School etc

The Willows

The Willows
Tennyson Avenue

phone: 01227 781548

headteacher: Mrs Rosalind Eastwood

school holidays: via Kent council

— Pupil Referral Unit

Establishment type
Pupil Referral Unit
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 1, 2006
Reason open
New Provision
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 613467, Northing: 157583
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.277, Longitude: 1.0593
Accepting pupils
5—18 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Jan. 15, 2013
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Canterbury › Northgate
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN Facilities
PRU Does have Provision for SEN
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Canterbury

Schools nearby

  1. The Canterbury Primary School CT28PT
  2. The East Kent Hospital School Service CT28PT
  3. Beauherne County Infant School CT28PT
  4. Beauherne County Junior School CT28PT
  5. The Canterbury Primary School CT28PT (209 pupils)
  6. 0.2 miles The Canterbury High School CT28QA
  7. 0.2 miles The Canterbury Academy CT28QA (1236 pupils)
  8. 0.7 miles Wincheap Foundation Primary School CT13SD (433 pupils)
  9. 0.7 miles Kent College Infant and Junior School CT29AQ (162 pupils)
  10. 0.8 miles St Peter's Methodist Primary School CT12DH (208 pupils)
  11. 1 mile St Edmunds School Canterbury CT28HU (552 pupils)
  12. 1 mile The Orchard School CT13QQ (88 pupils)
  13. 1 mile St Nicholas' School CT13JJ (219 pupils)
  14. 1.1 mile Kingsmead Primary School CT11BD
  15. 1.1 mile Diocesan and Payne Smith Church of England Primary School CT12LU
  16. 1.1 mile The King's School Canterbury CT12ES (813 pupils)
  17. 1.1 mile Kent College (Canterbury) CT29DT (464 pupils)
  18. 1.1 mile The Family School CT12DR
  19. 1.1 mile Kent College International Study Centre CT29DT (6 pupils)
  20. 1.1 mile St Johns Church of England Primary School CT11BD (321 pupils)
  21. 1.2 mile St Thomas' Catholic Primary School, Canterbury CT11NE (201 pupils)
  22. 1.3 mile St Stephen's Infant School CT27AB (269 pupils)
  23. 1.3 mile The Archbishop's School CT27AP (843 pupils)
  24. 1.3 mile Canterbury College CT13AJ

List of schools in Canterbury

The Willows

City View, Franklyn Road, Canterbury, CT2 8PT

Inspection dates 15–16 January 2013
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous inspection: Outstanding 1
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 make good progress in their
Students’ attendance improves well while at
The quality of teaching is typically good. Staff
learning. In Key Stage 3, students often make
excellent progress in English, mathematics
and science.
the unit. This is because students feel
confident that the staff are able to support
them when they experience difficulties.
have a good understanding of how to teach
and motivate students who have mental
health difficulties.
Students’ behaviour in lessons and around the
The unit makes sure that students can study a
The headteacher and staff work well together
unit is typically good. Their attitudes to
learning are usually positive and, as a result,
the atmosphere in the unit is calm.
good range of subjects. This helps them to be
well prepared for the next stage of their
so that the unit operates effectively on a day-
to-day basis.
Students’ learning in Key Stage 4 is less rapid
Students do not always make outstanding
than in Key Stage 3. The headteacher and
the management committee have not
checked students’ progress often or
thoroughly enough to identify this quickly.
progress because they are not always set
work that is well matched to their abilities.
Staff are not always given sufficient guidance
Additional staff are not always used effectively
on how to improve their teaching. This is
because the headteacher’s visits to lessons are
not always strongly focused on the quality of
learning or recorded carefully enough.
to support students’ learning.

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed 11 lessons taught by five teachers and two appropriately qualified support
    staff. One of these lessons was observed jointly with the headteacher. During these lessons,
    inspectors looked at students’ work and talked about their learning with them.
  • Home tuition was not observed directly during this inspection. Instead, inspectors looked at the
    records kept by tutors and how the headteacher checks students’ progress.
  • Meetings were held with unit staff, the Chair of the Management Committee, a representative
    from the local authority and a group of students.
  • Inspectors looked at records of meetings of the management committee, information about
    students’ progress and a wide range of other documents.
  • Too few parents and carers have responded to the online Parent View survey for the results to
    be published. The unit has not conducted a survey of the views of parents and carers recently.

