School etc

Benjamin College

Benjamin College
4 Wren Path
Fairford Leys
Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
HP197AR

01296 483584

Headed by Mrs Margaret Bond

School holidays for Benjamin College via Buckinghamshire council

Check school holidays


4 pupils aged 14—16y mixed gender
20 pupils capacity: 20% full

5 boys 125%

Last updated: June 24, 2014


— Other Independent Special School

URN
135805
Establishment type
Other Independent Special School
Establishment #
6042
Open date
Feb. 26, 2009
Reason open
New Provision
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 479801, Northing: 213955
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.819, Longitude: -0.84367
Accepting pupils
12—18 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Aylesbury › Coldharbour
Area
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN priorities
BESD - Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Learning provider ref #
10026257

Rooms & flats to rent in Aylesbury

Schools nearby

  1. 0.3 miles St Mary's Church of England School HP197WF (401 pupils)
  2. 0.7 miles Meadowcroft Junior School HP199HP
  3. 0.7 miles Thomas Hickman School HP199HP (454 pupils)
  4. 0.8 miles Bearbrook Combined School HP197QP (434 pupils)
  5. 0.8 miles The Pace Centre HP199JL (64 pupils)
  6. 0.8 miles The Pace Centre HP199JL
  7. 0.8 miles Buckinghamshire UTC HP218PB (92 pupils)
  8. 0.9 miles Aylesbury Vale Primary Support Centre HP199NS
  9. 0.9 miles Blueprint HP199JL (13 pupils)
  10. 0.9 miles Haydon Abbey School HP199NS (425 pupils)
  11. 0.9 miles Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School HP218PE
  12. 0.9 miles Pathways Primary Pupil Referral Unit HP199NS
  13. 0.9 miles The Buckinghamshire Primary Pupil Referral Unit HP199NS (3 pupils)
  14. 0.9 miles Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School HP218PE (1098 pupils)
  15. 1 mile Quarrendon School HP199PG
  16. 1 mile Pebble Brook School HP218LZ (100 pupils)
  17. 1 mile Aylesbury College HP218PD
  18. 1.1 mile Willowmead Infant School and Nursery HP218PF
  19. 1.2 mile Oak Green School HP218LJ (453 pupils)
  20. 1.2 mile Stone Church of England Combined School HP178PD (209 pupils)
  21. 1.2 mile The Aylesbury Vale Academy HP180WS (1020 pupils)
  22. 1.4 mile Beech Green Nursery School HP218JG
  23. 1.4 mile Elmhurst School HP202DB (327 pupils)
  24. 1.4 mile Elmhurst Infant School HP202DB

List of schools in Aylesbury


Benjamin College

Independent special school standard inspection report



DfE registration number 825/6042
Unique Reference Number (URN) 135805
Inspection number 361442
Inspection dates 8−9 December 2010
Reporting inspector Angela Corbett HMI

No. 090070

Independent school standard inspection report

3

Purpose and scope of the inspection

This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under Section 162A of the Education Act
2002, as amended by schedule 8 of the Education Act 2005, the purpose of which is
to advise the Secretary of State for Education about the school’s suitability for
continued registration as an independent school.

1, 2

Information about the school

Benjamin College, which opened in 2008, provides secondary education for some
students in registered children’s homes owned by Benjamin UK Limited. The school
was registered in February 2009 and this is the first full inspection covering the
education provision in two of the homes where, currently, there are seven young

people resident. One of these children’s homes was last inspected in August 2010

and the other in September 2010.
The college is registered for eight students aged between 12 and 18 years of age.
Currently there is one student on roll but they do not have a statement of special
educational needs. Students are funded by their placing local authorities which
include London boroughs and counties in the Midlands and south of England. Almost
all students placed at the college have a history of academic underachievement as
well as social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Students’ placement in the
college is often for less than half a term because they move into mainstream or other
education provision, where possible, or they are no longer resident in either of the
homes. However, the education staff often provide learning support and resources
for students who live in any of the five children’s homes.
The college aims to ‘provide a consistent and caring environment in which pupils can
develop their full academic, personal and social potential’.

Evaluation of the school

Benjamin College provides a satisfactory quality of education and successfully meets
its stated aims, particularly in helping students to get back into education and
prepare for the next steps in their lives at a time when they are experiencing
difficulties. The curriculum is satisfactorily tailored to meet students’ individual needs
and interests; this, together with satisfactory teaching, ensures they make
satisfactory progress overall. Students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development is satisfactory overall; social and moral development is good as a result
of good personal, health and social education and highly effective links between the
college and the children’s homes. Again close working arrangements with home staff

1

www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2002/ukpga_20020032_en_14#pt10-ch1-pb4-l1g162

2

www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2005/ukpga_20050018_en_15#sch8

Independent school standard inspection report

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help secure students’ welfare, health and safety at all times. However, this provision
is satisfactory overall because while practices are strong, these are not always fully
reflected in the school policies, a few of which were amended during the inspection
to meet requirements. Overall, safeguarding arrangements are secure and the school
meets most regulations for registration as an independent school.

