Little Heath School

Ofsted Reports

 Feb 2024 - Ofsted inspection of Little Heath School


 Here is an excerpt of main findings from the report: 

  • The school has designed an ambitious curriculum with three different routes that suit the diverse needs of pupils. Each route covers a broad range of national curriculum subjects.
    The school prioritises reading. An effective phonics programme is in place to help pupils to become confident and fluent readers. Reading for pleasure is valued in the school. Pupils clearly enjoy the books that have been thoughtfully selected for them to read in class and at home. Pupils' communication and language development is highly personalised. This is a strength of the school. Adults effectively demonstrate the language they want pupils to learn. They skilfully use visual images and objects to reinforce learning. As a result, pupils develop their communication skills exceptionally well. 


  • Staff check that pupils are making progress towards their education, health and care(EHC) plan targets and use this information to overcome obstacles created by the pupils’ special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).


  • Students in the sixth form value the guidance they get from their teachers about their next steps. Leaders make sure that the careers guidance programme is embedded throughout the school. This means that nobody loses sight of the importance of preparing pupils for adulthood. All gain places in education, employment, or training when they leave. The annual careers fair has become particularly successful, with other special
    schools now wanting to join.


  • Tolerance and respect for individual differences are routinely promoted through the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education programme. Pupils spoke positively about how these lessons develop their confidence to speak out and express themselves.  


  • Adults are good at preventing potential incidents and are always there to restore calm when needed. Many pupils have learned to notice when they are feeling restless and are often able to control their own behaviour effectively, ensuring that learning time is seldom interrupted.


  • The school works well with parents to promote good attendance. Where required, support and guidance are given. As a result, pupils’ attendance continues to improve.   


  • Parents have a high level of confidence in school staff and know that if they raise concerns they will always be dealt with satisfactorily. The parents and pupils who spoke to inspectors all agreed that Little Heath School is ‘amazing’. 


  • Staff report that leaders are responsive and open to listening to their views. Recent improvements to workload have helped improve staff wellbeing. The wellbeing team offers space for staff to discuss challenges, and specialist services are brought in where necessary. This reinforces the school’s positive culture and fosters empathy and approachability among colleagues.


 Please read the Full Ofsted Inspection Report Here


 July 2022 No formal designation Ofsted inspection of Little Heath School


Here is an excerpt of main findings from the report: 

  • Leaders and staff place a strong emphasis on safeguarding as part of their daily work. Leaders make sure staff receive lots of training about safeguarding. There is regular dialogue between leaders and staff about pupils and their needs. Staff know the signs to look out for that could suggest a pupil needs support or could be at risk of harm. This includes for pupils who may not be able to verbally communicate for themselves. Staff share any concerns with leaders. Leaders are quick to follow these up. They will often seek guidance from other professionals when making decisions about how to move forward. Leaders have high expectations for staff conduct. They make sure staff are aware of these expectations as they go about their work. They also make sure that all the required checks are undertaken before adults start working at the school.   


  • Leaders and staff know pupils and their families well. They also know the sources of support that are available to parents should they need it. Leaders reach out quickly to ensure the early help that families might need is provided. Parents told inspectors they feel well supported by staff at the school. 


  • Overall, leaders’ decision-making in relation to safeguarding focuses on the best interests of pupils and keeping them safe. That said, sometimes record-keeping is not consistently robust across all aspects of the school’s safeguarding processes and procedures.  


  • Leaders have high expectations for behaviour. The ‘calm room’ that was previously available has been closed for use since the beginning of this academic year. Under the new leadership of the acting head teacher more emphasis is put on positive behaviour management. Staff benefit from regular training and updates on how to help pupils with their behaviour. Leaders make sure staff, including those new to the school, know pupils’ needs. This includes behaviour information, such as pupils’ ‘triggers’ and ‘warning signs’. Staff are given clear strategies so that they know what to do to support each pupil and to keep things calm. This prevents any small situation from building into something more serious. Parents are confident that their child’s behaviour is dealt with calmly and kindly.
  • Classrooms are calm and orderly. Pupils have well established routines that help them to manage day to day school life, including break and lunchtimes. Leaders have recently introduced ‘critical communication cards’. These are visual cues that staff use to further support pupils in managing behaviour and/or moving from one learning activity to another.  


  • Staff treat pupils with dignity and respect. Leaders are clear that any physical intervention (positive handling) is a last resort. Staff have clear guidance and training on its use. They know what is acceptable and what is not. A review of school records shows that leaders make sure that any use of physical intervention is carefully recorded and communicated to parents. The number of physical interventions has steadily decreased. They are now rare. Leaders analyse incidents and report to the governing body on behaviour, including physical intervention, termly. 


  • Pupils told inspectors that they feel safe and happy at school. They say that staff will help them if they have any concerns. Pupils said that bullying is not accepted at the school and if it happened staff would deal with it straight away. Parents feel that the school keeps their children safe and happy. They also said that if they had any concerns about the school, leaders would deal with them quickly.  


  • Leaders make sure that pupils learn how to stay safe and manage risk through the curriculum. There is a programme for each year group. Pupils learn about topics such as consent, touch and online safety. Staff adapt content and activities to meet the needs of different pupils. Staff are alert to how pupils interact with each other. They undertake any follow up work that is needed with pupils. This includes one to one sessions to help pupils manage relationships and /or their behaviour.   


  • Leaders are alert to the importance of mental health and wellbeing. This includes for staff as well as pupils. Leaders are making continued improvements to their approach to mental health , for example through the work of the recently appointed mental health first aider.


    Sam Hainey
    Her Majesty's Inspector


Please read the - Full Ofsted NFD Inspection report