Inspection team

Jon Carter, Lead inspector Additional inspector
Joanna Jones Additional inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • The Willows is the base for the East Kent Health Needs Education Service, which provides
    education for students from all over East Kent who are unable to attend mainstream schools
    because of acute and profound health needs.
  • Students’ health needs and the treatment they receive have almost always had a significant
    impact on their attendance and achievement at mainstream schools. This means that all
    students are regarded as being disabled or having special educational needs.
  • The Service provides education in two different ways. On-site tuition is available for up to 40
    students in Years 7 to 11 at The Willows. Home tuition and hospital schooling by tutors are
    available for students in all year groups. The unit does not make use of alternative provision.
  • All students are ‘dual rolled’, which means that they remain on the roll of their mainstream
    school as well as being on the roll of The Willows. At the time of the inspection, 25 students
    were enrolled for on-site tuition and the remaining 68 were enrolled for home tuition.
  • All students are from White British backgrounds. The proportion of students known to be eligible
    for the pupil premium, which is additional funding for looked after children, students known to
    be eligible for free school meals and children of service families, is below average.
  • The length of time students are educated at the Willows or through home tuition varies from a
    few weeks to a few years depending on their health needs.
  • The management committee is shared with another pupil referral unit (PRU) in the area. Its
    membership is not at full strength, with just one serving headteacher in addition to the Chair
    and the headteachers of each of the two PRUs on the committee.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve teaching to make it consistently outstanding by ensuring that:

students are always set work that is well matched to their abilities and fully engages them so

that they make faster progress, especially in Key Stage 4

the work of additional staff always supports students’ learning effectively through careful

planning of their role in the classroom.

  • Strengthen the impact of the unit’s leaders, by making sure that:

the headteacher checks and records students’ progress more regularly and thoroughly

the management committee receives and considers detailed information about students’

progress at each of its meetings

the checks made on the quality of lessons are strongly focused on learning and recorded


Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is good
  • Students who are admitted to the unit have often not reached the levels of attainment expected
    for their age. This is because their health needs have often led to long periods of absence from
    school, either because of medical treatment or difficulty in coping in school.
  • Students’ learning is good over the time they are on roll at the unit. Some students, particularly
    those in Key Stage 3, make outstanding progress in most subjects, but this is not consistent
    across all classes because teaching does not consistently match work to students’ abilities.
  • Boys and girls, including the small number of students known to be eligible for free school
    meals, make similar progress. This confirms that the unit is effective in promoting equal
    opportunities for all students and helps to overcome the discrimination students may have
    experienced previously because of their mental health needs.
  • Students do not reach average levels of attainment compared with all students nationally
    because they study fewer subjects than at mainstream school. However, those who leave at the
    end of Key Stage 4 achieve accredited qualifications at GCSE and Entry Level in key subjects,
    including English and mathematics. This enables students to be suitably qualified for the next
    stage of their education. All students who left last year, for example, are currently studying at a
    college or sixth form or have an apprenticeship.
  • Students who receive home tuition are effectively helped to continue their study of English,
    mathematics and science while not attending either their school or the unit, and successfully
    take examinations in these subjects where appropriate.
  • Students’ abilities in reading, writing, speaking and listening generally develop well because
    teaching makes the most of opportunities in lessons to practise and use these skills. A few
    students make slower progress in reading because they are not taught to read unfamiliar words
    using the sounds that letters make (phonics) to help them.
The quality of teaching is good
  • The good use of information from tests taken by students when they start at the unit helps
    teachers to choose and plan appropriate courses for students to study. This helps to build
    students’ confidence and gives them an incentive to attend school more regularly.
  • Staff ensure that the unit is a welcoming and supportive place to learn. They choose materials
    and topics that are relevant and interesting for students. This leads to students engaging well
    with learning. For example, in a Key Stage 3 history lesson, one student was able to recall
    enthusiastically detailed information he had learned about how different countries were involved
    in the Second World War.
  • The teaching of basic literacy and numeracy skills is effectively planned as part of most lessons.
    This makes a strong contribution to students’ good overall progress because it supports their
    ability to gain access to resources and to communicate effectively.
  • Where teaching is most effective, teachers assess students’ work accurately and communicate
    this clearly so that students understand how much progress they are making. It also allows
    teachers to plan learning activities that help students to learn new skills and develop their
    knowledge and understanding quickly.
  • Some students, particularly in Key Stage 4, do not always make outstanding progress because at
    times they are set work which is not well matched to their abilities. This is because teachers do
    not always use information from their regular assessments of students’ progress precisely
    enough in their planning.
  • Teachers’ written comments about students’ work is regular and almost always clear and helpful.
    Occasionally, however, this useful feedback is not used as effectively as it might be because
    students do not always get the opportunity to reflect on and respond to it before moving on to
    the next piece of work.
  • Home tutors regularly report the outcomes of their work to the headteacher. These reports show
    that students typically respond positively and make progress through completing and submitting
    the work set by their mainstream school.
  • Additional staff work with enthusiasm and often lead effective sessions with small groups of
    students under the direction of qualified teachers. In a few lessons, however, teachers do not
    use these skilled staff effectively enough. This is because the plan for the work they do is not
    always sufficiently specific about how the support they give will help students to make better
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
  • Students’ attendance typically improves well because of the positive and supportive learning
    environment created by the unit. For a few students, this improvement is not as significant or
    rapid as the majority. Appropriate systems are used to check that students who are absent from
    school are safe.
  • Students’ behaviour around the unit and in lessons is typically good. Lessons proceed without
    disruption and students’ attitudes to learning are often very positive. Occasionally, however,
    students are a little more reluctant to engage fully with learning where work and activities are
    not as well matched to their abilities as possible.
  • Students demonstrate a good awareness of bullying and the different forms it can take. While
    they are clear that they are safe at the unit because staff will deal with any incidents that occur,
    leaders’ recording of the actions taken is neither centralised nor comprehensive.
  • Social and moral development is given appropriate importance in the unit’s work because of the
    students’ mental health needs. Lessons in personal, social, health and careers education, for
    example, help to foster good relations between students and develop their understanding of the
    society they live in.
The leadership and management are good
  • The headteacher’s evaluation of the unit’s strengths and weaknesses is broadly accurate. The
    plans for improving the school are linked well to the most important areas for development.
    Training has been provided for staff so that they can contribute to making the identified
    improvements. There is a close link between students’ achievement and teachers’ salaries.
  • Staff work well together so that the unit operates effectively on a day-to-day basis. Students
    make good progress overall within a unit that takes good account of their special educational
    needs. Students’ progress is discussed regularly by staff so that the needs of individuals are
    understood well.
  • Leaders demonstrate the capacity to improve the unit further, reflected in the students’ good
    achievement and the good teaching. However, the monitoring of students’ progress by the unit’s
    leaders and management committee is not sharp enough. For example, the headteacher’s
    collection and use of progress information to identify trends affecting the performance of
    different groups of students quickly and accurately is not comprehensive enough.
  • The local authority has been providing light touch support since the previous inspection. This
    means that the headteacher has not benefited from regular opportunities to observe lessons
    with an experienced and senior colleague. As a result, the checks made by the headteacher have
    not always had a strong enough focus on the quality of learning in lessons or been recorded
    carefully enough. Consequently, staff do not always receive precise guidance on how to improve
    their teaching.
  • The range of subjects offered for students to study is sufficiently broad to ensure that younger
    students can be prepared to return successfully to mainstream education. Similarly, the range of
    accredited qualifications available to older students, while limited in comparison with mainstream
    schools, enables them to achieve what they need to move on to other education or employment.
    The unit does not make early entries for GCSE examinations.
  • The arrangements for safeguarding students meet requirements.
  • The governance of the school:

The management committee meets regularly and is led by an experienced and able Chair, who

is a National Leader of Governance. Reports from the headteacher enable its members to have

a good understanding of students’ attainment and how training is provided to staff to help

them improve. However, their understanding of the quality of teaching and students’ progress
is less comprehensive because members of the committee do not visit the unit’s classrooms
frequently enough and the headteacher’s reports lack sufficient detail on these aspects.
Members of the committee keep themselves up to date through their professional
responsibilities and links with other schools. The local authority retains control of the budget
for the unit. Pupil premium funding has not been made available to the unit by the students’
mainstream schools. The management committee is in the process of investigating how these
funds can be obtained on behalf of those students who are known to be eligible for this


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 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.

School details

Unique reference number 132187
Local authority Kent
Inspection number 403821

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Pupil referral unit
School category Pupil referral unit
Age range of pupils 5–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 93
Appropriate authority The local authority
Headteacher Rosalind Eastwood
Date of previous school inspection 11–12 May 2010
Telephone number 01227 781548
Fax number 01227 781548
Email address reveal email: reas…


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