School etc

Ian Mikardo School

Ian Mikardo School
60 William Guy Gardens
Talwin Street

phone: 020 89812413

headteacher: Ms Claire Lillis


school holidays: via Tower Hamlets council

29 pupils aged 11—15y boys gender

30 boys 103%


Last updated: July 21, 2014

— Community Special School

Establishment type
Community Special School
Establishment #
Open date
April 1, 1997
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 537936, Northing: 182564
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.525, Longitude: -0.013082
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
June 26, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
London › Poplar and Limehouse › Bromley-by-Bow
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN priorities
BESD - Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Tower Hamlets

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List of schools in Tower Hamlets

School report

Ian Mikardo School

60 William Guy Gardens, Talwin Street, London, E3 3LF

Inspection dates 26 27 June 2014
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Outstanding 1
Previous inspection: Outstanding 1
Achievement of students Outstanding 1
Quality of teaching Outstanding 1
Behaviour and safety of students Outstanding 1
Leadership and management Outstanding 1

Summary of key findings for parents and students

This is an outstanding school.

The headteacher, school leaders and
Students’ progress in English and
Additional funding for Year 7 students is
Students make outstanding progress in their
Teachers’ marking of books ensures
Support staff are highly trained and make a
Systems to manage staff performance are
governors have ensured strong improvement
in all aspects of the school’s work since the
last inspection.
mathematics, from low starting points, has
been outstanding in the last three years. This
is because of high-quality teaching and the
use of exceptional resources, now more
available in the new school.
helping them to progress extremely well in
their reading.
listening, speaking and language skills. This is
because of the excellent partnership between
the school and external professionals.
improvement in students’ knowledge and
skills. As a result, all students, including the
more-able, are making outstanding progress.
strong contribution to students’ excellent
rigorous and are clearly linked to securing
students’ rapid progress in all subjects.
Behaviour and safety are outstanding. The
Students’ behaviour improves rapidly to
Middle leaders (who lead departments and
A wide variety of planned lessons ensures that
Excellent personal, spiritual, moral, social and
Parents and carers appreciate the school’s
The governing body holds the school robustly
school is welcoming and supportive of students
from all backgrounds. Students feel extremely
safe and well cared for.
outstanding, often from a poor start when they
join the school. The consistently calm approach
of all staff encourages students to completely
change their attitudes.
subjects) check the quality of teaching and the
progress students make in their subjects
extremely well.
students develop exceptional skills in a broad
range of subjects. This prepares students well
for their next step in education or training.
cultural development is at the heart of the
school’s success and underpins all of the
school’s strengths.
work to support their children. They feel that
they are sufficiently informed and involved in
their children’s progress.
to account for its performance and
management of finances. This has strongly
contributed to students’ achievement.

Information about this inspection

  • The inspector observed learning in six lessons, all of which were jointly observed with the
    headteacher and a senior teacher. The inspector also carried out a series of short visits to other
    lessons across the school and listened to students read.
  • Meetings were held with staff and students. The inspector met with the Chair of the Governing
    Body, the vice chair and four other governors, as well as a representative from the local
  • The inspector took account of the school’s most recent survey of parents and carers and 15
    responses to the hardcopy of the Ofsted questionnaire. The inspector also held informal
    discussions with three parents and carers. There was only one reply to the online Parent View
    survey. The inspector also considered 26 responses to the staff questionnaire.
  • The inspector observed the school’s practice and looked at a range of documentation including
    its checks on how well it is doing, improvement planning and information on students’ progress.
    The inspector also took account of documents used by senior leaders to check the school’s work
    on attendance, behaviour and safeguarding.

Inspection team

Justina Ilochi, Lead inspector Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • Ian Mikardo School is a special school for boys with severe and complex behaviour, emotional
    and social difficulties. All students have a statement of special educational needs.
  • There have been substantial changes in what the school offers since the previous inspection.
    The number of students in the school has doubled following a period when the school was using
    a temporary site. The school is now occupying purpose-built accommodation on its original site
    as part of the Building Schools for the Future project.
  • The school’s curriculum is made up of two aspects: the subject curriculum and the social
    curriculum. The subject curriculum, introduced five years ago, is structured under five headings
    and led by a head of department. The social curriculum takes place during breakfast, break,
    lunch and after school.
  • Almost all students are supported through the pupil premium. This additional government
    funding is for students who are looked after and for students known to be eligible for free school
  • The school receives a small amount of additional funding for its students in Year 7.
  • About a third of students are from a White British background and the rest come from a range of
    minority ethnic backgrounds. A few students speak English as an additional language.
  • The school provides outreach for other schools in its community.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Develop closer collaboration between the heads of departments so students are given more
    opportunity to practise writing and problem-solving skills in all subjects.

