Cromwell High School
phone: 0161 3389730
headteacher: Mr Andrew Foord
40 boys 67%
20 girls 33%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
— Community Special School
- Establishment type
- Community Special School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 395370, Northing: 396965
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.469, Longitude: -2.0712
- Accepting pupils
- 11—16 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Oct. 3, 2011
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Stalybridge and Hyde › Dukinfield Stalybridge
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- SEN priorities
- SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- Astley Sports College and Community High School SK165BL (569 pupils)
- 0.1 miles Yew Tree Community Primary School and Acorn Nursery SK165BJ (515 pupils)
- 0.1 miles Oakdale School and Acorn Nursery SK165LD (106 pupils)
- 0.2 miles St Mary's Catholic Primary School SK165LB (206 pupils)
- 0.3 miles All Saints Catholic College SK165AP
- 0.3 miles All Saints Catholic College SK165AP (779 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Oakfield Primary and Moderate Learning Difficulties Resource Base SK144EZ (230 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Bradley Green Community Primary School SK144NA (213 pupils)
- 0.4 miles St John's CofE Primary School, Dukinfield SK165JA (252 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Broadbent Fold Primary School and Nursery SK165DP (231 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Flowery Field Primary School SK144SN (477 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Thomas Ashton School SK144SS (46 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Bridgeway PRU SK164XS
- 0.8 miles St Paul's Catholic Primary School SK144AG (231 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Hyde Community College SK144SP (925 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Trinity School SK151SH (102 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Gorse Hall Primary and Nursery School SK152DP (461 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Hyde-Clarendon College SK142JZ
- 0.9 miles Tameside Pupil Referral Service SK164UJ (129 pupils)
- 1 mile Globe Lane Primary School SK164UJ
- 1 mile Clarendon Fields Primary School SK164LP
- 1 mile St Peter's Catholic Primary School SK152HB (232 pupils)
- 1 mile Ravensfield Primary School SK164JG (457 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Godley Community Primary School SK142QB (263 pupils)
Cromwell High School
Yew Tree Lane, Dunkinfield, Tameside, SK16 5BJ
|Inspection dates||14–15 October 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Outstanding||1|
|Leadership and management||Outstanding||1|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Quality of teaching||Outstanding||1|
|Achievement of pupils||Outstanding||1|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school.
| Extremely strong leadership at all levels is focused |
Governors provide effective support and challenge
Students have a very wide range of ability but all
Good progress is true of key subjects including
Effective teaching helps students to develop an
Many students arrive with potentially challenging
on creating a school where students can do their
because they are very involved in the life of the
school and are extremely well informed.
of them are extremely well supported so that they
can make the most of their talents.
English and mathematics but applies equally to
wider areas, for example, music and art, and life
skills that promote independence and transition to
adulthood. This is largely due to the school’s
extremely engaging curriculum.
appreciation of the needs of others and to
understand that people hold a range of beliefs
and views. This is well supported by links with a
school in Gambia.
behaviour. A detailed behaviour policy, along with
staff who are skilled in implementing positive
behaviour plans, means very little learning time is
lost. Over time, students learn to take greater
responsibility for their own behaviour and
understand the consequences of poor behaviour.
| Everyone gets on well together and there is a |
Parents and students all agree that the school is a
Teachers and teaching assistants work as very
Staff use detailed information on the progress of
Excellent professional development has seen the
mutual respect. There is no evidence of bullying
and students say that if there was an incident, they
would only have to tell a member of staff and
things would be sorted out at once.
very safe place. Great care is taken to ensure that
students are also safe when they are out on trips
and visits, including residential ones.
effective teams in every class. They are extremely
committed and many take on training and support
roles that help colleagues develop their skills.
their students to ensure that they are fully
challenged in order to make the maximum progress
from their starting points. They constantly look for
students to have gained new skills and, wherever
possible, engage students in self-assessment of
their work and progress.
quality of teaching rise since the last inspection and
this has resulted in an already good school
becoming an outstanding one.
Information about this inspection
- Many lessons were observed during the inspection. Seven of these were observed jointly with the
headteacher or deputy headteacher.
- Meetings were held with senior leaders, leaders of key subjects or areas of school life, members of the
governing body and a representative from the local authority.
- Although there were not enough responses to trigger an analysis of parents’ views through the online
Ofsted Parent View survey, parents’ views were gathered from an analysis of the 37 responses to the
school’s own questionnaire, which is based closely on Parent View. Parents who were visiting the school
were also spoken to and their views sought.
- Inspectors met with a group of students, and took opportunities whenever possible to talk to students in
lessons and around the school in order to gather their views and opinions.
- The views of staff were gathered from the staff questionnaire and from discussions.
- Students’ work was looked at during lessons and a sample was examined in detail as part of a focused
scrutiny of work. Some students also read to an inspector.
