A special educational needs school at Winkleigh has achieved a rating of ‘good’ across the board from Ofsted following a full inspection.

The Acorn School at Winkleigh has achieved a good Ofsted rating. Picture: Acorn SchoolThe Acorn School at Winkleigh has achieved a good Ofsted rating. Picture: Acorn School

The Acorn School was inspected at its new site in November following a relocation which has enabled the school to expand.

It can now support 35 learners, who may have special educational needs, including social, emotional and mental health or have disengaged from education or been excluded from mainstream schools.

The inspectors' report said: "This is a happy school. Staff and pupils share much humour. They work and relax together in a safe and orderly environment. Staff skilfully help pupils to settle and find their feet.

"Following the relocation of the school, leaders have continued to have high expectations. The school's owners want every pupil to have a rewarding education. This school offers a vital chance for pupils to be successful.

A classroom in the Acorn School at Winkleigh. Picture: Acorn SchoolA classroom in the Acorn School at Winkleigh. Picture: Acorn School

"Pupils told us they like the school because they feel understood and appreciated for who they are.

"Leaders promote the school's therapeutic curriculum well, this helps to keep the pupils safe and well."

The school is run by Phoenix Learning and Care. It has been rated as 'good's since 2016.

The move to the new Winkleigh site was spearheaded by group chief executive Jonathan Pain.

The company said a once-derelict care home had been completely transformed in a matter of months to a thriving primary and secondary school also supporting local employment.

The facilities now include indoor and outdoor play areas, a music room, science lab and allow an in-house therapies team to undertake individualised and group support to both pupils and the team.

Headteacher Abbie Heard said: "Working closely with our commissioning colleagues, we wanted to develop a resource to support the needs of children and young people of Devon who require a supportive educational environment.

"We aimed to locate a site that would enable us to receive pupils from across the county and we have done exactly that."

Inspectors raised some points for improvement, including that the school did not have 'a consistent approach' to assessing pupils in reading.

They also highlighted that teachers needed to identify the right planning steps to help pupils with maths.