Inspection judgements

The achievement of students is outstanding
  • Students join the school with skills at levels well below those expected for their age. As a result
    of high-quality teaching, students make exceptional progress from their starting points. Students’
    achievement is strong throughout the school and exceptionally rapid at the end of Key Stage 3
    and Key Stage 4. As a result, by the time they leave, students’ achievement in English and
    mathematics is outstanding. This has been so for the last three years.
  • Current school data show that students in Year 11 are making outstanding progress in all
    subjects, but particularly in art. This is because of the support they receive from
    psychotherapists and other professionals who work closely with teachers to help students to
    manage their behaviour.
  • Adults who provide one-to-one and small-group teaching for students who are eligible for
    additional funding are well trained and highly effective in their role. They make a very strong
    contribution to students’ exceptional progress. Consequently there are no gaps between the
    progress of students eligible for additional funding and the very few who are not.
  • The most able students make outstanding progress because teachers set tasks which are at the
    right level for them. They progress exceptionally well towards demanding and challenging
    targets during lessons. However chances to practise writing and problem-solving skills in all
    subjects are sometimes limited because heads of departments do not plan this provision
  • Evidence from lessons and students’ work shows that their progress is typically outstanding.
    There is effective support for developing students’ literacy, numeracy and language skills.
The quality of teaching is outstanding
  • Teachers create a stimulating and welcoming learning environment which promotes high
    expectations of students’ behaviour and achievement. Teachers have excellent relationships with
    students and know their classes extremely well. As result students’ progress, particularly in
    English and mathematics is outstanding.
  • Other adults make a very strong contribution to students’ personal development and well-being.
    They play an important role in the outstanding quality of teaching in all year groups because
    they are well trained.
  • Teachers make excellent use of high-quality resources which support the learning of students of
    all abilities and engage their interests. Students enjoy work-related lessons which develop their
    language and problem-solving skills exceptionally well and prepare them for their next steps in
    education or training.
  • More-able students benefit from being given more demanding work. Their response to teachers’
    skilful questioning encourages them to listen carefully and speak confidently.
  • Students eligible for the pupil premium or the Year 7 catch-up funding make outstanding
    progress like the rest of students. Students who initially struggle with reading in Year 7 are also
    making outstanding progress and closing the gaps with similar students in mainstream schools.
    This extra funding is used to employ trained adults who teach these students extremely well in
    small groups or one to one.
  • Students are consistently given useful guidance about how to improve their work. Students’
    books confirm their improvement in knowledge and skills, particularly in English and
The behaviour and safety of students are outstanding
  • The behaviour of students is outstanding. Students are offered time for reflection in one-to-one
    sessions with psychotherapists and other professionals to promote their understanding of ‘right
    and wrong’.
  • Students have exceptionally well-developed social skills. Staff are adept at bringing students
    from different cultures together and developing their language and communication skills. An
    excellent example is the way staff and students interact every morning at breakfast.
  • Attitudes to learning are excellent because staff respect students’ dignity, well-being and
    developing independence. Students respond readily to the sensitive and calm approach from all
    adults, which helps them stay on task throughout lessons. As a result, they arrive happily in the
    morning, remain happy throughout the day and leave contented at the end of the day.
  • Students value the many opportunities they have to take on important roles and responsibilities.
    They said they were particularly proud of their contribution to the planning of their new school
    site. They respect the fabric of the new building and its surroundings, saying they really like the
    new spacious accommodation and excellent resources.
  • Typically, behaviour over time had varied, especially during the unsettled period when the school
    was being rebuilt. The school’s strategies to improve students’ behaviour are extremely effective.
    As a result, incidents of poor behaviour reduce drastically the longer students spend in the
  • The school actively promotes equal opportunities and tackles discrimination effectively. The
    school has high levels of adult support and consistent routines throughout the day. Outdoor
    lessons and visits outside school are carefully checked to ensure that all students can take part.
    There have been no exclusions since the last inspection.
  • The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is outstanding. Students have an extremely
