School etc

Willow House

Willow House
Halliwell Homes Education Centre
120 Stanley Road
Greater Manchester

phone: 0161 4379491

headed by: Mrs Jennifer Raynor

school holidays: via Stockport council

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 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 report

Willow House

Halliwell Homes Education Centre, 120 Stanley Road, Cheadle, Stockport, Greater Manchester, SK8 6RF

Inspection dates 9–10 December 2014
Overall effectiveness 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

This is a good school
It is not yet an outstanding school because
Compliance with regulatory requirements

Pupils make good progress from low academic
Behaviour is good. Teachers manage behaviour
Pupils’ attendance has improved significantly and
Pupils say they feel safe as a result of the good
The strong relationships and the emphasis on
starting points. Most pupils have had a disrupted
education prior to joining the school.
very well so that any disruption in lessons is
is now excellent.
systems leaders and managers have established to
ensure their safety.
improving pupils’ personal development are highly
effective in promoting a positive learning
Teaching is good and improving. Adults know the
The school is ably led by a new headteacher who
Leaders and managers have introduced systems
Leaders and managers ensure that all independent
pupils well and tailor the curriculum to engage
communicates his vision for excellence to staff
to track pupils’ progress and to monitor and
improve the quality of teaching. This has had a
direct impact on the quality of teaching and pupils’
school standards are well met.
Teaching is not of a consistently high enough
The middle leader is not yet involved in the
quality to ensure outstanding progress. Not all
teachers and teaching assistants are fully involved
in the performance management systems.
systems set up to evaluate the quality of teaching.
Teachers do not receive individual targets to
improve their practice or share good practice with
  • The school meets schedule 1 of The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations
    2010, as amended by The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) (Amendment)
    Regulations 2012 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.

Information about this inspection

  • The inspection was carried out with one day’s notice.
  • The inspector observed lessons taught by three teachers. The inspector also looked at pupils’ work with
    pupils and considered the case studies of four pupils.
  • The inspector spoke to all the teachers, the headteacher, the lead teacher and pupils past and present.
    Responses from Ofsted’s staff and pupil questionnaires were also taken into account. There were
    insufficient responses to Ofsted’s on-line Parent View questionnaire to be considered.
  • A number of documents were studied including schemes of work, school development plans, policies and
    school records of behaviour and incidents.
  • The inspector checked the school’s compliance with the regulations for independent schools.

Inspection team

Jo Sharpe, Lead inspector Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • Willow House is an independent school which is owned and managed by Halliwell Homes. Attached to the
    school is Ivy Cottage Residential School which provides care for the pupils who currently attend the
  • The school provides education for pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties including those
    placed in a residential setting. It is registered to take a maximum of 15 girls and boys aged between 4
    and 18 years. The school aims to reintegrate pupils to mainstream education within a two year period.
  • Older pupils use local facilities for physical education.
  • This is a small school. All of the pupils have a statement of special educational needs. Pupils currently on
    roll are in Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. One of the pupils joined the school two days prior to the inspection
  • The school was last inspected in June 2011. There has been a new headteacher appointed since the
    previous inspection. The headteacher is also the headteacher of the company’s other schools.
  • There is lead teacher who undertakes a middle leadership role.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Strengthen the impact that leadership and management has on the quality of teaching so that more is
    outstanding by:
    including all teachers and teaching assistants in the process of monitoring and developing the quality
    of teaching and ensuring all teachers and teaching assistants have individual targets which are drawn
    from this monitoring and checks on pupils’ progress
    providing opportunities for teachers and teaching assistants to share good practice
    strengthening the role of the middle leader so that they are also making checks on the quality of
    teaching and pupils’ progress.