- Inspectors also looked at a range of written documentation including information on students’ progress
and development, teachers’ planning and assessment, the school’s view of its own performance and
development planning, and a range of policies and procedures including those for safeguarding.
|Martyn Groucutt, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|David Halford||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Cromwell High is a secondary school for students with severe learning difficulties. In addition, a sizeable
number of students have profound and multiple learning difficulties, or an autistic spectrum disorder.
- As a short-term response to a temporary drop in numbers, the local authority has this year placed a small
number of students with more moderate learning difficulties in order to sustain the student numbers in the
- All students have a statement of special educational needs.
- The proportion of disadvantaged students who therefore qualify for support through the pupil premium is
well above average. (The pupil premium is additional government funding for those students known to be
eligible for free school meals or who are in the care of the local authority.)
- The large majority of students are from White British backgrounds.
- The school is based in buildings adjacent to Astley Sports College, with which it shares a campus.
- Since the last inspection, there have been changes in the composition of the leadership team; new leaders
of Key Stages 3 and 4, English and mathematics, and for behaviour support, have joined the school.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Develop a process by which students’ wider learning and preparation for adult life can be effectively
targeted and measured, and ways in which this can link directly to the development of the new Education
and Health Care Plans that will support their progress as they become young adults up to 25 years of age.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- The experienced headteacher brings a drive and determination for excellence to everything that the school
does. Since the last inspection, he has been joined by a largely new leadership team. Each member has a
very clear role and responsibilities for which they are held to account, including the leadership of key
subject areas. They are very successful and there is a focus on ensuring that every student achieves the
very best of which they are capable.
- This same determination is seen throughout the school. Staff are highly motivated and professional.
Elements of leadership are provided by staff at all levels; for example, the lead in promoting the effective
use of symbols for helping more profoundly disabled students to communicate is taken by a teaching
assistant. There is a range of similar opportunities for staff to act as ‘learning champions’, working with
colleagues in promoting their specific expertise.
- Highly effective monitoring of teaching, assessment and planning provides clear evidence of teaching and
learning of the highest standard. It has enabled leaders to raise the quality of teaching since the last
- This monitoring underpins a very effective staff performance and appraisal system. All staff have
challenging annual objectives linked to students’ achievement and progress. Staff training is regular and of
a high quality. Teachers are aware of the direct link between their performance and any increase in pay.
- There is a focus on constant improvement. For example, the school has identified that its current systems
do not measure with pinpoint accuracy the success of students’ wider learning in gaining life skills or
working towards independent living. This makes the process of supporting students in their transition to
college and then into adulthood good but not yet outstanding.
- The range of subjects taught engages students very effectively and supports academic progress, often
through themes or topics. The Key Stage 4 element of increased opportunities to develop effective skills
for life stands them in good stead for their future and supports students well in their preparation for life
after school and in modern Britain.
- A range of activities strongly support students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Students’
artwork is enhanced through an artist in residence, while music supports many pupils, especially those
with an autistic spectrum disorder. The ways in which students help, support and encourage each other
are very impressive. This is especially evident in the annual residential trip for students.
- The school’s work to measure its own performance is detailed and accurate. It leads to effective priorities
for continuing to move the school forward.
- Many parents are actively involved with the school. Responses to every element of the parents’ survey
were exceptionally supportive, reflecting the excellent relationships between school and home.
- There are also strong partnerships with a range of professional agencies that provide effective support in
meeting the health and educational needs of students. Arrangements for safeguarding are robust and
reflect the strength of relationships with other agencies in seeking to ensure the safety of young people.
- The local authority is aware that this is an extremely effective school and therefore feels that only light-
touch support is necessary.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body is very effective in carrying out all its duties, including those for safeguarding.
Governors challenge senior leaders to ensure high-quality provision and to promote equality of
opportunity for all. Governors are frequent visitors; they know what is going on in the school because
they find out for themselves. Similarly, they have a firm grasp of spending, including an understanding
of how the pupil premium is allocated and the impact that it has on individual progress. They fully
understand the links between teachers’ performance and pay, and the process, should it be needed, to
tackle underperformance. Challenging targets are set to monitor the performance of the headteacher,
and are checked regularly. Governors have a good understanding of the data on students’ progress so
they can challenge leaders effectively.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- The behaviour of students is outstanding. Many enter school with very challenging behaviour but this is
managed exceptionally well so that virtually no time is lost to learning because of bad behaviour. The
behaviour policy is skilfully and consistently applied by all staff and, over time, students come to learn how
to control their own behaviour and understand why poor behaviour is not acceptable.
- Students really love their learning because it is pitched at just the right level for each of them. They show
a thirst for learning which enables them to make outstanding progress over time. This was reflected in the
way a class being observed came in from enjoying break but was very quickly ready and engaged in
learning. There was engagement, focus and concentration right from the start.
- The school prides itself on the very small number of pupils it has had to exclude. All the parents who
completed the questionnaire said that the school ensures good behaviour and that their children feel safe.
- Students get on very well together and with adults around the school. As a result, there is exemplary
behaviour and positive relationships, not only in lessons but also around the school throughout the whole
day, including at break and lunchtime. A very positive element of school life is that lunch is taken in the
adjacent comprehensive school’s canteen, helping to foster very positive relations between the schools
and their students.