    well-developed awareness of different forms of bullying. Internet safety has a high priority, with
    students well supervised when they are online. Sometimes access is denied to some social
    networking sites.
  • Students say that bullying sometimes occurs but they are confident in the school’s ability to deal
    with it swiftly through ‘conflict resolution’.
  • Staff are insistent that all students attend school very regularly. Attendance in the last three
    years has been broadly average.
  • Staff and the governing body check the site very carefully to make sure that students are kept
    safe. Parents and carers who spoke to the inspector and responded to the Ofsted questionnaire
    say they are extremely happy with the school’s care for their children. This view was also
    confirmed by the students who met with the inspectors.
The leadership and management are outstanding
  • The headteacher, backed by the governing body and a committed staff, has ensured that
    students are helped to make outstanding progress. Supported by senior leaders and governors,
    she has successfully led the school through a period of significant change.
  • Leaders at all levels have an accurate view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. This has
    led to the elimination of weaker teaching, the excellent progress seen in students’ work and the
    exceptional contribution of teaching assistants.
  • Underpinning the positive picture of outstanding achievement is the strength of systems for
    checking students’ progress. For example, the school has rightly identified that students’
    progress is linked closely to their attendance and behaviour. This focus has helped leaders to set
    the right targets which have improved teaching across the school.
  • Middle leaders, who lead the subject curriculum, have successfully played a part in evaluating
    the quality of teaching in their areas. This has led to a unified approach to checking how well
    lessons are planned and linking this to students’ progress. Therefore, middle leaders know they
    need to communicate more across subjects and give students more chances to practise writing
    and problem solving. This is already part of the school’s future planning for next year.
  • The school provides a wide variety of lessons in its social curriculum during breakfast, break and
    lunch and off-site visits which students enjoy. This ensures that learning continues outside the
    classroom. As a result, the gaps in students’ knowledge and skills are narrowing rapidly. The
    contribution of students to the wonderful displays in classrooms and corridors reflects their
    school experiences and their outstanding learning.
  • The school’s promotion of students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is
    exceptional. This is underscored by the school’s core belief of ‘come with a past, leave with a
    future’. Students celebrate the diversity of different cultures through a planned calendar of
    events throughout the year.
  • The school works extremely well with parents and carers. Many of them, encouraged by the
    school, take full advantage of opportunities to help their children to read more widely at home.
    Without exception, parents and carers who responded to the Ofsted questionnaire or spoke to
    the inspector said they feel that the school sufficiently informs and involves them in their
    children’s learning.
  • Supported by the local authority, the school offers help on effective behaviour strategies to
    mainstream schools in its local area. Evidence from feedback from these schools confirms the
    extremely positive impact of this support.
  • The governance of the school:
    The governing body makes an extremely effective contribution to the quality of education the
    school provides. Governors pay close attention to the school’s information about students’
    progress and performance. They know where the school is doing well and where it needs to
    improve. They also know how additional funding is allocated and are aware that achievement
    for those receiving it is outstanding. Governors have had relevant training about keeping the
    school under review. As a result, they have a clear awareness of how outstanding teaching
    links to pupils’ achievement. They hold the headteacher robustly to account for the school’s
    performance and the management of its finances, which are sound. Governors have overseen
    the pay policy for staff and have clear procedures for checking the link between how well staff
    perform and the salaries they receive. They have updated all school policies and have made
    sure that safeguarding arrangements meet statutory requirements.

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 students’ needs. This
ensures that students 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 students’ needs. Students 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 students 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 131598
Local authority Tower Hamlets
Inspection number 439615
Type of school Special
School category Community special
Age range of students 11–16
Gender of students Boys
Number of students on the school roll 35
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Danyalle Brismead
Headteacher Claire Lillis
Date of previous school inspection 9 March 2009
Telephone number 020 8981 2413
Fax number 020 8981 2418
Email address reveal email: adm…


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