phone: 01306 883763
headteacher: Mr J Watson
45 boys 100%
Last updated: Sept. 6, 2014
— Community Special School
- Establishment type
- Community Special School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 517474, Northing: 148338
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.222, Longitude: -0.31919
- Accepting pupils
- 11—16 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Oct. 3, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Mole Valley › Holmwoods
- 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 #
- 0.5 miles The Redlands Junior School RH42LR
- 0.5 miles St John's CofE Community School and Nursery RH42LR
- 0.5 miles The Redlands CofE Infant School RH42LR
- 0.5 miles St John's Church of England Primary School RH42LR (196 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Paul's CofE (Aided) Primary School RH42HS (421 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Nower Lodge School RH43BT
- 0.9 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School RH43JA (189 pupils)
- 1 mile Dorking Nursery School RH41BY (71 pupils)
- 1 mile The Priory CofE Voluntary Aided School RH43DG (907 pupils)
- 1 mile Sondes Place School RH43DG
- 1.1 mile Powell Corderoy Primary School RH43DF (188 pupils)
- 1.2 mile The Ashcombe School RH41LY (1468 pupils)
- 1.3 mile St Martin's CofE Controlled Primary School, Dorking RH41HW (361 pupils)
- 1.5 mile New Lodge School RH41LR
- 1.6 mile North Downs Primary School RH37LA (393 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Westcott CofE First School RH43QF
- 1.8 mile Surrey Hills Primary School RH43QF (274 pupils)
- 2.3 miles South Holmwood CofE First School RH54LY
- 2.4 miles The Acorns Infant School RH37DJ
- 2.5 miles Betchworth County First School RH37DJ
- 3.1 miles Leigh County First School RH28NN
- 3.2 miles Box Hill School RH56EA (404 pupils)
- 3.3 miles St Michael's CofE Aided Infant School RH56EW (72 pupils)
- 3.3 miles The Weald CofE Voluntary Aided Primary School RH54QW (375 pupils)
Chart Lane South, Dorking, RH5 4DB
|Inspection dates||3– 4 October 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:
| Students at Starhurst achieve well from often |
Students make good progress in
The quality of teaching is good. Teachers are
low starting points when they join the school.
All groups of students make equally good
communication and numeracy skills,
especially in reading, speaking and listening
enthusiastic, have good subject knowledge
and use time very effectively to help motivate
| Behaviour and safety are good. Adults build |
Leaders and managers, including the governing
The interesting and varied curriculum gives
very good relationships with students over
time. The combination of care, consistent
behaviour management and support helps to
build students’ self-esteem and confidence.
body, have maintained the good achievement,
quality of teaching and behaviour since the
students many opportunities to develop their
spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness.
| Teachers are not given sufficient individual |
Teachers do not always help teaching
They do not give the work that is planned for
Delete this bullet symbol
support and training from leaders and
managers in order to improve their teaching
to being consistently outstanding.
assistants to support students’ learning.
more able students early enough in lessons.
| A small number of students do not attend |
|Inspection report:||Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013||2 of 9|
Information about this inspection
- The inspector observed eight lessons, two of which were joint observations with the
- The inspector took account of the online survey of parents’ and carers’ opinions (Parent View).
She also looked at the school’s own surveys and read comments from annual reviews and letters
to the school.
- Meetings were held with various members of staff, representatives from the governing body and
the local authority. The inspector spoke to many students, met with a small group and looked at
behaviour in lessons and around the school.
- She also looked at documentation about students’ progress, teaching and planning. The school’s
documents on safeguarding were scrutinised together with records of attendance and students’
- The inspector listened to students reading in lessons and looked at their work, both in lessons
and in books from the previous year.
|Helen Howard, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013||3 of 9|
Information about this school
- Starhurst is a residential special school for up to 50 boys aged 11 to 16 who have behavioural,
emotional and social difficulties. All have a statement of special educational needs. Many have
additional needs such as autistic spectrum disorder or learning difficulties.
- Twelve students currently choose to be residential for different amounts of time during the
week. The residential provision was inspected separately in June 2013.
- The majority of students are White British. Approximately two thirds of students are eligible for
pupil premium funding (additional funding given by the government for students who are eligible
for free school meals, students from service families and those in care), which is much higher
than the national average.
- Nearly two thirds of the students join or leave the school at different stages of their school
career. This is much higher than the national average.
