Phoenix Primary EBD School
phone: 01922 712834
headed by: Mrs Dawn Evans
30 pupils capacity: 123% full
35 boys 95%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
— Community Special School
- Establishment type
- Community Special School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Jan. 1, 2008
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 399990, Northing: 301177
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.608, Longitude: -2.0016
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Sept. 20, 2011
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Walsall North › Birchills Leamore
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- SEN priorities
- BESD - Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- Priory Junior Mixed and Infant School WS32ED
- 0.1 miles Castle Business and Enterprise College WS32ED (132 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Leamore Primary School WS32BB (239 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Blakenall Heath Junior School WS33JF (198 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Sunshine Infant and Nursery School WS31HF (227 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Christ Church CofE Primary School WS31EN (233 pupils)
- 0.4 miles The Ruiz Centre WS33JF
- 0.5 miles Beechdale Primary School WS27EF
- 0.6 miles Sandbank Nursery School WS32HR (121 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Valley Nursery School WS31HT (84 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Elmore Green Primary School WS32HW (313 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Hatherton Primary School WS27JT
- 0.6 miles Frank F Harrison Engineering College WS27NR
- 0.6 miles Mary Elliot School WS27NR (110 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Hatherton Lane Infant School WS27JT
- 0.6 miles Hatherton Lane Junior School WS27JT
- 0.6 miles Forest Comprehensive School WS31AG
- 0.6 miles Grace Academy B64TN
- 0.6 miles The Mirus Academy WS27NR (1207 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Harden Primary School WS31DL
- 0.7 miles Bloxwich CofE Primary School WS33LP (304 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Goldsmith Primary Academy WS31DL (309 pupils)
- 0.7 miles All Saints Academy WS33LP
- 0.8 miles St Peter's Catholic Primary School, Bloxwich WS33LY (226 pupils)
Phoenix Primary EBD School
Odell Road, Walsall, West Midlands, WS3 2ED
|Inspection dates||3−4 December 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Leaders have a clear focus on creating a school |
All pupils display extremely difficult behaviour
Provision for spiritual, moral, social and cultural
Teaching is good because teachers have high
where pupils are able to overcome their emotional
and behavioural problems, and focus on learning.
when they first arrive. They quickly begin to
develop much more positive attitudes, so
behaviour overall is good. It enables pupils to
make good progress in learning.
development is good. In particular, it helps pupils
to develop their social skills, learning to share,
collaborate and help each other. It helps prepare
pupils to become positive members of modern
expectations. This is a major reason why pupils
are able to do well. Staff show a strong
commitment to the school and its pupils.
| Staff have opportunities to develop their specialist |
Pupils make good progress from their individual
Learning in lessons is increasingly topic based,
There have been a lot of changes in staffing, but
There have also been changes to the governing
Pupils and their parents believe that this is a safe
skills in working with difficult pupils. As a result,
they develop good expertise, which, in turn, is
starting points. Those who are more able often
make rapid progress, reaching standards above
those expected for pupils of their age.
seeking to interest and involve most pupils. Pupils
usually respond positively and work hard in lessons.
the focus on ensuring that pupils are supported to
do their best has been maintained.
body, but experienced governors remain committed
to ensuring continuity, effective teaching and good
links with parents.
and caring place where pupils can thrive in a happy
atmosphere. The school looks after its pupils well.
| Systems to check upon the ‘small steps’ pupils |
Pupils do not always know how to improve their
make in developing writing skills are not fully
work using their learning targets in lessons.
| Not all topics planned motivate pupils to learn well |
Opportunities to help staff teach writing effectively
and, particularly, use their writing skills in different
have been too few.
|Inspection report:||Phoenix Primary EBD School, 3-4 December 2014||2 of 9|
Information about this inspection
- Six lessons were observed, covering every class. They were undertaken jointly with either the headteacher
or the deputy headteacher.
