School etc

Willow House

Willow House
Halliwell Homes Education Centre
120 Stanley Road
Greater Manchester

0161 4379491

Headed by Mrs Jennifer Raynor

School holidays for Willow House via Stockport council

Check school holidays

10 pupils aged 5—14y mixed gender
15 pupils capacity: 67% full

5 boys 50%

5 girls 50%


Last updated: Oct. 6, 2014

— Other Independent Special School

Establishment type
Other Independent Special School
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 10, 2010
Reason open
New Provision
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 385953, Northing: 384673
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.359, Longitude: -2.2125
Accepting pupils
4—18 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
North West › Cheadle › Heald Green
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN priorities
BESD - Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Learning provider ref #

Rooms & flats to rent in Cheadle

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Royal School, Manchester SK86RQ (33 pupils)
  2. 0.1 miles Royal College Manchester (Seashell Trust) SK86RQ
  3. 0.2 miles Ivy Cottage Residential School SK86RF
  4. 0.4 miles Outwood Primary School SK83ND (218 pupils)
  5. 0.4 miles Brooke Dean Community School SK93QN
  6. 0.5 miles Cheadle Preparatory School SK83BU
  7. 0.5 miles Oakgrove School SK83BU (28 pupils)
  8. 0.6 miles St James' Catholic High School - A Specialist Humanities College SK86PZ (804 pupils)
  9. 0.6 miles Wilmslow Grange Community Primary and Nursery School SK93NG (266 pupils)
  10. 0.7 miles Bolshaw Primary School SK83LW (210 pupils)
  11. 0.8 miles St Benedict's Catholic Primary School SK93AE (190 pupils)
  12. 0.9 miles Etchells Primary School SK83DL (376 pupils)
  13. 0.9 miles Thorn Grove Primary School SK87LD (236 pupils)
  14. 1 mile Bradshaw Hall Junior School SK86AN
  15. 1 mile Bradshaw Hall Infant School SK86AN
  16. 1 mile Cheadle Hulme Junior School SK86EF
  17. 1 mile Cheadle Hulme School SK86EF (1425 pupils)
  18. 1 mile Bradshaw Hall Primary School SK86AN (423 pupils)
  19. 1.1 mile Cheadle Hulme High School SK87JY
  20. 1.1 mile Greenbank School SK86HU (194 pupils)
  21. 1.1 mile Cheadle Hulme County High School SK87JY
  22. 1.1 mile Cheadle Hulme High School SK87JY (1385 pupils)
  23. 1.2 mile Bruntwood Primary School SK86DB
  24. 1.2 mile Hulme Hall Grammar School SK86LA (284 pupils)

List of schools in Cheadle

School URN No. 136230

Independent school standard inspection report

DfE registration number 356/6035
Unique Reference Number (URN) 136230
Inspection number 366898
Inspection dates 28-29 June 2011
Reporting inspector John Coleman HMI

No. 090070

Independent school standard inspection report


Purpose and scope of the inspection

This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under Section 162A of the Education Act
2002, as amended by schedule 8 of the Education Act 2005, the purpose of which is
to advise the Secretary of State for Education about the school’s suitability for
continued registration as an independent school.

1, 2

Information about the school

This is an independent special school and is part of the Halliwell Homes Group which
operates children’s homes in the north west of England. It is registered for 15 places
for pupils aged from 11 to 18 years. An application has been made to the
Department for Education for a material change to this registration so that the age
range is from 4 to 18 years; this was included as part of the inspection and the
judgement is included in the evaluation below. There are currently four pupils on roll
aged from 9 to 16 years, one of whom has a statement of special educational needs.
All pupils are in the care of the local authority and reside in the Halliwell Group’s
homes, one of which is on the school site. The home is subject to a separate
inspection by Ofsted and did not form part of this education inspection. This is the

school’s first inspection since being registered in September 2010.

The school provides education for pupils with behavioural, social and emotional
difficulties (BESD). Pupils often join the school after a history of exclusion and long-
term absence from mainstream schools.

The school’s primary aim is to re-motivate

pupils in the learning process to enable successful re-integration.

Evaluation of the school

The school provides a satisfactory quality of education for its pupils. Pupils make
good progress in their personal development and satisfactory progress in academic
learning. The school successfully meets its aims by ensuring pupils make significant
improvement with regard to their social, emotional and behavioural needs. As a

result, pupils’ spiritual, social, moral and cultural development is good. Leaders and

managers provide well for pupils’ welfare, health and safety which are good.
Arrangements for safeguarding meet all the requirements. The material change
request is recommended for approval. The school meets all but two of the
independent school regulations.



