phone: 01422 244181
headteacher: Mr Simon Lee
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 #
- 0.1 miles The North Halifax Grammar School HX29SU
- 0.1 miles The North Halifax Grammar School HX29SU (1131 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Whitehill Community Trust School HX29RL
- 0.2 miles Whitehill Infant School HX29RL
- 0.2 miles Whitehill Community Academy HX29RL (502 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Holy Trinity CofE Senior School HX29TD
- 0.3 miles Holmfield High School HX29SY
- 0.4 miles Abbey Park Junior, Infant and Nursery School HX29DG
- 0.4 miles St Catherine's Catholic High School HX29TH
- 0.4 miles Trinity Academy, Halifax HX29TZ (1660 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Abbey Park Academy HX29DG (196 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Moorside Junior School HX28AP
- 0.7 miles Moorside Infant and Nursery School HX28AP
- 0.7 miles Moorside Community Primary School HX28AP (296 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Bradshaw Primary School HX29PF
- 0.8 miles Dean Field Infant School HX28DQ
- 0.8 miles Bradshaw Primary School HX29PF (310 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Dean Field Community Primary School HX28DQ (222 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Malachy's Catholic Primary School HX28JY (208 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Ash Tree Infants' School HX28QD
- 0.9 miles St Malachy's Catholic Primary School, A Voluntary Academy HX28JY (208 pupils)
- 1 mile Ash Green Community Primary School HX28QD (461 pupils)
- 1 mile The Ridings School HX35SX
- 1 mile The Ovenden High School HX35SX
The Whitley Phoenix Centre, Moorbottam , Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX2 9SR
|Inspection dates||17–18 December 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This 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
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
- 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.
|Marian Thomas, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Nell Banfield||Additional Inspector|
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
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
|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
- 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
- Their clear vision and determined approach has united staff in a quest to improve the school
- 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 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.
|Unique reference number||133693|
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|
|Date of previous school inspection||27 January 2011|
|Telephone number||01422 244181 / 01422 394141|
|Fax number||01422 364899|