- Meetings were held with school leaders, the family intervention team, the behaviour support worker, the
Chair of the Governing Body and a representative of the local authority.
- There were too few responses to Ofsted’s on-line Parent View survey to trigger an analysis. Instead,
parents’ views were gathered from the school’s own recent survey.
- The views of staff were gathered from their responses to their own questionnaire and from discussions
held throughout the inspection.
- Pupils’ views were gathered from a meeting with representative pupils and from talking to as many of
them as possible throughout the inspection.
- Pupils’ work was looked at during lessons and a more detailed scrutiny of a sample of pupils’ work from
across the school was undertaken. Case studies of specific pupils were undertaken and some pupils read
to the inspector.
- A range of written information was looked at, including information on the progress of pupils, teachers’
planning and marking, the school’s self-evaluation and development planning, as well as a range of
policies and procedures, including those for safeguarding.
|Martyn Groucutt, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||Phoenix Primary EBD School, 3-4 December 2014||3 of 9|
Information about this school
- The school is a special school for pupils between the ages of five and 11 who have behavioural, emotional
and social disabilities, often with other associated learning difficulties. These include autistic spectrum
disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disability.
- The vast majority of pupils over time have been in Key Stage 2. The occasional Key Stage 1 pupil has
been accommodated in a Key Stage 2 group. This year, however, there are three Year 1 pupils in a
dedicated Key Stage 1 class. In September 2013 the school had its largest ever number of pupils, the first
time the school had ever been full at the start of the school year.
- The proportion of pupils who qualify for the pupil premium is above average, making up the majority of
the 25 pupils who are in school. The pupil premium is additional government funding for pupils who are
known to be eligible for free school meals or who are in the care of the local authority. They are often
referred to as disadvantaged pupils.
- The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds is broadly average, reflecting the composition
of the local authority. None currently speak English as an additional language.
- The headteacher was appointed in April 2013. In her first full year some staff were absent for various
reasons, including long-term illness, maternity leave and retirement. Those on extended leave included
two of the three members of the senior leadership team. These periods of leave have now ended and the
school is back to full strength.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Ensure there is a focus on raising the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement by:
helping all teachers give effective advice to pupils on how their learning targets can help them improve
ensuring topics always interest and engage pupils’ learning, while also providing opportunities to write
at length to practise their skills.
- Raise standards in writing to those already found in reading and mathematics by:
developing the way in which progress in writing is checked so that teachers know the current levels of
their pupils’ abilities and can challenge pupils to develop further
ensuring that senior leaders use their expertise in the teaching of writing to support and develop the
skills and confidence of other staff.
|Inspection report:||Phoenix Primary EBD School, 3-4 December 2014||4 of 9|
|The leadership and management||are good|
- School leaders are focused on maintaining the high standards established in the school over recent years.
This is a school where pupils come to learn, whatever the difficulties they have faced in their previous
education. There is an expectation that pupils will be supported so that in the very small setting of the
Phoenix School they can experience success.
- Staff are all strongly committed to this vision. Overwhelmingly, they express their pride in working at the
school. Everyone takes specific responsibilities for leading subject areas, which help develop a positive
team spirit. Teaching is typically good, although systems to monitor pupils’ small steps of progress are not
yet always fully effective in writing.
- Pupils are also supported by the strong links that are developed with other professionals within education,
health and social services. For example, links with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service support
pupils’ wider emotional and behavioural needs, while family support comes through close collaboration
with social workers.
- Family support is strong, with dedicated workers seeking to develop positive engagement with the school.
A recent session for parents on the dangers of the misuse of the internet is one example. Teachers send a
sheet home every day that sets out how well their child has done through the day.
- There are appropriate systems in place to monitor the performance of staff. Last year there were a
number of long-term staff absences and it was not always possible to check how well subjects were being
taught. As a consequence, standards dipped, particularly in writing.
- Checks by senior staff now provide clear evidence of effective teaching and where some weaknesses exist.