Independent school standard inspection report


Quality of education

The curriculum and other activities are satisfactory in meeting the range of needs
and interests of pupils. The time available for the core curriculum meets the basic
minimum expected for schools and the full range of required experiences is provided.
All pupils receive teaching in the Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)
together with lessons in English, mathematics, science and information and
communication technology (ICT). Added to this are individually tailored programmes
for each pupil. Underpinning the curriculum provision is the school’s approach to
improving pupils’ personal development based on the `Pillars of Parenting’ (POPs)
model of care. Pupils in Key Stage 4 complete GCSE courses which may include
English, mathematics, biology, sociology and childcare. Other externally accredited
courses are available including the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation
Network (ASDAN) in data administration and religious studies. Post-16 pupils are
able to combine part-time studies with apprenticeship placements. For example, one
pupil spends three days per week undertaking an apprenticeship in hairdressing and
two days per week in school studying English, mathematics and sociology.
Pupils in Key Stage 2 receive a well-matched curriculum based on the basic skills of
literacy and numeracy. The school is well placed to respond to the needs of such
younger pupils as requested in the material change. The curriculum for all pupils
includes cross-curricular work based on regular visits to places of educational
interest. For example, pupils visited Jodrell Bank observatory and learned about
space and the planets. Pupils gain much from these experiences as it brings learning
to life. However, the planning for these trips to contribute to the wider curriculum,
such as by providing opportunities to write, is underdeveloped. Extra-curricular
activities are provided in the home settings which extend opportunities for learning
to a 24 hour curriculum and include sport, dance, gym and cadets. The pupils speak
appreciatively about these opportunities and the activities do much to enrich the
Overall, the effectiveness of teaching and assessment in meeting the full range of

pupils’ needs is satisfactory. The quality of teaching and learning is widely variable.

Lessons are delivered by a combination of school teaching staff, agency teachers and
teaching assistants. The teaching assistants work in both the home and school
settings. Teachers’ plans show broad outlines of areas of learning and identify
suitable resources such as text books and software computer programmes. These

plans do not specifically detail the intentions for pupils’ learning of skills, knowledge

or experiences. In some lessons, this results in mundane tasks as pupils complete
routine questions from texts with little input from the teacher to fully explain the
learning. For example, opportunities are lost for teaching the correct vocabulary such

as `exchange’ or `decimal point’ in mathematics lessons. At the start of lessons

teachers often focus on behaviour management and quickly move into the main

activity. This fails to consistently capture pupils’ interest and engagement. The

strengths of teaching are in the effective support and guidance provided once the
lesson activities are underway. These are greatly aided by the secure trusting
relationships between teaching assistants and pupils. Teaching assistants are

Independent school standard inspection report


knowledgeable about pupils’ individual behavioural and emotional needs.
Consequently, for the most part pupils concentrate and complete the work set.
Pupils are rigorously assessed on entry to the school in respect of their clinical,
emotional and behavioural needs. Assessments of their learning needs are also
completed but do not always provide robustly accurate information. Clear targets are
set for pupils to improve their personal development using the key features of the
POPs and these are regularly monitored and evaluated using the support of external
agencies where appropriate. This makes a good contribution to pupils’ improvement.

Targets for academic learning are too often broadly based upon behavioural

expectations rather than on specific skills and knowledge to be learned.
Examples of work and observations of lessons show that pupils make satisfactory
progress in their learning. Pupils with a statement of special educational needs also
make satisfactory progress. In the short time since opening, the school has
successfully enabled one pupil to reintegrate back into mainstream education. In
some lessons pupils make good progress due to the good one-to-one support and
guidance provided by staff. For example, in a mathematics lesson the teaching
assistant used very effective questions to develop a pupil’s thinking about patterns in
timetables. Motivated by the promise of a game of snakes and ladders, the pupil’s
concentration and application was good and sustained. Occasionally, in some
lessons, pupils refuse to engage in learning and much time is lost so that progress is

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils

The quality of provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is

good. Most pupils enjoy school. Pupils develop their self esteem and confidence due
to consistent praise by staff and regular celebration of their achievements. They
make satisfactory progress in gaining the basic skills needed for their future
economic well-being. A clear moral code is applied well and consistently so that
pupils fully understand what is expected of their behaviour. Pupils’ behaviour
improves and, along with their attitudes to learning, is satisfactory overall.
Occasionally, inappropriate language is used and there is some refusal to complete
activities in class. Staff manage such occurrences well, showing patience and
sustained perseverance when insisting that pupils do as asked. Pupils are given many
opportunities to develop their social skills through the wide range of extra-curricular
activities and many trips and visits. As a result, pupils make good gains and become
increasingly independent and confident in themselves. Pupils’ cultural development is

aided by the study of topics such as `family dynamics’ and `racial conflict’ in

subjects such as sociology. Opportunities are provided for pupils to experience
different cultures, for example through visits to restaurants, but links and
partnerships with other cultures in Great Britain and internationally would benefit
from further development to give pupils a fuller appreciation of cultural diversity.
Attendance rates are significantly improved compared to the historical pattern of

Independent school standard inspection report


pupils’ attendance before starting at Willow House. However, the attendance of a

small minority of pupils is unsatisfactory and this hinders their academic progress.

