are regarded by school as `hard to engage’. While staff
    have worked long and hard and successfully to engage other groups of pupils, this group
    remains difficult to motivate to attend.
  • The school recognises that current strategies aimed at improving the attendance of these pupils
    are not yet effective and they do not sufficiently engage the families of these pupils. Plans to
    improve the attendance for this group have yet to be implemented. A more creative approach to
    overcoming the barriers they face is needed in order to improve and encourage their
The leadership and management are good
  • The headteacher, supported by the deputy headteacher, has continued to build on and maintain
    the school’s good performance recognised in the previous inspection report. Their unswerving
    focus on school improvement has ensured that both the quality of teaching and the achievement
    of pupils has continued to develop. Consequently the school has maintained a good level of
    overall effectiveness.
  • Their clear vision and determined approach has united staff in a quest to improve the school
    even further.
  • The leadership of teaching is good. Teaching is effectively monitored across the school and
    effective action is taken by the headteacher through the management of staff’s performance to
    improve areas of weakness. As a result, the quality of teaching has been strengthened since the
    previous inspection. However, further improvement is needed in a small number of classes if
    teaching is to become outstanding overall.
  • Leaders ensure performance targets for staff link directly to pupils’ achievement and targets
    within the school’s development plan. Checks on the performance of staff are undertaken
    rigorously and the headteacher uses this information to make decisions on teachers’ pay.
  • Recently appointed curriculum leaders who have responsibility for leading teaching in
    mathematics and English have already brought about significant changes, particularly in Key
    Stage 4. For example, the introduction of a formal examination week has already started to
    prepare pupils more effectively for their forthcoming examinations by ensuring they have a clear
    understanding of what is expected.
  • The curriculum offers pupils a wide variety of different experiences both inside and outside the
    classroom. Recent whole-school team building days and visits to a variety of locations, including
    Yorkshire County Cricket club, have enabled pupils to develop a clearer understanding of life
    outside their immediate locality. These experiences coupled with inspirational visits from, for
    example, two members of the British Olympic athletics team increase pupils’ self esteem and
    increase their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding well. This aspirational visit also
    served to improve the participation rates in sport and health and welfare of younger pupils.
  • Since the school’s good grading for overall effectiveness in the previous inspection, the local
    authority has offered the school a light-touch level of support.
  • The governance of the school:
    Members of the management committee bring a very good range of skills and experience
    which they regularly update through attending further training. Working with the local
    authority advisor they set clear performance management targets for the headteacher which
    are directly linked to pupils’ achievement and have brought about improvement. In partnership
    with senior leaders they have developed an effective system for checking the performance of
    all staff which rewards good teaching and addresses any underperformance. Their careful and
    prudent management of the school’s finances shows that they are well placed to support the
    school in decisions on how the pupil premium funding is to be spent. They are very clear that
    they will need to check the impact this funding on improving the achievement of those pupils
    for whom it is intended. They have a good understanding of the importance of careful analysis
    of pupils’ achievement data and offer leaders support and challenge in all areas of the school’s
    performance, including the quality of teaching. Safeguarding procedures and policies within
    school are undertaken to a good standard. The health and safety committee carries out
    regular inspections and has ensured that safeguarding procedures meet current requirements.
    Currently the school does not receive sports partnership funding for Key Stage 2 pupils.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
Grade 2 Good A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
Grade 3 Requires
A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
Grade 4 Inadequate A school that requires special measures is one where the school is
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

School details

Unique reference number 133693
Local authority Calderdale
Inspection number 425902

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Pupil referral unit
School category Pupil referral unit
Age range of pupils 7–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 70
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Heidi Wilson
Headteacher Simon Lee
Date of previous school inspection 27 January 2011
Telephone number 01422 244181 / 01422 394141
Fax number 01422 364899
Email address reveal email: prua…


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