Quality of education

The curriculum is satisfactory. Students are assessed on entry to ascertain their
personal needs, prior learning, abilities and interests. Almost all are in Years 10 and

11. The Key Stage 4 curriculum is a real strength with well-designed units of work

across all subjects each covering around 10 lessons; however, this is less well
developed at Key Stage 3. These units enable learning to be highly tailored for each
student, regardless of their time in the college. There is a strong emphasis on
English, mathematics and science, with the aim that all students will be helped to
achieve GCSEs in these subjects. The curriculum is balanced with the provision of
art, religious education, physical education and information and communication
technology (ICT), thinking skills and personal, social and health education (PSHE).
However, there is less provision for practical science and design and technology,
although students have been involved in jewellery making and food technology in

the children’s homes’ kitchens. Links are made to students’ career aspirations

through off-site provision which includes an equine centre and motor vehicle
programme. Care staff provide further enhancement through the routine work they
do with students and the activities they organise for them, which includes at least
one education activity a week. However, while these activities are recorded in the
care home, no formal system is in place to monitor these many educational and
developmental experiences to provide a cohesive approach to provision.
The quality of teaching and assessment is satisfactory. Teachers all have good
specialist subject knowledge and tuition is designed to be on a one-to-one basis. On
some occasions, care staff join lessons, but then opportunities are missed to promote
discussion to broaden students’ learning in these lessons. Lessons are well planned
and staff use a common planning sheet, which includes clear learning objectives as
well as key words and the use of resources. Teachers use praise well and develop

students’ learning through effective questioning. Teaching approaches and tasks are

varied but in some lessons activities are not always set in contexts that are relevant
to the students to fully engage them or develop their independence. Good use is
made of ICT to enhance learning although slower access to the internet in one
classroom impedes maximising its use.

Lesson-by-lesson assessment is thorough and reflects accurately what students have
achieved. While students’ progress towards their GCSE targets is tracked carefully,
this is less well developed in other subjects or for short-term students. Progress
varies between students in terms of their personal and academic achievement, but is
satisfactory overall. During lessons students receive good verbal feedback on how to

Independent school standard inspection report

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improve but written comments are less consistent so students are not clear on how
to improve over time.

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils

The college makes satisfactory provision for students’ spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development. Most students who join the college have had a poor and often
interrupted prior experience of education. Close and highly effective working
practices between the college and residential staff work to successfully improve

students’ attitudes to learning, raise their self-esteem and improve personal and

social skills. Students mostly enjoy college but their enjoyment is dependent on the
subject, task or relevance to them of the work. Students’ attendance is variable,
reflecting their difficulties or readiness to engage in education. Behaviour is
satisfactory overall but students are encouraged to take responsibility for their
behaviour. There are satisfactory opportunities for reflection within different learning
topics as well as on events in the wider world. Overall, cultural development is
satisfactory, but good use is made of students’ own cultural backgrounds with, for
example, work on self-identity though black history month activities. The
development of social skills is integrated into all lessons as well as through off-site
visits, more informal learning opportunities such as art lessons and the well-focused
PSHE lessons that also cover knowledge of public services and institutions. This,
together with the routine work of the care staff and the activities they organise for
the young people out of education time, ensures that moral and social development

is good. There are too few opportunities for students to make positive contributions

within college and the wider community. Students are exceptionally well supported
for the next steps in their learning, either within the college or beyond, through joint
work with the care staff, including exploring career options, meetings with
Connexions staff both locally and in their placing authorities, college visits and the
completion of application forms.

Welfare, health and safety of pupils

The provision for ensuring students’ welfare, health and safety is satisfactory. Strong

systems, all in close conjunction with the care home, promote students’ welfare,
health and safety. Policies are mainly derived from those in the care home, and in
some instances do not place sufficient emphasis on education. The very positive
approach taken to managing behaviour called ‘positive handling’ is underpinned by a
clear system of sanctions which are linked to a loss of rewards. Behaviour in the
classrooms is monitored and information is shared with the residential staff. Risk
assessments for activities both in and outside college meet requirements and a new
and appropriate educational visits policy is now in place. Child protection policies and
procedures are in place and are linked to that of the care home. The arrangements
for fire prevention overall are adequate. Students are developing a good
understanding of how to stay safe, including the use of new technologies, and how
to live a healthy lifestyle. This is supported well by the home staff, for example
through twice-weekly sporting or leisure activities. The policy for first aid is in place

Independent school standard inspection report

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and fully trained care staff are called on when needed and all accidents are recorded
in the care home log. Admission and attendance registers do not comply with the
regulations. There is no admission register in place and only the attendance of long-
term students is recorded. There is a suitable and recently drafted three-year action
plan indicating how the school will fulfil its duties under the Disability Discrimination
Act 1995, as amended.

