School etc

Brixham College Closed - academy converter Dec. 31, 2011

see new Brixham College

Brixham College
Higher Ranscombe Road

phone: 01803 *** ***

principal: Mr Mark Eager


school holidays: via Torbay council

Secondary — Foundation School

Education phase
Establishment type
Foundation School
Establishment #
Close date
Dec. 31, 2011
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 292886, Northing: 55868
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 50.393, Longitude: -3.5083
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Special pupils
Ofsted last inspection
Sept. 13, 2011
Region › Const. › Ward
South West › Totnes › Berry Head-with-Furzeham
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Arts (Operational)
SEN priorities
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers Syndrome [archived]
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Trust school
Is supported by a Trust
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Brixham

Schools nearby

  1. Brixham College TQ59HF (1014 pupils)
  2. 0.1 miles Brixham Church of England Primary School TQ59HF (249 pupils)
  3. 0.4 miles Furzeham Primary School TQ58BL (297 pupils)
  4. 0.6 miles Eden Park Infants' and Nursery School TQ59LA
  5. 0.7 miles Eden Park Junior School TQ59NH
  6. 0.7 miles Eden Park Primary School TQ59NH
  7. 0.7 miles Eden Park Primary School Academy TQ59NH (436 pupils)
  8. 0.8 miles St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School TQ50EE (131 pupils)
  9. 0.8 miles St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School TQ50EE
  10. 1.4 mile Chestnut Primary School TQ50EQ
  11. 1.7 mile Gramercy Hall School TQ50HR
  12. 2.2 miles Churston Ferrers Grammar School TQ50LN
  13. 2.2 miles Churston Ferrers Grammar School Academy TQ50LN (961 pupils)
  14. 2.5 miles Galmpton Church of England Primary School TQ50LT (211 pupils)
  15. 3.1 miles Clennon Valley C.O.YMCA TQ46NX
  16. 3.2 miles White Rock Primary School TQ47AW (442 pupils)
  17. 3.5 miles Greylands School TQ46ES
  18. 3.7 miles Roselands Primary School TQ47RQ (301 pupils)
  19. 3.8 miles Curledge Street Primary School TQ45BA
  20. 3.8 miles Tower House School TQ45EW (185 pupils)
  21. 3.8 miles South Devon College TQ47EJ
  22. 3.8 miles The Garage TQ46AA
  23. 3.8 miles Curledge Street Academy TQ45BA (440 pupils)
  24. 4 miles Kingswear Community Primary School TQ60BJ (71 pupils)

List of schools in Brixham

Age group 11–16
Inspection date(s) 13–14 September 2011
Inspection number 378725

Brixham College

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 113527
Local Authority Torbay
Inspection number 378725
Inspection dates 13–14 September 2011
Report ing inspector Karl Sampson HMI

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

Type of school Secondary
School category Foundation
Age range of pupils 11–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 1,010
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Mr Mike Morey
Pr incipal Mr Mark Eager
Date of previous school inspection 19–20 November 2008
School address Higher Ranscombe Road
Telephone number 01803 858271
Fax number 01803 882726
Email address reveal email: adm…


This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and four
additional inspectors. Inspectors carried out observations of 34 part-lessons taught
by 32 teachers and saw parts of tutor time as well as a house assembly. Ten of the
lessons were jointly observed by members of the college’s leadership team. One
inspector undertook a learning walk which was comprised of a number of short visits
to lessons to look at provision for students with special educational needs and/or
disabilities. Discussions were held with senior and middle leaders, staff, three
members of the governing body and different groups of students. Inspectors
observed the college’s work and looked at the college’s self-evaluation and planning
documents, external evaluations of the college’s work, policy documents and
students’ work. They analysed 120 questionnaires sent in by parents and carers,
questionnaires completed by a sample of students from each year group and 40
completed by staff.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the college’s work. It looked in detail
at a number of key areas.

  • How well all students are achieving, particularly in English and mathematics.
  • The extent to which teaching provides both support and challenge for all groups
    of students.
  • The contribution to college improvement made by partnerships and the arts
  • The accuracy and demonstrable impact of self-evaluation by leaders and
    managers at all levels in driving up outcomes for all groups of learners.

Information about the school

Brixham College is larger than most secondary schools. It is a non-selective
secondary school set in an area where selective grammar school education is
available. Most students are of White British heritage and the vast majority speak
English as their first language. The proportion of students known to be eligible for
free school meals is slightly below the national average. The proportion with special
educational needs and/or disabilities is similar to national; their needs include
moderate learning difficulties and there are also students with behavioural, emotional
and social difficulties. The proportion of students who have a statement of special
educational needs is more than double that found nationally. The college offers
specialist resourced provision for students with autism; places are currently occupied
by 16 students. The college has a specialism in visual arts and is designated as a
Healthy School. It currently holds the Investors in People, Education Business
Excellence and International School awards.