- Some Key Stage 4 students attend college placements at Central Surrey and East Surrey
Colleges. A few attend a range of local work experience placements or alternative provision at
‘STEPS’ run by The Surrey Care Trust.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching so that more is outstanding by:
making sure that teachers give work to the more-able students earlier in the lesson, so that
they can make faster progress
ensuring that leaders and managers consistently provide training and support for individual
teachers, based on information gained from observations
giving teaching assistants more opportunities to support students’ learning.
- Improve overall attendance by planning individual, targeted support for a small number of
students, in partnership with other agencies.
|Inspection report:||Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013||4 of 9|
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Students join Starhurst with attainment that is below expected levels. Many have additional
learning difficulties or have missed parts of their education. School records show that most have
weak communication and numeracy skills. By the time they leave school they make good
progress. All of them achieve basic qualifications in literacy and numeracy. Students who remain
at the school from Year 7 to Year 11 and those who are residential make even better progress
because they form very strong relationships with staff and get more support over time.
- The school enters students early for examinations in literacy and numeracy and for geography
entry level qualifications and this helps to boost students’ self-confidence. Adults are especially
skilful in motivating students to take qualifications in Year 11. Each student has a carefully
planned programme that matches their needs and increasing numbers of them gain six or more
GCSEs, including English and mathematics. A few students achieve grade C for mathematics as a
result of outstanding teaching. Combinations of work experience and college placements ensure
that students are very well prepared for their next stage.
- The school carefully monitors the progress of a few students who use alternative off-site
placements to make sure that they also make good progress. Almost all students go on to
college or work when they leave school.
- In lessons, there is a strong emphasis on reading and writing. Students are encouraged to read
aloud in class and complete reading logs, which record how much they have read each week. All
teachers use key words which help students learn and use vocabulary that is linked to the topic
being studied. For example, in a Year 9 food technology lesson, students were given a sheet
with a choice of adjectives to help them describe different cheeses. They became increasingly
confident in speaking and writing about the textures, colours and tastes and made good
progress. Older students develop an enjoyment of literature, by reading for example, William
Lord of the Flies
- Students make good progress in mathematics and some make outstanding progress over time.
This is because teachers’ high expectations, subject knowledge and enthusiasm motivate the
students to do well.
- The school promotes equal opportunities well. All groups of students, including those who
receive pupil premium funding, make the same good progress. The school has used pupil
premium funding to provide outdoor education and to support college placements for individual
students. As a result, many students gain qualifications, including climbing, mountain biking,
kayaking and construction. The boost to their confidence means that, for many students, the
success they experience leads to greater engagement with learning in lessons.
- Many students join the school at different times, often in Key Stage 4. The school sets
challenging targets for progress, based on starting points, and is successful in settling students
over time so they can re-engage with learning and make good progress while at the school.
- School records show that parents and carers think that their child is achieving well and students
agree: as one said, ‘I have learnt so much more since coming here.’
- Achievement is not outstanding because the more-able students are not always enabled to make
the rapid progress they could.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teachers and other adults have high expectations of what students can achieve. They use
information about students’ progress to plan activities that match most students’ needs and
adapt their teaching to make sure that students understand what they have to do. Students
speak warmly of how much teachers help them to do well.
- Teachers are given time to work together to plan lessons and this, together with regular
meetings with care staff and teaching assistants, helps students to make good progress,
|Inspection report:||Starhurst School, 3– 4 October 2013||5 of 9|
academically and socially.
- Teachers are enthusiastic and this helps motivate students. They use humour well and make
tasks interesting. For example, a Year 11 mathematics lesson focused on reading questions
properly for examinations. Students were given a set of problems that ended with, ‘Only do the
first question!’ Students agreed that this was an effective and amusing way of making a serious
- Lessons are well structured and very little time is wasted. Teachers give short, timed tasks that
keep students focused. Lessons start very quickly and students respond well to this fast pace.
- Students learn best when teaching is practical and memorable. They thoroughly enjoy outdoor
lessons, art, gardening and sports. The quality of artwork is especially high throughout the
- Teachers mark students’ books regularly and give comments about how to improve work.
Mostly, they give precise information about how to improve work as lessons are happening, to
support those students with weak reading skills.
- Although teaching assistants support and manage behaviour well, they are not consistently
involved in supporting learning and sometimes do not have enough to do when the teacher is
talking. This means that students do not always make the rapid progress they could with the
extra available help.
- Teachers do not consistently give more-able students their higher-level work quickly enough in
lessons. As a result, these students do not always make the fast progress they could.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Students generally behave well during lessons and around the school despite their high level of
social and behavioural needs. Students say that adults never give up on them: as one said,
‘They have the patience of saints.’