Senior leaders have not always supported staff who may be less confident, particularly in the teaching of
writing skills. Teachers have challenging annual targets linked to pupils’ achievement and progress.
- Teaching has a clear focus on developing basic skills for learning; however, pupils’ writing skills currently
lag behind those in reading and mathematics. The other subjects in the National Curriculum are starting to
be covered through a topic-based approach to interest and challenge pupils. However, some topics chosen
do not yet motivate all pupils or give them opportunities to write at length to practise their writing skills.
- A lot of work has been done to prepare the school for measuring pupils’ progress in a different way now
that National Curriculum levels are disappearing. A new process is being rolled out, first in English,
mathematics, and then to all other subjects. This is already starting to enhance the school’s detailed
information on individual pupils, but is not yet fully effective across all subjects.
- The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils is provided for well. A strength is the
support given to pupils to help them develop their social skills. They become far more able to accept and
respect the views of others, and to share, collaborate and appreciate team work. Preparation for becoming
active members of the British democratic way of life is shown in the way in which pupils are often asked
to vote, in order to make preferences. They understand that all accept majority decisions.
- The additional funding to support physical education and sport is used effectively. Every week a sports
coach comes to school and works with teachers, leading sessions and helping them gain confidence and
expertise. This has also created more opportunities for pupils to participate in sporting activities.
- Safeguarding arrangements are rigorous, fully meeting requirements, as are the risk assessments carried
out for each pupil regarding their safety around the school and on educational visits.
- The local authority provides regular and effective support, including assistance for governors. The school
found this very useful during the period when it had severe staffing difficulties last year.
- The governance of the school:
There have been significant changes to the governing body since the previous inspection, and a period
when there were vacancies. Good support from the local authority has helped the school to fill the gaps,
and training has helped governors to carry out all their duties and responsibilities, including those for
Governors are strongly committed to ensuring equality of opportunity as is evident in the way pupils’
individual needs are identified and met. Discrimination in any form is not tolerated.
Governors challenge, yet also support, the senior leaders and they know what is going on in school
because they go in and find out for themselves.
They use regular finance reports to keep an overview of the budget and know how the pupil premium
funding is allocated. They are aware of its effectiveness and the way it is supporting pupils to accelerate
Governors are aware of the links between teachers’ pay and performance and the procedures for
dealing with any less effective teaching. Challenging targets are set annually for the headteacher, with
good support from their school improvement partner.
Governors understand the information on pupils’ progress and the impact of the school in helping to
address the difficulties faced by the pupils when they first arrive.
|Inspection report:||Phoenix Primary EBD School, 3−4 December 2014||5 of 9|
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. When they first join the school it is extremely challenging, but they
quickly learn how to control their behaviour and develop much more responsible attitudes and ideas. The
behaviour support worker provides strong support in the most difficult situations.
- The school’s clear and effective behaviour policy is based on a combination of sanctions and rewards.
Pupils say that they value this and feel it helps them focus on developing much more positive attitudes.
Pupils get on well with adults, who act as positive role models. In lessons there are excellent relationships
and pupils enjoy their learning. This is an important reason for their good progress. Pupils are encouraged
to play a full role in supporting each other and the school.
- Pupils say that there is little bullying because they are supervised so well. Pupils say they have studied
bullying in lessons and recently participated in an anti-bullying week. As part of this initiative, some pupils
recently represented the school at a conference organised by the local authority. They understand that
there are different types of bullying, including that based on prejudice.
- Specific work on e-safety and the use of the internet is also offered to parents so they can better support
their children at home. The family intervention team works hard to involve parents in the life of the school
and the education of their children.
