Bridgelea Primary School is a school for up to 96 pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2 who have either been permanently excluded from mainstream school or who are in danger of becoming so, because of social, emotional or mental health difficulties. It also offers places for children with an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) identifying Social Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH). Support is also offered to mainstream primary schools in order to help them to manage and improve the behaviour of individual pupils to reduce the likelihood of exclusion.
There are only small numbers of pupils in each year group. The majority are in year 5 and 6 (51%- 3% higher than previous year) with the next biggest group being in year 3 and 4 (30% – 5 % higher than previous year).
A very small minority (16%- up 6% from previous year) of pupils have other diagnosed learning difficulties such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The majority of pupils who attend are of White British origin (55%).This is broadly the same as other Pupil Referral Units nationally.The other groups that attend reflect the wide ethnic communities represented in Manchester. The vast majority of pupils who attend are boys (90% – up 14% on previous year). This is more like the national average for SEMH schools.
A much higher than average proportion of pupils are eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals (80% – up 8% on previous year) and those in the care of the local authority (5%).
A higher than average number of children are in the vulnerable group (45%). 5 children are Looked After, 5 are on a child protection plan 12 are at Child in Need and 16 are accessing support through an early help assessment. Early help is an increasing number of children due to targeting of resources in this area. The school is working closely with the city council’s Troubled Families Team who have placed 2 full time equivalent workers with the school to support the children at an early help level. This has meant in the last year that 19 children (21%) have stepped down from requiring additional support to universal support through the intervention of Early Help team.
OFSTED completed a Section 8 inspection of the school on the 17th April 2018 and found the school to remain good. The management group and staff were rightly proud of the findings of the inspection and description in the published report. The major areas to develop were the curriculum offer to the children, given that the school is now more SEMH special than a Pupil Referral Unit and the majority of the school improvement work in the next 12 months will be focused on this aspect of our work.