Welfare, health and safety of pupils

The overall welfare, health and safety of pupils is good. Robust risk assessments are
carried out and arrangements for safeguarding are thorough. Staff have up-to-date
and appropriate training in first aid and child protection. Suitable polices are in place
to help ensure the safety and well-being of pupils and staff. Supervision of pupils is
vigilant. Pupils say they feel safe and are looked after well by the staff. Pupils learn
about healthy lifestyles through their ecology work which includes growing their own
vegetables in the garden. They make healthy choices with the guidance of staff as
seen in the choices made for lunch during the inspection. There are good levels of
participation in sport. A health programme provides education about the dangers of
drugs and about personal and social relationships. A mentor system supports any
pupils in danger of becoming vulnerable. The fire service offers a programme
teaching pupils about the dangers of arson. Also, the community police officer makes
regular social visits. Through these activities, pupils develop a good understanding of
emergency service work. Good and effective use is made of external agencies such
as the child psychologist to support pupils. The school meets the requirements of the
Disability and Discrimination Act 1995, as amended. The school’s attendance and
admission registers do not meet requirements.

Suitability of staff, supply staff and proprietors

Arrangements to ensure the suitability of staff, supply staff and proprietors meet all
requirements and checks are recorded on the single central register as required.

Premises and accommodation at the school

The school provides three well-furnished and attractive classrooms on the ground
floor. Pupils’ work is used well to motivate and reinforce learning by being displayed
in classrooms and corridors. Computer access to the internet is available in one
classroom. Furnishings and fittings are of a good standard and the proprietor has
recently added smaller chairs and tables to cater for younger pupils to support the
application for the material change. Outdoors there is an extensive grassed area with
a vegetable garden, trampoline and picnic table. Overall, the premises make an
effective contribution to pupils’ provision for learning. There are some inadequate
security arrangements at the school. These have been brought to the attention of
managers who have pledged to make immediate improvements.

Independent school standard inspection report


Provision of information

The school has a comprehensive prospectus which provides a range of information

for parents and carers. It includes all the policies which are required to be made

available. This is the first year of opening and so annual reports and information

about pupils’ performance have yet to be published. The required information is

readily available and managers have plans to send it out to parents and carers in the
very near future. Similarly, annual reports to placing local authorities are in hand to
be sent out as appropriate.

Manner in which complaints are to be handled

The school’s policies and procedures meet all the requirements.

Compliance with regulatory requirements

The proprietor has ensured that the school meets The Education (Independent
School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010, schedule 1 (‘the Regulations’), with
the exception of those listed below.


The school does not meet all requirements in respect of provision for welfare, health
and safety of pupils (standards in part 3) and must:

  • put into place attendance and admission registers which fully meet the
    requirements of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations
    2006 (paragraph 17).

The school does not meet all requirements in respect of the premises of and
accommodation at schools (standards in part 5) and must:

  • rectify all inadequate security arrangements at the school (paragraph 23

What the school could do to improve further

While not required by regulations, the school might wish to consider the following

points for development:

  • improve the quality of teaching and learning by:


Independent school standard inspection report


- ensuring that lessons are planned with clear step-by-step intentions

for pupils to learn skills and knowledge

- capturing pupils’ interest and engagement at the start of each

lesson by preparing exciting and captivating starter activities

  • establish more links and partnerships with schools in other national and
    international settings to broaden pupils’ understanding of, and empathy
    with, other cultures
  • improve the planning for weekly trips and visits so that they make an
    improved contribution to pupils’ learning across the curriculum.

Independent school standard inspection report


Inspection judgements
good satisfactory inadequate

The quality of education

Overall quality of education
How well the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs
and interests of pupils
How effective teaching and assessment are in meeting the full range
of pupils’ needs
How well pupils make progress in their learning

Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

Quality of provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
The behaviour of pupils

Welfare, health and safety of pupils

The overall welfare, health and safety of pupils

Independent school standard inspection report


School details

Status of school

School status
Type of school Special (BESD)
Date school opened 1 September 2010
Age range of pupils 4-18
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number on roll (full-time pupils) Boys: 0 Girls: 3 Total: 3
Number on roll (part-time pupils) Boys: 0 Girls: 1 Total: 1
Number of pupils with a statement of
special educational needs
Boys: 0 Girls: 1 Total: 1
Number of pupils who are looked after Boys: 0 Girls: 4 Total: 4
Annual fees (day pupils) £18,000
Email address
Headteacher Mrs Jennifer Raynor
Proprietor Halliwell Homes Limited

Save trees, print less.
Point taken, print!