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 2
The school’s capacity for sustained improvement 2

Main findings

Brixham College is a good and improving school. Students achieve well as a result of
good teaching, a curriculum that offers an increasing level of personalisation and
well-targeted academic and pastoral support. It is led well by a principal who has a
commitment and passion to raise the aspirations of all students and achieve the
highest quality outcomes for them. In the two years since his appointment, the
principal has had to deal with some tough issues, including a reduction in staffing
and large scale restructuring of senior and middle leadership responsibilities.
However, with the full support of governors, senior colleagues and the college
community these issues have been tackled with resolute determination and
considerable success. Although some initiatives are still relatively new, others are
firmly embedded in practice, most importantly the systems for tracking the progress
of different groups of students and devising effective programmes of intervention to
address any potential underachievement. As a result, the actions taken have had
considerable impact in raising attainment, improving behaviour and developing the
quality of teaching. Leadership and management are good in the resource base, as in
the main school. Self-evaluation is effective and the college’s capacity to sustain its
overall improvement is good.
The college provides an outstanding level of care, advice and guidance for groups of
students and for individuals by working closely with a range of outside agencies and
education and business partners. It has successfully developed a flexible and
responsive structure to provide for the wide range of students’ needs. Consequently,
most students, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities in
the main school, as well as those students in the college’s specialist autism resource
base, now make good progress academically and in their personal development.
The quality of learning in classrooms across the college is improving because

expectations of students’ capabilities have been raised through more stringent use of

assessment data to set challenging targets and inform teachers’ planning. There is
some outstanding teaching, which engages students through high-quality dialogue
that helps to foster a deeper understanding and extends thinking. Some teachers are
very skilful in tailoring activities that stretch and challenge all learners regardless of
their starting point so that their progress is consistently good or better. They know
exactly where students are in their learning, understand when they are ready to take
the next steps and convey clearly how this can best be achieved. However, this
strong practice is not sufficiently consistent and quality overall not sufficiently high to
move good teaching and learning towards outstanding.

Students say they feel very safe and the outstanding systems to support their
welfare have an extremely positive effect on their personal development. They are
confident that bullying is dealt with effectively and they know whom they would go
to if they needed help or support. Students make an extensive contribution to the life
of the college and the wider community thanks to the curriculum, the outstanding
range of partnerships and the excellent opportunities arising from the college’s
specialist status. Behaviour has improved and is good around the college and in most
lessons. There is a palpable sense of pride among those who work and learn here.
Students are quick to highlight and praise the improvements that have taken place in
the last two years and say that they enjoy their time at the college. These views are
supported by the improvement in attendance and the significant reduction in the
number of fixed-term exclusions.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Continue to raise attainment by improving teaching in all subjects by:
    moving more of the good teaching to outstanding and eradicating the
    small amount of weaker teaching
    ensuring that the quality of all lessons matches the best in the college
    through effective dissemination of exemplary teaching to help others to
    understand how to improve their own practice
    ensuring that teachers use assessment information consistently well when
    planning lessons so that work is closely aligned to students’ individual
    needs, provides high levels of challenge and secures consistently good or
    better progress
    extending the use of probing questions and high quality dialogue to
    stimulate more active participation from students in all lessons and a
    greater capacity for their ideas and contributions to drive the learning
    In the majority of lessons observed, students make good progress. They generally
    apply skills well to a range of activities. This is most evident when learning is
    purposeful and well paced and enhanced by a good range of challenging learning
    activities. Crucially, learning is strongest where teachers use their acute knowledge
    of students’ individual strengths and weaknesses to deftly target provision to meet
    individual needs and maximise progress. However, college leaders know that
    sometimes learning activities are not sufficiently fine tuned in lessons to ensure that
    progress is consistently good or better for all groups of students.
    Historically, attainment has been low, reflecting low attainment on entry to the
    college. However, over the last two years in particular the college has been effective
    in the action it has taken to raise achievement, including in English and mathematics.
    Improvements in the quality of teaching and learning, changes to the leadership and
    management structure and a more focused approach to intervention have enabled
    students to close the gap towards what is attained nationally. Consequently, GCSE
    examination results have improved and attainment is now broadly average and
    rising. The college’s data and standards seen in lessons and students’ books show
    that this improving trend is set to continue. The college’s monitoring of progress and
    attainment for different groups is efficient and detailed, leading to more
    appropriately tailored support for students. In the past the achievement of the small
    numbers of students known to be eligible for free school meals has been lower than
    their peers. An analysis of college data for the current cohort and progress seen in
    lessons show that the impact of this work is already beginning to accelerate the
    progress made by this group.
    Students behave well in lessons and around the college. Where teaching was good,
    students’ behaviour made a stronger contribution to learning. In the most engaging
    lessons, behaviour was outstanding. The college is doing all it can to raise students’
    aspirations and, last year, the number of students who left school and who were not
    in further education, employment or training was below the national average. The
    arts specialism and excellent range of education and business partnerships support
    students to gain the necessary skills they need to take the next steps in their lives
    with confidence. Opportunities for students to contribute to the college and wider
    community are extensive and diverse, and participation rates are high for all groups.
    Students say how much they value their college and local community and
    demonstrate good engagement in a variety of ways; for example, through their
    heritage work with the local fishing community, performing arts productions, sports
    leadership and charitable work. The student management committee is becoming
    increasingly influential in supporting college evaluation and development.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 2