Inspection judgements

The leadership and management are good
  • The headteacher has a clear vision for improvement and high expectations and these are communicated
    clearly to all staff.
  • The headteacher has quickly established good performance management systems to monitor the work of
    the lead teacher. This has had a direct impact on the improvements made in teaching and learning.
    Pupils’ progress is meticulously tracked every half term and carefully evaluated. Good links are made with
    all agencies and parties involved in the pupils’ progress that ensure pupils’ emotional wellbeing. Annual
    written reports and reports on pupils’ welfare are thorough.
  • Self-evaluation is accurate and all leaders and managers have a very clear idea of what the school needs
    to do to improve. The expectations are high and timescales for improvement are clearly stated and
    regularly reviewed.
  • The school aims to reintegrate pupils into mainstream education within a two year period. The school is
    exceeding this target with the current average time of 10 months.
  • The curriculum and schemes of work are well-planned by the lead teacher to ensure the curriculum is
    appropriate and engaging for the pupils on roll. The curriculum is enhanced by trips such as the one to
    Bramhall Hall and using the extensive grounds to take part in gardening activities. The curriculum also
    encourages pupils to plan their own events such as fundraising for cancer research. In food technology
    lessons pupils baked cakes and to raise money for charity.
  • The curriculum ensures pupils become knowledgeable about different beliefs and cultures. The lead
    teacher uses personal experiences such as attending a Hindu wedding to prompt discussions with people
    of different religions to teach pupils tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others. Pupils learn about
    British institutions such as the Houses of Parliament, so that they are well prepared for life in modern
  • Carefully planned personal, social and health education lessons promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and
    cultural development well. Lessons take place which teach pupils about valuing the opinion of others and
    how their actions affect others.
  • The school’s ethos of promoting good personal development means that equality of opportunity and good
    relations are promoted well. Any discrimination is tackled effectively.
  • All staff are well trained and all are expected to complete a foundation degree course. This course
    complements the school’s, ‘Pillars of Parenting’ ethos, which sets out to improve pupils’ personal
    development. All staff feel well supported and appreciate the high level of training that they receive.
  • The headteacher regularly monitors the quality of the lead teacher’s teaching. Currently the quality of
    teaching of all teachers and teaching assistants is not being as carefully monitored. Middle leaders do not
    yet take part in any of the monitoring of teaching and learning on a formal basis. At the moment these
    observations do not lead to individual targets being set for teaching staff to improve their own
  • Teachers do not yet get the opportunity to share good teaching through discussion or observation.
  • The school’s arrangements for safeguarding pupils meet statutory requirements.
  • The governance of the school:
    Regular meetings are held with the proprietors who support and challenge the headteacher by raising
    questions about the school development plan and the school’s performance including outcomes for
    pupils. These meetings and regular sharing of information about the headteacher’s careful monitoring
    means that the proprietors are very knowledgeable about the quality of teaching, performance
    management and the improvements made.
    The proprietors support the school well with comprehensive training programmes for all staff and,
    alongside the headteacher, ensure all regulations are met. Financial accounting is secure and
    accounting requirements to the local authority are met.
    The proprietors and headteacher make certain that the independent school standards are met and
    ensure their continued compliance.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
  • Behaviour is good. Teachers’ management of behaviour is very skilled. The positive and calm school
    atmosphere is a real strength of the school in a situation where pupils’ behaviour has the potential to be
    volatile. Incidents of disruptive behaviour reduce while students are at the school and as a result they can
    be reintegrated into mainstream education.
  • Any impact of inappropriate behaviour on learning is minimised because staff know the pupils well. Adults
    quickly change the group dynamics and move pupils to different classrooms if this means that behaviours
    can be quickly addressed and learning resumed. Relationships between adults and pupils are good.
  • Behaviour incidents are carefully recorded and monitored. The improvement in pupils’ behaviour is good.
    Pupils learn to apologise and be responsible for their own behaviour.
  • Pupils are proud of how their behaviour has improved. Pupils also comment on how they like the school
    and how they like to wear the uniform.
  • Attendance is excellent and the improvement for the majority of pupils is outstanding.
  • Pupils are all aware of the system for rewards and sanctions. These are used well by adults during the
    day to support positive behaviour.
  • Pupils use the quiet room very effectively as a way to control their own behaviour. Staff encourage them
    to use this room when they feel they need time to reflect or remove themselves from a potentially
    difficult situation. Pupils say it is a comfortable and safe place to be.
  • The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. Pupils say they feel safe and the good
