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  • West Kirby Residential School
    Meols Drive
    West Kirby
    CH48 5DH
  • Head: Mr I Sim
  • T 0151 632 3201
  • F 01516 320621
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A special independent school for pupils aged from 5 to 19 with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, autism, ADHD, and complex needs.
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Wirral
  • Pupils: 91: 80 boys, 11 girls; 13 boarders; sixth formers: 28: 25 boys, 3 girls
  • Religion: Does not apply
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Outstanding 2
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Outstanding 2
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 2
    • 1 Short inspection 10th February 2016
    • 2 Full inspection 30th January 2013

    Short inspection reports only give an overall grade; you have to read the report itself to gauge whether the detailed grading from the earlier full inspection still stands.

  • Previous Ofsted grade: Outstanding on 29th January 2008
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

A calm, safe sanctuary for those that need it. They are getting the best out of their students and improving lives and confidence levels to such an extent that many go on to success once they leave – some pupils even making such progress that they return here as staff. We loved the respect given to pupils through a student council which truly has teeth – students have implemented cooking their own evening meals and when they wanted Chinese and Polish on the curriculum...

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What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2015, Iain Sim. Chemistry and environmental science degree from Manchester. Went into mainstream teaching but didn’t enjoy it: ‘I had more of an affinity with and was interested in the children who required teaching in a slightly different way’. Spent two years abroad as a volunteer with VSO before ‘falling into special needs teaching,’ and finding his true calling. Has been in the sector for 25 years, most recently as a deputy director for ASD needs with a large group of special needs schools. Joined WKRS because ‘whilst we may have less resources than a large group, we can drive the school where we want and have a greater impact more quickly.’ A calm, quiet man who is well respected and has made changes to extend and expand services for young people: a...

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Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

Pupils have complex special needs and are recognised by their Local Authority as having social, medical, emotional and behavioural problems. Medical conditions include Asperger's Syndrome. An initial six week assessment is carried out for all new pupils. The school offers high quality accommodation in school and covers all curriculum areas. Therapy services include a Behaviour Support Team, Speech and Language, Physiotherapy and an Educational Psychologist. The school is ideally situated for outdoor pursuits and cultural experiences, its main aim being to provide a stable, caring and stimulating environment within which pupils can come to terms with their difficulties and reach their full potential. Approximately one third of the pupils attend on a weekly boarding basis or make regular overnight stays. Our last Ofsted inspection reported, 'This is an excellent school. The standards pupils achieve are very high. As a result of its excellent ethos, it very successfully transforms pupils’ attitudes to work and life and their disposition to learn. Its emphasis on their personal development is exceptional and means that pupils’ personal achievement is very good.'

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory Y
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

most years
quite often
sometimes, but not in this year

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