School etc

Birley Community College

Birley Community College
Birley Lane
South Yorkshire

phone: 0114 2392531

headteacher: Mr Steve Robinson


school holidays: via Sheffield council

1155 pupils aged 11—15y mixed gender
1175 pupils capacity: 98% full

545 boys 47%


610 girls 53%


Last updated: June 18, 2014

Secondary — Foundation School

Education phase
Establishment type
Foundation School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 439829, Northing: 382812
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.341, Longitude: -1.4033
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
May 16, 2013
Region › Const. › Ward
Yorkshire and the Humber › Sheffield South East › Birley
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Technology (Operational)
SEN priorities
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Free school meals %
Trust school
Is supported by a Trust
The Birley Learning Community Co-operative Trust
Learning provider ref #

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Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Birley Nursery School S123AB
  2. 0.1 miles Birley Community Primary School S123AB (646 pupils)
  3. 0.1 miles Birley First School S123AB
  4. 0.1 miles Birley Middle School S123AB
  5. 0.7 miles Birley Spa Community Primary School S124QE (499 pupils)
  6. 0.7 miles Charnock Hall Primary School S123HS (399 pupils)
  7. 0.7 miles Ridgeway Primary School S123XR (205 pupils)
  8. 0.7 miles Charnock Hall Middle School S123HS
  9. 0.7 miles Charnock Hall First School S123HS
  10. 0.9 miles St John Fisher Catholic Primary School S124HJ
  11. 0.9 miles St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, A Voluntary Academy S124HJ (213 pupils)
  12. 1 mile Gleadless Primary School S122EJ (454 pupils)
  13. 1.1 mile Hackenthorpe Village Infant School S124LR
  14. 1.2 mile Intake Primary School S122AR (409 pupils)
  15. 1.3 mile Woodhouse West Primary School S137BP (322 pupils)
  16. 1.3 mile The City School S138SS
  17. 1.3 mile Carter Lodge School S124LQ
  18. 1.3 mile Outwood Academy City S138SS (952 pupils)
  19. 1.4 mile Herdings Primary School S141SL
  20. 1.4 mile Rainbow Forge Junior School S124BQ
  21. 1.4 mile Rainbow Forge Infant and Nursery School S124BQ
  22. 1.4 mile Valley Park Community School S141SL (459 pupils)
  23. 1.4 mile Valley Park Community School S141SL
  24. 1.5 mile Rainbow Forge Primary School S124LQ (247 pupils)

List of schools in Sheffield

School report

Birley Community College

Birley Lane, Sheffield, S12 3BP

Inspection dates 3–4 June 2015
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Requires improvement 3
Previous inspection: Requires improvement 3
Leadership and management Requires improvement 3
Behaviour and safety of pupils Requires improvement 3
Quality of teaching Requires improvement 3
Achievement of pupils Requires improvement 3

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement. It is not good because
The school has the following strengths

In 2014, the proportion of students who attained
Students do not make rapid enough progress in
Gaps between the attainment of disadvantaged
Teaching is not yet good. Teachers do not have
Feedback to students about how well they are
Students do not always have the skills to manage
five good GCSEs, including in English and
Mathematics, was below average.
most subjects, especially in mathematics, to reach
their full potential. The most able students are not
sufficiently challenged to enable them to reach the
highest levels of attainment.
students and others were wide in 2014.
high enough expectations of what students can
achieve, and do not always set work which meets
the needs of the full range of abilities.
learning is not yet consistently precise enough to
help them to understand what they need to do to
improve their work.
their own behaviour outside lessons. Sometimes
they lack consideration for others.
Students do not always have positive
Although the number of exclusions has
Despite improvements since the previous
Since the previous inspection, leaders and
attitudes to learning. When teaching is not
good, they get bored and lose focus.
reduced since the previous inspection, the
proportion of students who are excluded is
still above average.
inspection, attendance remains below
average. Too many students, particularly
those who are disadvantaged, are
persistently absent. As a result, the school’s
work to keep students safe and secure
requires improvement.
governors have not brought about rapid
enough improvement across the school.
The pace of improvement is steady but not
good enough.
Newly appointed leaders in English, mathematics
Students achieve well from their starting points in
and science have a good understanding of how
well their subjects are performing and what they
need to do to bring about improvements.
English. They have plenty of opportunities to read
and to learn to express their ideas clearly.
The governing body, under the guidance of the new
Chair, now has a good understanding of how well
the school is performing.