    relationships mean they say they are comfortable to speak to adults if they have any concerns.
  • Pupils are very aware of how to keep themselves safe when not in school, such as when using the
    internet. They are also made aware of what is right and wrong and that they have the choice to say no,
    when appropriate.
  • The school carries out the appropriate checks when recruiting all staff to ensure that pupils are safe.
    Pupils are well supervised at all times; there is a ratio of one member of staff to each child. Extra adults
    are always close by if needed. Leaders and managers review policies annually to ensure they are
    appropriate and effectively implemented to keep pupils safe.
The quality of teaching is good
  • The quality of teaching is good; pupils are engaged in their learning and make good progress.
  • The lead teacher plans for all the lessons delivered to pupils. This is effective because these plans are
    communicated to the other teachers and teaching assistants clearly.
  • Planning, which is followed carefully by staff, ensures that the different academic needs of the pupils are
    met. All adults know the pupils exceptionally well which enables them to effectively support their learning
    and maintain their engagement in activities.
  • The teaching of literacy is good. Pupils work on daily literacy tasks which are planned to meet their exact
    needs. A range of literature and the topics covered encourages pupils to read widely and confidently.
    Progress in reading for many pupils is outstanding.
  • Mathematics activities engage pupils and help them learn. Teachers question skilfully and pose complex
    mathematical problems.
  • The range of activities such as computer work, food technology and visits enable pupils to gain a range of
    skills to support them in the next stage of their education. The depth and range of curriculum activities
    and the learning attitudes developed prepare pupils well for their reintegration to mainstream education.
  • Teachers have high expectations of behaviour and attitudes to learning in lessons. Teachers are
    consistent in their calm, yet firm and positive approach. This approach quickly deflects potentially
    disruptive behaviour.
  • Teaching assistants are well used to support learning. They are quick to adapt to changing situations and
    support good progress.
  • Procedures for assessing pupils’ progress are good as clear systems are in place. Pupils’ work is always
    marked. Pupils gain very valuable feedback from teachers in lessons; they told the inspector about how
    teachers help them improve their work.
The achievement of pupils is good
  • From low starting points, and a history of disrupted education, pupils make good progress in the short
    time they spend in the school. Good planning and highly individualised teaching supports this good
  • Attainment is below that of other pupils nationally, however, school data show that the gap is closing
    quickly and some pupils reach standards that exceed that of other pupils of the same age in other
  • All pupils currently on roll in the school have a statement of special educational needs. Their needs are
    met well. Regularly reviewed individual education plans and regular progress review meetings ensure any
    pupil whose progress is in danger of slowing is quickly identified and effective action is taken. Staff who
    are involved in daily handover meetings between the education and residential provision for the pupils
    monitor any difficulties in learning that may arise from their emotional needs. This highly individualised
    care promotes good progress.
  • More-able pupils make good progress as expectations are high and the work set makes them think hard.
    More-able pupils are very aware of the level they have achieved and what they have to do to get to the
    next level.
  • The school ethos of supporting personal development promotes a positive attitude to learning that
    enables pupils to make progress where they previously struggled to do so.
  • Progress in literacy is at least good and is often outstanding. Daily literacy lessons support good and
    better progress. Regular use of information technology for research purposes encourages good progress
    in literacy in particular. Pupils read well and confidently. Although presentation of work varies it is
    generally good and for some pupils it is exceptionally neat.
  • Although progress in mathematics is good it is not quite as strong as in literacy. A published scheme is
    used effectively to make sure that work is set at the right level. Practical equipment and problem solving
    exercises are used well to support and reinforce the skills and knowledge learnt.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement
Grade 1 Outstanding
Grade 2 Good
Grade 3 Requires improvement
Grade 4 Inadequate

Detailed grade characteristics can be viewed in the

Non-association independent school inspection

which is published on the Ofsted website:

School details

Unique reference number 136230
Social care unique reference number SC008488
Inspection number 446247
DfE registration number 356/6035

This inspection was carried out under section 162A of the Education Act 2002, as inserted 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.

Type of school Day school for pupils with behavioural, emotional and
social difficulties
School status Independent school
Age range of pupils 4–18
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 3
Number of part time pupils 0
Proprietor Halliwell Homes
Chair Karen Mitchell-Mellor/Andrew Constable
Headteacher Mathew Hargreaves
Date of previous school inspection 28 June 2011
Annual fees (day pupils) £19,500
Telephone number 0161 498 9852
Fax number Not applicable
Email address reveal email: math…


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