- There are still occasional incidents of unacceptable behaviour, but staff show themselves very skilled in
dealing with these so that they are quickly resolved. Care is taken to log all behaviour incidents and a
computer-based system provides analysis that helps the school look for patterns and trends so that
difficulties can be foreseen or avoided.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. This view is also strongly held by parents and
pupils. Risk assessments are detailed and accurate, including personal risk assessments. If it is considered
a risk for a pupil to participate in an activity, they will not go, a policy that pupils are happy to accept.
- Safeguarding routines and procedures are rigorous and fully meet legal requirements. All staff receive
rigorous training in keeping pupils safe.
- Attendance is broadly average compared with all schools, but when compared to special schools, where
pupils often have to travel a long way to school or have to attend a range of appointments out of school,
it is high. This reflects pupils’ enjoyment of coming to school, as do the very low exclusion rates.
- The school itself is a safe place to be. Care is taken to vet visitors, and if people are visiting the school to
talk to pupils, care is taken to ensure that their messages are positive and will help the pupils develop
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Strong teamwork between teachers and teaching assistants provides excellent support for pupils and
provides a lot of individual support. This helps pupils to adopt the positive attitudes to learning.
- Teaching is generally good and it helps pupils make good progress. Teaching is more effective in reading
and mathematics than writing. Standards fell last year because there were too few checks on teachers and
not enough expertise available to support them.
- Teachers measure pupils’ progress termly in reading and mathematics but they are less confident in
checking pupils’ progress in writing.
- Teachers meet senior leaders termly to review pupils’ progress. Pupils who are not making enough
progress are given additional support to help them catch up. The most able pupils are stretched
appropriately so they can start to fulfil their learning potential.
- Teachers mark pupils’ work regularly and the best marking indicates how pupils can reach their targets.
Not all teachers’ marking is as good as the best.
- Staff have high expectations of their pupils and want them to do well. At the same time, they accept that
they will sometimes fall short because of their wider emotional and social difficulties. When this happens
there is always another chance given to pupils to follow the school’s expectations.
|Inspection report:||Phoenix Primary EBD School, 3−4 December 2014||6 of 9|
Teachers and teaching assistants ask good questions during lessons. Answers show that pupils
understand, but this also leads to discussions and sharing ideas. In turn, this develops the skills of working
together and sharing.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- When pupils join the school, their attainment is weak in many areas of learning. Staff’s clear expectations
of pupils ensure they make good and sometimes rapid, progress from their individual starting points.
- Topic-based learning enables pupils to practise their skills in reading and mathematics in a range of ways.
This is not always the case in writing.
- Reading is a strength of the school. Phonics (the understanding of letters and the sounds they make) is
used very effectively. Pupils, who often struggle when they first arrive, make rapid progress in reading and
value the daily opportunities to read in class.
- Pupils’ confidence to write lags behind that in reading and mathematics. Pupils do not have enough
opportunity to write at length.
- When the current levels of progress are measured against national guidance for special schools, pupils
make good, and sometimes rapid, progress.
- The needs of the most able pupils are met effectively. By the time they leave the school they are often
working at levels above those expected for their age in English and mathematics.
- Close links with the secondary school for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties ensure a
smooth transition to other schools after Year 6. Whenever possible, the school works with mainstream
schools to re-integrate pupils. Each year one or two pupils successfully return to mainstream education as
a result of careful initial support.
- Pupil premium funding is used effectively to fund additional staffing. This includes an experienced teacher
who provides individual support and interventions to meet pupils’ specific needs. As a result, these pupils
often make better progress than all pupils nationally, taking their starting points into account. There is no
gap in the achievement of these pupils compared with others in school in reading, writing and
mathematics. As their learning improves they start to narrow the gap with the performance of pupils
|Inspection report:||Phoenix Primary EBD School, 3-4 December 2014||7 of 9|
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
|Inspection report:||Phoenix Primary EBD School, 3-4 December 2014||8 of 9|
|Unique reference number||135460|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Special|
|Age range of pupils||5−11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||25|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||21 September 2011|
|Telephone number||01922 712834|
|Fax number||01922 493505|