phone: 01942 883928
headed by: Ms Elizabeth Loftus
80 pupils capacity: 120% full
80 boys 83%
15 girls 16%
Last updated: July 21, 2014
— Community Special School
- Establishment type
- Community Special School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 1, 2006
- Reason open
- Result of Amalgamation
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 368689, Northing: 403968
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.531, Longitude: -2.4738
- Accepting pupils
- 2—14 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 17, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Bolton West › Atherton
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- SEN priorities
- MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty~SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- Atherton Green Hall School M469HP
- Green Hall Primary School M469HP
- 0.4 miles St Philip's CofE Primary School, Atherton M469FD (286 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Chowbent Primary School M469FP (170 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Meadowbank Primary School & Children's Centre M460HX (249 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Two Porches School M460HX
- 0.7 miles The Lilford Centre M298LN
- 0.7 miles Atherton Community School M469JP (134 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Shakerley CofE Primary School M298LN
- 0.8 miles St Richard's Roman Catholic Primary School Atherton M460HA (163 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Parklee Community School M460AR (303 pupils)
- 1 mile St Andrew's CofE Primary School, Over Hulton BL51EN (212 pupils)
- 1 mile St George's CofE Junior School M460HJ
- 1 mile Atherton St George's CofE Primary School M460HJ (244 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Hindsford CofE Primary School M469BL (206 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Sacred Heart RC Primary School M469BN (189 pupils)
- 1.1 mile St George's CofE Infant School M460LE
- 1.1 mile Hesketh Fletcher CofE High School, Atherton M460AY
- 1.1 mile Sacred Heart RC Infant School M469BL
- 1.2 mile Tyldesley Central CofE Junior and Infant School M298DH
- 1.2 mile Fred Longworth High School M298JN
- 1.2 mile Advanced Education - Meadows M298BS
- 1.2 mile Tyldesley St George's Central CofE Primary School M298DH (301 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Advanced Education - Weston M298BS
Green Hall Close, Atherton, Manchester, M46 9HP
|Inspection dates||17–18 June 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|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
| All groups of pupils make good progress from |
Teachers are adapting well to the rapidly
Pupils love coming to school and do so
their very varied starting points. Some make
outstanding progress, especially, but not
exclusively, in the Early Years Foundation
Stage and Key Stage 1.
changing need of pupils. They manage large
classroom teams very well to make sure that
all individuals have their learning, behaviour
and personal care needs particularly well met.
Teachers are particularly good at helping
pupils communicate and to get on well with
whenever they can. They behave
exceptionally well. They pay attention in class
and mix well out of it.
| Pupils feel safe and secure. Their parents |
Leaders and managers, including governors,
Leaders, managers and governors have taken
Parents like this school. Pupils like this school.
agree. For many parents, the safety, happiness
and personal development of their children is
of the utmost importance and, in this respect,
the school does particularly well.
are managing change well. They make sure
that everything they do is done for a clearly
stated purpose. Whenever they check what is
going on in school, they praise the good and
offer support to eliminate anything that is less
considerable steps to improve teaching.
Weaker practice is being eliminated and
stronger practice is being rewarded.
Staff are proud to be a part of the way it is
helping pupils to learn and enjoy life.
| Teaching is not outstanding. There are too |
many inconsistencies in the way teachers
mark books and tell pupils what they need to
do to do better.
| Pupils are not always moved on to harder work |
quickly enough once they have mastered what
they are doing, especially the most able.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors visited every classroom at least once. They saw all teachers and observed 10 lessons.
Four of these were in the company of senior leaders.
- Inspectors looked at many samples of pupils’ work and records of their progress.
- Inspectors had many informal chats with pupils and met with a few parents collecting their
children at the end of the school day. They took note of the responses that parents, pupils and
staff have made to questionnaires issued by the school and Ofsted.
- Inspectors talked to a representative of the local authority and two members of the governing
- Inspectors looked at a lot of documentation relating to the way it keeps pupils safe and is
working to improve teaching and learning.
|Alastair Younger, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Marilyn Massey||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Nearly all pupils have a statement of special educational needs. Most of these show a significant
degree of learning difficulty. Many pupils have additional difficulties including autism. In recent
years, pupils’ special needs have become increasingly severe and complex.
- Nearly all pupils are White British. Boys considerably outnumber girls.
- Nearly a half of all the pupils on roll are known to be eligible for free school meals. The
proportion of pupils who are looked after by the local authority is also larger than average. A
larger than average proportion is therefore eligible for support through the pupil premium, which
provides additional government funding for these two groups.
- The school is subject to reorganisation. It is going to become a special school for primary-aged
pupils. As pupils in Key Stage 3 leave they are not being replaced. The current Year 6 pupils will
transfer to a different school at the end of the current academic year.
- A new headteacher was appointed shortly after the last inspection. The deputy headteacher is
currently on maternity leave. There is currently an acting deputy headteacher and an acting
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching further by making sure that:
teachers mark pupils’ work consistently well and by making it very clear what the pupil has
achieved and what the pupil needs to do to move on
pupils are moved on to harder work as soon as they have mastered what they are doing,
especially the most able.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- All pupils join the school at a lower level of learning and development than is typical for their
age. Staff quickly establish just what these starting points are and promptly build up individual
programmes to meet these needs. For many this includes plans to support behaviour and
personal care as well as learning.
- From these starting points, pupils make good, and occasionally outstanding, progress. There are
no pupils who make worse than expected progress. Achievement is good because whenever
progress is seen to be faltering, or not as good as expected, individuals are given effective extra
support to help them catch up. More pupils could be making outstanding progress if they were
given harder work as soon as it became clear that they were already able to do the work they
had been set. This tends to happen more with the most able pupils.
- Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 achieve particularly well. They are
often exceptionally well taught and given exciting opportunities to learn and develop, both
indoors and outdoors.
