The Springfields Academy

Reach South Academy Trust

Our central mission is for Reach South pupils to aspire to achieve beyond the expectations that others place on them.

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Residential SEF

Residential SEF – Summary May 2021


Intent: ‘To build safe independent lives for autistic young people though support, understanding and enablement within a residential setting.


Overall effectiveness

·        Outstanding. This grading demonstrates leadership commitment to, and understanding of how to further improve the residential aspect of the Academy. (Ofsted grade Nov 2019: Good)



Indicative strengths/outcomes

Areas for further development

Overall experience & progress by children & young people

·        The residential provision provides children and young people with a ‘home-from- home’ experience.

·        The atmosphere in Aspen house is warm and welcoming.

·        It is to all of the staff’s credit that Aspen House provides a safe and nurturing environment that is meeting the collective and individual needs of the young residents. Whilst promoting their well-being. (NMS 20)

·        Children and young people are happy to be here and said that staying here is having a positive impact on their life.

·        Residential staff develop positive relationships with children and young people. Children and young people said that they can easily approach any adult if they have any worries or concerns.

·        Children and young people enjoy a wide range of leisure and social activities in the school, and in the local and wider community.

·        The home has a very relaxed but organised atmosphere with both staff and young people having a comfortable dialogue with each other. (NMS 20)

·        Residential staff support children and young people to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. There is concerted focus on healthy living and exercise.

·        Residential staff encourage and support children and young people to develop their independence skills.

·        Children are always treated as individuals (NMS 20)

·        Embed the use of the residential autism progression framework to highlight how the impact of the residential curriculum is building safe independent lives.

·        Continue to monitor the impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic on the residential children and necessary actions taken to support identified children.

How well children and young people are helped and protected

·        Children and young people stay in a safe and well-maintained environment. Health and safety matters at this school are taken seriously.

·        All of the children have a key worker and encouraged to ‘key worker individual time’.

·        All of the young people fully understand the extra precautions necessary because of the COVID pandemic (NMS 20).

·        Children and young people are safe. They say that they feel safe and that there is always someone they can talk to.

·        Positive behaviour is promoted well in the residential provision. Children and young people are supported to manage their emotions and feelings effectively.

·        All of the young people who left at the end of year 11 continue to be supported by the staff at Aspen house. There is a clear strategy for those young people who are coming up to leave school and into independence. (NMS 20, April 2021)

·        Parents speak positively about the improvement in their children’s behaviour since staying in the residential provision.

·        Staff have a thorough understanding of safeguarding protocols.

·        Children’s well-being is robustly promoted both on an individual and collective basis (NMS 20, April 2021)

·        Following a recent parent questionniare, undertake a more in-depth parent survey to gather evidence for the need and support of different residential models of provision.

The effectiveness of leaders and managers

·        Aspen house is run effectively (NMS 20)

·        Leadership are dedicated to continuous improvement and innovation. The leadership across the board is strong and extremely child focused (NMS 20, April 2021).

·        The Head of Care has successfully raised standards both materially and in daily routines and care plans since the last inspection. (NMS 20)

·        Children and young people’s care and support plans guide the staff on how to meet their needs.

·        Children and young people’s plans are written with them, which means that they are supported to belong to the home, feel ownership and build trusting and secure relationships with the staff.

·        External monitoring by the independent visitor continues to be appropriately challenging and critical

·        The safeguarding governor provides intelligent and supportive challenge by routinely using data to see patterns and issues that are emerging. Records of his frequent visits evidence attention to detail and his recommendations are acted on.

·        The residential provision is achieving its stated aims and objectives. It is seen as an important and integral part of the school.

·        Residential staff place the needs of the children and young people at the centre of their practice.

·        The leadership team are consistent in their efforts to continuously improve training and development of the staff (NMS 20 – Oct 2020).

·        Extend the autism professional development strategy so that it upskills staff in areas identified from monitoring the autism competency framework.

·        Further develop staff well-being strategies that recognise the emotional impact of working at Springfields Academy.

·        Continue dialogue with the LA social care commissioning group, to assess the need to remodel residential provision to support the autistic community and promote safe independent lives.

·        Identify house improvements to ensure that high quality provision continues to meet need (over a prolonged period of time).

·        Liaise with LA to develop a funding structure to allow for personalised residential provision in the future.

·        Identify long term staffing model to support the changing needs and designed provision.





·        Overall engagement/communication with remote learning (Lockdown 2021):

·        40% of pupils accessed onsite provision.

·        100% twice weekly communication – with pupil, parents/carers.

·        All pupils were provided with an interactive PADLET to access through lockdown.

·        Teams meetings were held to support friendship groups.

·        The published remote learning policy highlights high staff, pupil and parent expectation. 

·        All pupils had access to appropriate technology to access learning and care activities.

·        There are clear Covid risk assessments in place and extra cleaning hours have been commissioned in order to enhance cleaning arrangements (NMS-20, April 2021)

·        Due to restrictions of outside visits, clear and imaginative recreational facilities have been developed for the children (NMS 20, April 2021)


·        Increase team meetings in the event of a fourth national lockdown.

·        Refine PADLET activities to support all pupils who access residential provision.