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed teaching and learning in parts of 39 lessons taught by 39 different teachers. Six of
    these lessons were observed jointly with a member of the senior leadership team.
  • Inspectors observed students’ behaviour around the school as well as in lessons. They talked with
    students informally about their learning, as well as holding more formal meetings with groups of students
    of all abilities and from both key stages.
  • Meetings were held with senior and middle leaders, members of the teaching staff and with the governing
    body. In addition, inspectors held a meeting with a representative from the local authority.
  • The views of the 73 parents who responded to the online parental questionnaire (Parent View) were taken
    into account, as well as information collected by the school about the views of parents. In addition,
    inspectors scrutinised the 66 responses to the staff questionnaire.
  • The inspection team examined a range of documentation, including data about students’ achievement
    from internal tracking systems and analysis provided by school leaders. Inspectors also scrutinised leaders’
    monitoring records, including minutes of governing body meetings and information provided relating to
    attendance, safeguarding and behaviour. In addition, they took into account monitoring reports from the
    local authority.

Inspection team

Christine Birchall, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Gerard Fitzpatrick Additional Inspector
Sally Lane Additional Inspector
Anne McAvan Additional Inspector
Robert Jones Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • Birley Community College is a larger than average-sized secondary school. The vast majority of students
    are from White British backgrounds.
  • The proportion of disadvantaged students supported by pupil premium funding is slightly below average.
    The pupil premium is additional funding provided for students who are known to be eligible for free school
    meals and those who are looked after by the local authority.
  • The proportion of students who are disabled or who have special educational needs is above average. The
    school has specialist resourced provision for students with autism. Twenty-four students are on roll with
    bespoke support which enables them to access approximately 80% of their timetable in mainstream
  • A very small number of students make use of alternative provision. The main providers include Education
    in Angling, Recycle, Heeley City Farm and Whirlow farm.
  • Birley Community College is part of a federation with Birley Community Primary School. The two schools
    share the same leadership, governance and campus.
  • The school does not enter students early for GCSE examinations
  • The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum expectations for
    students’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics by the end of Year 11.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve the quality of teaching and so accelerate achievement for all groups of students, particularly in
    mathematics, by ensuring that:

- teachers always have high expectations of what students can achieve, particularly the most able

- marking and feedback always provide students with precise next steps about what they need to do to

improve their work

- students have more opportunities to develop their mathematical reasoning skills by applying their

knowledge to solving real-life problems

- all teachers promote accurate spelling

- the best practice in teaching is shared across the school.

  • Improve students’ behaviour and attendance so that they are able to make better progress by:

- taking steps to ensure that students have the skills to manage their own behaviour so that they are

considerate and supportive of each other outside lessons

- ensuring that teachers consistently apply behaviour management strategies so that students have a

clear understanding of what is expected of them in lessons

- improving attendance by more rigorous analysis of the attendance of different groups of students.

  • Improve the effectiveness of leadership and so accelerate the pace of change, by:

- regularly checking the implementation of new strategies to ensure that they are having the required

impact and are consistently applied

- ensuring that behaviour leaders have the skills and knowledge to drive improvements in behaviour

across the school

- closely monitoring the impact of catch-up funding to ensure that all students make good progress.