These are the grades for pupils’ outcomes

Pupils’ achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
Pupils’ attainment
The quality of pupils’ learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities
and their progress



The extent to which pupils fee l safe 2
Pupils’ behav iour 2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifesty les 2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 1
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will
contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
Pupils’ attendance



The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average;

and 4 is low

The extent of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 2

How effective is the provision?

The way in which the college cares for and supports students is outstanding. The

college makes effective use of its excellent ‘student support system’ to target help for

individuals and groups of potentially vulnerable learners, including those who display
challenging behaviour. Inspectors observed numerous examples of how the college
has linked with other agencies and families to improve the life chances of students in
difficult circumstances. Transition arrangements into Year 7 as well as support for
options choices and post-16 careers guidance are strengths of the college’s provision
and highly valued by parents, carers and students. Individual support and provision
for students in the main school with special educational needs and/or disabilities and

the autistic students from the college’s resource base are strong, thanks to the range
and quality of personalised programmes available. For example, the ‘Ed Lounge’

system supports students with complex medical or behavioural needs and enables
them to catch up with missed work remotely from home. Students who spoke with
inspectors value the additional support sessions for examination groups; these have
contributed to the positive picture of examination performance.
The curriculum is developing well and provides an appropriate level of flexibility and

a wide array of support and options to meet the needs of individuals. Although not

yet fully embedded there are a number of emerging strengths in the college’s own
programme to support the development of learning skills across the curriculum. At
Key Stage 4, specialist status and the school’s partnership work with other local
providers has improved the richness of academic, vocational and applied learning
opportunities available. This has enabled students to select a combination of courses
that meets their needs much more closely. Careful monitoring of choice and
effectiveness of courses result in improved achievement. For example, adjustments
to the entry requirements and a greater breadth of arts-based courses have led to a
significant improvement in academic achievement across the specialism. The range
of extra-curricular and enrichment activities on offer is extremely impressive. These
opportunities are well attended by all groups of students and give good support to
aspects of their personal development.
The strengths of teaching outweigh any relative weaknesses. Positive relationships
and behaviour feature in most classes and help to establish an atmosphere
conducive to learning. Teachers use new technologies confidently to develop
understanding and enhance the quality of students’ learning experience. The large
majority of lessons observed were good or better. The best lessons use assessment
information precisely to plan challenging lesson activities that draw students into
learning and enable them to articulate ideas fluently and with confidence. These
lessons ensured good opportunities for students to influence and steer learning by
developing ideas of their own, acting as partners in the learning process or by
learning independently of the teacher. Teachers use effective questioning to gauge

students’ understanding and, where necessary, re-shape explanations and offer high-

quality verbal and written guidance about steps for improvement. As a result,
students are supported to manage and develop their own learning with more
confidence. However, these skills are not yet apparent in all teaching. Elsewhere
good practice prevails, although inspectors observed satisfactory learning more
frequently than that which was outstanding. As yet the practice that exemplifies
outstanding teaching is not systematically disseminated to other staff. Senior leaders
recognise the need to continue the process of strengthening teaching quality as the
next significant step on the journey to excellence.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning


The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils’ needs, including, where
relevant, through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 1

How effective are leadership and management?