Suitability of staff, supply staff and proprietors

The college has checked the suitability of all staff and the proprietors to work
with children and has in place secure and rigorous appointment procedures. The
single central register shows all the required information although it was amended
during the inspection to show the dates of criminal records bureau checks for all
staff, with a column for the right-to-work checks and that further checks for staff
from overseas had been undertaken.

Premises of and accommodation at the school

Classrooms are each located within the premises of two children’s homes. One
classroom has not been used for almost a year but is reasonably well decorated and
is ready for teaching when the need next arises. The other has been moved from its
location in the conservatory at the time of the registration visit to a close, but
separate, converted garage. The lighting, heating and ventilation in this room are
poor. This classroom is small and it is not appropriate for teaching four students at
one time, although most tuition is on a one-to-one basis. There is also access to
kitchens at both houses which are used for activities related to cookery or art and for
meal times. Overall, there is sufficient space for four students to be taught effectively
at each home through the use of lounges, kitchens and, on one site, the
conservatory. There is some space at both houses for recreational purposes,
although these are quite small. There are some inadequate security arrangements.

Provision of information

The college provides most of the required information about the education provision
for parents, carers and others through its prospectus, the student handbook and the
Benjamin UK website. However, this falls short of meeting the full requirements, with
some policy omissions, such as giving no details on complaints in the last 12 months
and a list of staff with a summary of their qualifications. Half-termly reports provide a
good amount of detail on how well students are making progress and formal
meetings with care staff and social workers, when needed, also help to further tailor
the education provision or inform ‘pathway’ plans for students moving into post-16
education or beyond.

Independent school standard inspection report

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Manner in which complaints are to be handled

The college has an appropriate and clear complaints policy; however, it is only made
available on request and is not published to parents and carers in line with the
regulations.

Compliance with regulatory requirements

The proprietor has ensured that the school meets The Education (Independent
School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010, schedule 1 (‘the Regulations’), with
the exception of those listed below.

3

The school does not meet all requirements in respect of provision for pupils’ welfare,
health and safety (standards in part 3) and must:

  • maintain admission and attendance registers in accordance with the Education
    (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (paragraph 17).

The school does not meet all requirements in respect of the premises of and
accommodation at schools (standards in part 5) and must:

  • ensure that there are adequate security arrangements in place for the grounds
    and buildings (paragraph 23(d))
  • improve the lighting, heating and ventilation in the classrooms (paragraph
    23(o)).

The school does not meet all requirements in respect of the provision of information
(standards in part 6) and must:

  • provide the following information to parents of students and parents of
    prospective students:
    - particulars of educational and welfare provision for students who speak
    English as an additional language
    - particulars of the arrangements for tackling bullying, and for promoting
    students’ health and safety on the school premises and on educational
    visits as required under part 3 paragraphs 10, 11 and 12
    - particulars of policies relating to bullying, health and safety, the promotion
    of good behaviour, and sanctions adopted in the event of students
    misbehaving as required under part 3, paragraph 9
    - details of the complaints procedure adopted by the school, together with
    details of the number of complaints registered under the formal procedure
    during the preceding school year
    - the number of staff employed at the school, including temporary staff, and
    a summary of their qualifications (paragraph 24(1)(b))

3

www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/1997/contents/made

Independent school standard inspection report

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  • publish on its website or, where no such website exists, send to parents of
    students (and of prospective students on request) a copy of its safeguarding
    children policy as required under part 3, paragraph 7 (paragraph 24(1)(c)).

The school does not meet all requirements in respect of the manner in which
complaints are to be handled (standards in part 7) and must:

  • make the complaints procedure available to parents (paragraph 25 (b)).

Please see the report on Ofsted’s website relating to the care provision in the
children’s home which should be read in conjunction with this report.

What the school could do to improve further

While not required by regulations, the school might wish to consider the following

points for development:

  • develop the Key Stage 3 curriculum with modular units of learning, in line with
    those already developed at Key Stage 4
  • provide opportunities for students to make a positive contribution both to the
    life of the college and also to the wider community
  • take a more cohesive approach to the young people’s education by more
    formally linking the learning that takes place in the college and the homes.

Independent school standard inspection report

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Inspection judgements
outstanding
good satisfactory inadequate

The quality of education

Overall quality of education
How well the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs
and interests of pupils
How effective teaching and assessment are in meeting the full range
of pupils’ needs
How well pupils make progress in their learning

Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

Quality of provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development
The behaviour of pupils

Welfare, health and safety of pupils

The overall welfare, health and safety of pupils

Independent school standard inspection report

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School details

School status Independent
Type of school Residential Special School
Date school opened 2008
Age range of pupils 12–18
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number on roll (full-time pupils) Boys: 0 Girls: 1 Total: 1
Number of boarders Boys: 0 Girls: 1 Total: 1
Number of pupils with a statement of
special educational needs
Boys: 0 Girls: 0 Total: 0
Number of pupils who are looked after Boys: 0 Girls: 1 Total: 1
Annual fees (boarders) £19,500 (for education provision only)
Telephone number 01296 483584
Email address
Headteacher Mr Jeremy Yelland
Proprietor Mrs Claudette Deysel

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