Inspection judgements

The leadership and management require improvement
  • Senior leaders have a realistic understanding of how well the school is performing and what needs to be
    done to bring about improvements. However, until recently the pace of change has been slow and, as a
    result, students’ achievement, especially in mathematics, has only just begun to accelerate. Leaders are
    yet to ensure that the quality of teaching is consistently good and that students have good attitudes to
    learning and behave well.
  • Over the last year, systems for checking how well students are learning have become increasingly robust
    and, as a result, school data shows that more students are making the progress they should. Leaders are
    now using data more effectively to hold teachers to account for the progress of students in their classes.
  • Leaders have set teachers more rigorous targets this year to challenge them to improve aspects of their
    performance. They use these to ensure that teachers all have access to a varied range of training
    opportunities. Staff value these and say that they are making a difference to their skills and confidence. As
    a result, the proportion of teaching which is good or better has increased over the course of the year.
    However, opportunities to share the best teaching practices widely among staff are still sometimes
  • Newly appointed leaders for English, mathematics and science have an accurate understanding of the
    strengths and areas for development in their subjects. They are using this information to make
    adjustments to the curriculum and to teaching to ensure that achievement in their areas improves. They
    have ensured increasing levels of consistency in the way teachers teach and so marking and feedback to
    students, for example, have improved over the course of the year. However, leaders are yet to ensure
    that the quality of marking is consistently good so that all students are clear about what they need to do
    to improve their work.
  • Senior leaders have developed the curriculum to ensure that it is broad and provides an appropriate
    balance between academic and vocational opportunities. The personal, social and health education
    curriculum in particular is well developed. It ensures that students are given a range of opportunities to
    develop their social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding and to promote their awareness of British
    values including of living in a democratic and multi-cultural society and the importance of tolerance and
  • The curriculum, along with effective careers guidance, ensures that when students leave school at the end
    of Year 11 there are very few who are not in employment, education or training. The curriculum is
    enhanced by a range of extra-curricular activities, for example in sports.
  • The school’s work to promote equality of opportunity and to tackle discrimination requires improvement
    because, although gaps are closing, there is still inconsistency in the achievement of different groups of
    students. Although attendance has improved and exclusions have reduced overall, too many
    disadvantaged students are excluded or frequently absent, and this slows their progress.
  • Strategies to develop students’ literacy skills are well developed across the school. Students are provided
    with ample opportunities to read and are supported to develop their writing skills across the curriculum
    through, for example, a focus on key words. However, some teachers do not place strong enough
    emphasis on the importance of accurate spelling. Opportunities for students to develop their numeracy
    skills across the curriculum are not yet as well developed as literacy.
  • Leaders have undertaken a review of the effectiveness of their spending of pupil premium funding. There
    has been a sharper focus on monitoring the impact of spending which has enabled individual students to
    be better targeted. The school’s current tracking data indicates that gaps between the attainment of
    disadvantaged students and others are starting to close. However, leaders are yet to ensure that the
    impact of the Year 7 catch-up funding (additional funding to support students whose attainment on entry
    to school in Year 7 in English and mathematics is below average) is closely monitored to check that it is
    effective in improving students’ achievement. Although students are catching up in English, in
    mathematics, students struggle to improve.
  • The local authority has a very accurate view of how well the school is performing and has provided regular
    challenge to senior leaders to hold them to account for improvements. They have brokered a range of
    partnerships with other schools to promote developments in teaching, leadership and assessment. As a
    result, the school’s performance is improving. However, this support has not yet resulted in students’ good
    achievement over time.
  • The school’s arrangements for safeguarding students meet statutory requirements and are effective in
    doing so. Nevertheless, not all students manage their own behaviour well. Some smoke on the school
  • The governance of the school:

- Over time, governors have not held the school effectively to account for making sure that the quality of

teaching is good and that students achieve well, behave well and show good attitudes to learning.

- Governors have undertaken a review to check the effectiveness of their work and identify how it can be

improved. They have received additional training and now have an accurate understanding of the

school’s strengths and areas for development. The new Chair of the Governing body leads the

governing body strongly.