- Students say there is no bullying but if any kind of behaviour incident occurs, they just tell an adult and it
is dealt with quickly. They have been told in lessons about the different types of bullying, including
bullying on the internet and social networks and that based on prejudice.
- Attendance is above average for secondary schools. The school has worked hard to improve this since the
last inspection and parents are contacted as soon as a student’s attendance drops below 95 per cent.
- The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is outstanding. Safeguarding arrangements are
robust. Care is taken to analyse the risks involved in any situation and to ensure that students are kept
safe. Students are supported in developing the best possible understanding of risk they can and adults
work to ensure the school is always safe.
- Any behavioural incidents, including the need to use restraint, are logged immediately in detail and
analysed carefully to look for any patterns. Care is taken to ensure parents of the students involved are
always informed and aware.
|The quality of teaching||is outstanding|
- In every class, teachers and their teaching assistants work as extremely effective teams to support the
learning needs of every student. As a result, students are very well challenged and supported, and it is
this practice that lies behind the outstanding progress that students make. It reflects the school’s strong
commitment to ensuring equality of opportunity.
- All planning is extremely thorough and addresses individual students’ needs. It takes into account all the
information that teachers have of their progress and achievement. There is a constant focus on progress
and supporting everyone to reach their challenging end-of-year targets. Whenever possible, students are
also encouraged to reflect on and be proud of their own achievement.
- Progress data are gathered by teachers and maintained in a file for every student. When progress towards
targets is not matching expectation, a range of short-term interventions can be put into place. These help
students to get back up to speed. At present, the range of such support available is rather greater in
English than it is in mathematics. There is a focused pupils’ progress meeting between every class teacher
and a senior leader every term and teachers are held accountable for the progress of their students.
- Students respond very well to the very high expectations of them that staff set. These consistently high
expectations help students to make exceptionally good progress across the whole range of subjects and
topics that are taught. This is equally true of progress in English, communication and mathematics as it is
in wider learning, for example in gaining practical skills at venues out of school, such as at a local farm.
- Marking of work is detailed or, for those students who cannot write, a clear record of individual
achievement is kept. There is a very high level of consistency in the way the marking policy is carried out.
It enables teachers to gather clear evidence of progress over time, even where this is measured in very
small steps. Teachers and teaching assistants are skilled in monitoring progress across all areas of
- Good questioning of the students who are able to respond tests accurately their understanding of the
work being covered and identifies where further help might be needed.
- Staff work equally effectively with those students who have no speech by competently using signing or
symbols to help to communicate. They support students in using a range of methods of communication,
such as the use of switches and other electronic devices to respond. The achievement of all students,
including those with profound levels of learning difficulties, has risen since the last inspection. This is due
in no small measure to the improved quality of teaching since that time.
|The achievement of pupils||is outstanding|
- While the learning difficulties of students mean that the standards they reach are low, they often make
exceptional progress from their individual starting points whatever the nature of their difficulties. Using
figures produced to measure the progress of students in special schools, it is clear that an extremely high
percentage are making progress well above that expected across the country as a whole in English and
mathematics. They learn exceptionally well, eventually being well prepared for the move to college.
- The school has taken great care in allocating the additional resources from the pupil premium. Individual
support is based on a needs analysis. An action plan identifies spending and monitors its impact. It is clear
that this has been effective in accelerating progress in English and mathematics of those who receive help.
There are now no consistent differences in the performance of these students and that of others.
- Detailed analysis is made of the progress being made by identified groups of students, such as
male/female, or those from different ethnic backgrounds. Because the focus of learning is so individualised
to meet specific needs, there are no differences between any such groups.
- Since the last inspection, there has been a greater emphasis on the teaching of phonics (letters and the
sounds they make). This has helped students who are capable to develop their skills quickly and learn to
read. Students who read to an inspector said that they enjoyed reading and, from their discussions, it was
clear that they have a good understanding of the stories in their books.
- The most able students are very well challenged to reach their potential. This includes support from the
positive links with the adjacent mainstream comprehensive school. When it is possible, students from
Cromwell High take courses alongside mainstream students. This has, on occasion, enabled them to gain
GCSE passes in woodwork and BTEC qualifications in food technology.
- All students are expected to leave school with externally accredited qualifications, which is often, and
rightly so, a source of pride to students and their families. The main qualifications are those at Entry Level
or from the range of certification provided by the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network
- Great care is taken to ensure that assessment of work is accurate. In school, subject leaders work with
staff to help them ensure that their judgements are right. The school is also an active member of the
Greater Manchester Special Schools group, which meets to compare the standards of work done by
students in their schools and agree the levels of achievement that they reflect. This gives great confidence
that the assessment of achievement in the school is correct.
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
|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
|Unique reference number||106279|
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||11–16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||64|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||3 October 2011|
|Telephone number||0161 3389730|
|Fax number||0161 3389731|