- Apparent differences in the performances of groups of pupils often amount to the under, or
over, performance of one or two individuals. None are disadvantaged. There is good promotion
of equal opportunities because teachers take care to vary work to meet different needs. Pupils
known to be eligible for free school meals, and others supported through the pupil premium,
make very similar progress to all other pupils. Sporting talent is recognised and extra support
given to help individuals to make the best of it. Quite often this involves a good mix of support
funded through additional sports funding and the pupil premium.
- There is little significant difference between the rate of progress pupils make in English or
mathematics. Pupils make equally good progress across a wide range of subjects and learning.
Indeed, what they learn in one subject often helps them to make progress in another.
- Not all pupils can read but nearly all of them enjoy books and get excited when they are reading
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- There is rigorous monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching. Teaching is good and
pupils learn well. Over time, this good learning adds up to pupils making consistently good
progress and this is clearly evident in pupils’ workbooks and records of their progress.
- Parents are very happy about the way their children are taught and pupils clearly enjoy their
lessons. Teachers manage their classrooms well; rooms are clean but some are untidy and
cluttered. Most teachers balance the celebration of pupils’ best work, through well-presented
displays, and the prominent display of helpful information, very well.
- Over time, the school’s leaders and managers have, through their rigorous monitoring and
evaluation, identified pockets of stronger and weaker teaching and taken prudent steps to
reward the former and eliminate the latter.
- Relationships between adults and pupils in classrooms are exceptionally good. There is harmony.
Pupils are confident that they are safe. They like their teachers.
- Most teachers plan lessons well to meet the needs of individuals. A few do not adapt their
planning quickly enough when it becomes obvious that pupils can do the work they have been
set a little too easily.
- Leaders and managers have carefully monitored the way teachers mark pupils’ work. Their
findings are well supported through the evidence of inspection. Most marking is good but there
is also some that requires improvement. In one book, inspectors saw this comment: ‘Good
matching of English and Spanish words, now can you find out the right words for the rest of the
list?’ In another, they saw: ‘Super work’. The first example is highly specific and points the pupil
towards further success. The second, although praising of their achievement, does not help to
explain what is super about their work or how it could be made even better.
- Teachers are becoming increasingly skilled in meeting the demands of an increasingly complex
range of pupil needs. They are getting a lot better at helping pupils to communicate through
whatever means possible. They are responding well to the training they are being given in
working with pupils with autism.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. All instances of misbehaviour relate closely to pupils’
assessed needs. Teachers are well aware of these, plan carefully to address them and manage
misbehaviour sensitively and very well. Parents are very happy with the standard of behaviour in
the school and the vast majority of staff agree with them.
- It is highly significant that leaders and managers can devote their attention to improving
teaching and raising standards rather than worrying about how to manage pupils’ behaviour.
- Pupils like each other. They understand each other’s difficulties and are tolerant and inquisitive.
- Pupils like coming to school.
- Whenever questions arise about absence they are quickly followed up by learning mentors.
When pupils are unexpectedly absent staff quickly establish why. If absence tends to be
repeated the school is good at contacting other support to establish why.
- There is no recorded evidence of bullying, harassment or serious unpleasantness and none was
seen by inspectors or reported by parents, pupils or staff.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Parents and pupils have total
confidence in the school. Pupils are given a lot of good advice about how to keep themselves
safe when using public transport, computers or other forms of technology.
- All pupils know what to do if they have worries. They are not made fearful of the outside world
but are given good advice about what to do if they ever become scared about anything or
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher is effectively promoting much needed change in staff expectations and
practice. There was some resistance at first but staff are now firmly behind her and her vision
for improvement. Leaders, managers and governors have an increasingly realistic idea of where
the school is now and where they want it to be in the future.
- The acting deputy headteacher and assistant headteacher have taken on their additional
responsibilities well. They are both teachers who can lead by example. Unlike the headteacher
they find it harder to confront underperformance; but they are getting much better at it.
- Middle management has recently been extended to include two senior teachers to complement
the existing senior teacher and two higher-level teaching assistants. Their work is effective.
There has been a huge and effective focus on improving teaching. Following the previous
inspection, some teaching became less effective and some aspects required improvement. Over
the past two years, this decline has been halted. Teaching that requires improvement is quickly
identified, and successful teaching is being increasingly recognised and rewarded.
- Teachers manage large classroom teams very well. They make sure that classroom assistants
understand what they are expected to do and balance responsibilities very well.
- Teachers are set targets for improvement that recognise the importance of raising standards.
- Parents are happy with the work of the school. They like the friendliness of staff and the way
they let them know how well their children are getting on. They are pleased that the school
keeps making their children’s lives better. Much of this is down to the way that the school
promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils through a particularly
well developed range of activities.
- This is a school that has caused the local authority no concern for many years. It is also
recognised by the local authority as a school that has a great deal to offer other schools. Many
staff play a big role in helping other schools to cope with pupils with similar, but less extreme,
needs as those who attend this school.
- The governance of the school:
Governors have a clear understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. They are well
informed by the headteacher but also take care to check up on whether what is being
reported is happening. Governors have supported the headteacher’s actions to improve
teaching and raise standards. They recognise that there was a quick decline in teaching
following the last inspection and have supported the headteacher well in addressing this issue.
Governors know how well pupils are achieving, how well they are attending, and how well
they are behaving. They also show awareness of how extra money coming into the school
through the pupil premium and primary sport funding is being used and to what effect.
Governors are aware of the fact that not all staff are performing at a level that justifies their
pay. Governors are very vigilant in making sure that all pupils are kept safe and well looked
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||131295|
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||2–14|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||96|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||12 January 2011|
|Telephone number||01942 883928|
|Fax number||01942 870069|