- Governors are taking effective steps to find out first-hand how well the school is doing, for example by

having link governors for particular aspects of the school’s work. They now have a more accurate
understanding of how effectively teachers are performing. They now ensure that there are clear links

between teachers’ performance and pay progression and that any weak teaching is tackled. However,

they are yet to hold leaders fully to account for making sure that teaching is consistently good.

- Governors expect regular reports on the school’s progress from middle and senior leaders as well as

getting external perspectives from a school improvement consultant. This is giving them a better
understanding of data that shows how well the school is performing in comparison to others. They are

using all this information increasingly well to ask senior leaders challenging questions.

- Governors know how pupil premium funding is spent and monitor the impact by requesting regular

updates about how well disadvantaged students are achieving.

The behaviour and safety of pupils require improvement


  • The behaviour of students requires improvement.
  • Students’ attitudes to their work and learning are not consistently good. In lessons, the majority of
    students are keen to do well and settle to their work quickly. However, when teaching lacks challenge, or
    when teachers do not follow the school’s behaviour management systems effectively, there is some low-
    level disruption. Some students get bored and lose concentration. For example, talking quietly instead of
    listening to the teacher or sending texts on their mobile phones.
  • Outside lessons, a minority of students lack consideration for others and will, for example, when corridors
    are narrow and spaces get crowded, push other students. Some students run along the corridors and are
    unnecessarily noisy at breaks and lunchtimes. Behaviour on the sports field is sometimes boisterous and
    older students sometimes lack consideration for the needs of the younger ones.
  • Most students are happy, confident and say that they enjoy school. They are courteous and respectful to
  • Students generally take pride in their work and their school. Most are dressed smartly and arrive to
    lessons with the necessary equipment to allow learning to proceed smoothly. They care for the school
    environment and usually clear up after themselves at breaks and lunchtimes.
  • The school’s work to keep students safe and secure requires improvement.
  • Sometimes at break and lunchtime when there is less adult supervision, some students struggle to
    manage their own behaviour and are boisterous. There are a number of students who persist in smoking
    on the school premises.
  • Leaders ensure that all appropriate safeguarding systems are in place. For example, all staff have up-to-
    date training and a good understanding of child protection requirements. Processes for recruiting new
    teachers and checking entry to the school site are robust.
  • Students say that they feel safe around school, that there is very little bullying, and that any bullying
    which occurs is dealt with effectively. They have a good understanding of how to keep themselves safe
    and are aware for example of the risks of cyber-bullying. The school’s records indicate that behaviour
    issues are reducing.
  • Although attendance has improved, it remains stubbornly below average. The proportion of disadvantaged
    students who are frequently absent is high. The number of fixed-term exclusions has also reduced but the
    is still above average, particularly for disadvantaged students
  • Leaders take effective steps to ensure that the few students who attend off-site alternative provision are
    safe, that they attend regularly and behave well.
The quality of teaching requires improvement
  • Although leaders’ records and inspection evidence shows that the quality of teaching is improving, The
    impact of teaching is still not consistently good enough to accelerate achievement across most subjects
    and year groups.
  • Teachers do not have consistently high expectations of what students can achieve, particularly the most
    able. Most teachers still set the same work for all students in the class regardless of ability or starting
    point. This means that some students are not sufficiently challenged.
  • The quality of feedback and marking is improving as a result of more recent training and an emphasis on
    ensuring that students have a clear understanding of what they need to do to improve their work. At its
    best, there is clear evidence that students are making faster progress as a result of the good guidance
    they receive. However, there is still some inconsistency. Not all marking is focused enough to provide all
    students with precise next steps about what they need to do to improve their work.
  • There is some good use of assessment in lessons where both teacher and students are able to easily
    check how well students are doing. Teachers are then able to respond to this to provide additional support
    for those who need it. However, not all teachers use assessment well or accurately enough to set students
    precise targets for improvement.
  • Relationships between teachers and students are generally good which creates a good working
    atmosphere and means that most students want to do well. Most teachers plan interesting activities and
    use engaging resources which encourage students to want to learn. However, some teachers struggle to
    get students’ attention, and do not use the behaviour management systems well enough to refocus
    students on their work.
  • Teachers’ questions are often very effective in developing and deepening students’ understanding, and