- Students make good progress in their social skills. Adults model the behaviour they expect of
students at all times and students learn over time how to relate to others. They are welcoming
and polite towards visitors, for example, holding doors open for them. At lunchtime, staff and
students eat together, creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere.
- School records show that over time, behaviour improves for individuals. As one parent wrote,
‘You saw the potential in this lost and confused teenager and surrounded him with care,
compassion, opportunities and choices. You gave a mum some hope.’
- Staff, especially teaching assistants, who move with the class to every lesson, know the students
very well and are skilful in managing behaviour.
- As students move through the school, they are given increasing opportunities to become
independent and take on responsibilities. The reward system allows students to earn grades and
certificates for work, effort and behaviour, which link to a choice of Friday activities: as one said,
‘Some might pretend not to care but we all do really’. Older students spoke approvingly of the
reading ‘bling’, a medal awarded by the school for reading progress.
- The school tackles discrimination effectively. Students are very aware of what bullying is,
including the different types. They say that it does sometimes happen but that they all have an
adult they can trust and that the school deals with it seriously. They conduct themselves safely
about the school and in lessons. Staff ensure that students behave equally well in college or
- Although the proportion of fixed-term exclusions is high it has reduced significantly over three
years, as has the number of students who are excluded. The school uses exclusion for a small
number of days as a last resort for aggressive behaviour. Records show that this has the effect
of improving behaviour over time for individuals and of keeping students and staff safe. This
year, there have been very few serious incidents needing physical intervention and these have
decreased over time. Students say they feel safe and parents and carers who responded to the
school’s own survey agree.
- Overall attendance has improved since the previous inspection but remains below average. This
|Inspection report:||Starhurst School, 3– 4 October 2013||6 of 9|
is because a small number of students do not attend regularly enough. In order to improve
attendance further, the school has recently begun to make home visits and provide a home tutor
course to engage these students. This has not yet had enough time to have an impact.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Leaders and managers have maintained the students’ good achievement and good behaviour,
and the overall quality of teaching since the previous inspection. This demonstrates that they
have capacity for further improvements.
- Subject and key stage leaders are developing their skills and becoming increasingly confident in
monitoring and evaluating their areas of responsibility. They use data well to identify strengths
and areas for development. They hold frequent meetings to discuss students’ progress and plan
support for those who may be underperforming. They are well supported by governors, who
hold them to account through regular meetings and presentations to the governing body.
- There is an effective programme of whole-school training for all staff, including for behaviour
management and teaching, which helps staff to reflect on their own teaching and to ensure that
they all manage behaviour consistently. Teachers have the opportunity to work with local
mainstream schools to ensure that they keep up to date with recent curriculum developments.
- Although there is a whole-school programme to maintain good teaching overall, leaders and
managers do not consistently provide support or training for individual teachers, based on
information gained from their lesson observations in order to improve teaching to outstanding.
- The local authority has very recently begun to offer more support to the school for leadership
and to improve teaching further. So far, this has helped to check that leaders’ and managers’
judgments about teaching are accurate and has enabled them to further develop their self-
evaluation, which is used to inform planning for the future. External consultants now support
individual teachers with subject content and improvements in teaching. There has not yet been
enough time to show the impact of this.
- An effective procedure for performance management gives individual teachers targets for
improvement and links to the school development plan. This has been reviewed and a new
system is in place this year. There has not been enough time to evaluate the impact of this on
raising standards further.
- The curriculum offers a wide range of academic and vocational subjects. It is broad and varied,
with good opportunities for students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, including
‘diversity’ evenings, where students consider cultures from around the world, and many artistic
and sporting opportunities.
- Safeguarding arrangements are effectively in place in school and for off-site placements. The
school works very well with other agencies to ensure students’ well-being, including those who
may be vulnerable because of their learning difficulties.
- The governance of the school:
Members of the governing body have a good range of skills to hold senior leaders and
managers to account. They regularly visit the school to monitor its work and make strong links
with subject leaders. Their records show increasing levels of challenge and support. They are
knowledgeable about students’ performance data and they know how pupil premium funding
is spent, together with the resulting impact on how well students have done. They know the
quality of teaching and check that teachers’ pay progression is linked to their performance.
They tackle underperformance decisively. They ensure that resources are used effectively. The
local authority is undertaking a review of governance as part of its support plan for the school.
|Inspection report:||Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013||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 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.
|Inspection report:||Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013||8 of 9|
|Unique reference number||125464|
|Type of school||Special|
|School category||Community special|
|Age range of pupils||11–16|
|Gender of pupils||Boys|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||41|
|Number of boarders on roll||11|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||10–11 November 2010|
|Telephone number||01306 883763|
|Fax number||01306 889819|