    encouraging them to give detailed responses. On occasion however, questioning is not targeted well
    enough and this means that some students are not challenged to participate in the lesson.
  • Teaching assistants and other additional adults are well used in lessons, show initiative, and make an
    effective contribution to the learning of the students they support, particularly for those students with
  • The teaching of reading and writing is generally good. Students are given plenty of opportunities to read
    and write and to learn to express their ideas clearly. As a result, over time, students achieve well in
    English. However, students achievement in mathematics requires improvement because opportunities to
    develop students’ mathematical reasoning skills by applying their knowledge to solving real-life problems
    are missed.
The achievement of pupils requires improvement
  • Typically, students start school in Year 7 with levels of attainment which are broadly average. In 2014, by
    the end of Year 11, although students made expected progress from their starting points, too few made
    good progress across the school. The proportion that attained five good GCSEs, including in English and
    mathematics, was below average. Most students achieved well in English but progress in mathematics was
    too slow. Too few students reached the higher levels of attainment.
  • This year, leaders have increased the rigour of systems for checking how well students are learning. As a
    result, teachers have been able to target their support more effectively as soon as individual students
    begin to show any signs of falling behind. The school’s data indicates that the progress of current Year 11
    students has accelerated and their standards of attainment are higher than in 2014. Inspection evidence
    from reviewing work in students’ books and observing students’ achievement in lessons also confirms this.
    However, the progress of students in other year groups is still variable and requires improvement.
  • The achievement of disadvantaged students, although improving, is not yet consistently good In Year 11
    in 2014 in mathematics, disadvantaged students attained over a grade lower than other students in school
    and almost two grades lower than other students nationally. In English, disadvantaged students attained
    two-thirds of a grade lower than other students both in school and nationally. The school’s data for
    current Year 11 indicates that gaps between the attainment of disadvantaged students and others are
    closing, with disadvantaged students expected to attain approximately half a grade lower than others
    students in the school and nationally in English and in mathematics. Progress is now accelerating for
    disadvantaged students, with more in Year 11 on track to make good progress. However, there is still
    some variation in the achievement of disadvantaged students in other year groups.
  • Progress in English is good because students are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes, to
    read and to reflect. They sometimes struggle to explain their view clearly, but teachers have developed a
    number of strategies to support them with this. Progress in mathematics however is slower. Opportunities
    for students to develop their mathematical reasoning skills by applying their knowledge to solve real-life
    problems are beginning to become more frequent. This is placing less emphasis on repetitive exercises
    which do not deepen student’s understanding.
  • The achievement of the most able students requires improvement. Teachers do not routinely provide them
    with sufficient challenge to enable them to reach the highest levels of attainment.
  • The progress of disabled students and those who have special educational needs, including those in the
    specialist resourced provision, requires improvement. Although students do well in English, progress
    remains slower in mathematics. Teachers are less skilled in providing resources which meet the needs of
    students, particularly those with autism.
  • The few students who attend alternative provision achieve well because the curriculum and teaching are
    closely targeted to their needs.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes that
provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures that pupils
are very well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or
Grade 2 Good A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well for all
its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
Grade 3 Requires
A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it is not
inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within 24 months
from the date of this inspection.
Grade 4 Inadequate A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing
to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s
leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have
the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school. This
school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and requires
significant improvement but leadership and management are judged to
be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular monitoring by
Ofsted inspectors.

School details

Unique reference number 107146
Local authority Sheffield
Inspection number 462197

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Secondary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 11–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 1,139
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Kevin StClair
Headteacher Steve Robinson
Date of previous school inspection 16 May 2013
Telephone number 0114 239 2531
Fax number 0114 265 5034
Email address reveal email: enqu…

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