The excellent leadership of the principal has been pivotal in improving the quality of
provision and outcomes. His direction and influence have had a significant impact on
building the skills and confidence of all college leaders and of teachers. He is ably
supported by his senior team who help to ensure that ambition is articulated through
high expectations and a mission to enable every student to succeed. The
restructuring of the leadership team and faculty structure has ensured greater levels
of transparency and accountability across the college. College leaders at all levels
have a more detailed, accurate and realistic understanding of the college’s strengths
and areas for development. Consequently, college improvement planning and
successful interventions to support learning are firmly based on the findings of this
accurate self-evaluation. The college’s commitment to equality of opportunity is
exemplified by its work to successfully raise attainment and achievement overall.
Targets are now challenging and a more sophisticated tracking system is being used

effectively to secure and accelerate students’ progress. Although not yet fully

embedded, this information is being used to help all staff identify where to intervene
to provide additional support and where new teaching strategies need to be
developed to improve learning.
Governors play an effective role in the college’s development. They have realigned
their committee structure so that it mirrors the college’s key priorities and play a full
role in the systematic review of the college improvement plan and its ‘levers for

change’. A traffic light system is used well to evaluate and ensure that progress is

maintained and value for money achieved. Safeguarding arrangements are good.
The college takes the protection of its students very seriously; effective procedures
and well-established training are in place to keep students safe. The college’s
contribution to community cohesion is good. Its strengths are in the well-established

international links and strong partnerships with primary and further education
providers to engage with and support the needs of its immediate community. The
way that the college has used the creative media aspect of its visual arts specialism
to work in tandem with the local fishing community to help to preserve its heritage is

a great example of the college’s excellent partnership work.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and manage ment in embedding ambition and
driv ing improvement
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning


The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities
The effectiveness of the school’s engagement with parents and carers 2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and
tackles discrimination
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for

Views of parents and carers

A lower-than-average percentage of parents and carers responded to the Ofsted
questionnaire. The very large majority were overwhelmingly positive about almost all

aspects of the school’s work. A very small minority of parents and carers who

responded raised concerns about behaviour and the consistency with which it is dealt
with in some lessons. The inspection team judged that behaviour was good in and
around the school during this inspection and over time, thanks to the whole-college
focus on improving behaviour to support more effective learning. Consequently, the

quality of provision has improved and is now underpinned by effective procedures to

support further development. Most parents and carers who responded are happy

with their child’s experience and enjoyment at the college and believe that it is led

and managed very effectively.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted’s questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Brixham College to complete
a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13
statements about the school.
The inspection team received 120 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In
total, there are 1,010 pupils registered at the school.
The table above summarises the responses t hat parents and carers made to each statement. The
percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number
of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular
question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.

Statements Strongly
Agree Disagree disagree
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 48 40 61 51 9 8 0 0
The school keeps my child
47 39 66 55 2 2 0 0
The school informs me about
my child’s progress
50 42 52 43 7 6 0 0
My child is making enough
progress at this school
47 39 58 48 4 3 1 1
The teaching is good at this
34 28 74 62 2 2 0 0
The school helps me to
support my child’s learning
35 29 62 52 10 8 0 0
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
32 27 72 60 7 6 0 0
The school makes sure that
my child is well prepared for
the future (for example
changing year group,
changing school, and for
children who are finishing
school, entering further or
higher education, or entering
45 38 58 48 5 4 1 1
The school meets my child’s
particular needs
40 33 60 50 6 5 1 1
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
30 25 61 51 13 11 3 3
The school takes account of
my suggestions and
29 24 67 56 4 3 4 3
The school is led and
managed effectively
40 33 62 52 6 5 2 2
Overall, I am happy with my
child’s experience at this
56 47 53 44 6 5 1 1


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding
school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs.
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school
that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory
school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant
improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils.
Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 43 47 10 0
Primary schools 6 46 42 6
14 36 41 9
Sixth forms 15 42 41 3
Special schools 30 48 19 3
Pupil referral
14 50 31 5
All schools 10 44 39 6

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that
inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the perio d 1 September 2010 to 08 April 2011 and are consistent
with the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes (see
The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Sixth form figures reflect the judgements made for the overall effectiveness of the sixth form in

secondary schools, special schools and pupil referral units.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their

learning, development or training.

Attainment: the standard of the pupils’ work shown by test and

examination results and in lessons.

Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue

improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what
the school has accomplished so far and on the
quality of its systems to maintain improvement.

Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,

not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the

Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their

understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.

Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school’s overall

effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school. The following judgements,

in particular, influence what the overall

effectiveness judgement will be.

  • The school’s capacity for sustained
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets
    pupils’ needs, including, where relevant,
    through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and

Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and

over longer periods of time. It is often measured

by comparing the pupils’ attainment at the end of a

key stage with their attainment when they started.

15 September 2011
Dear Students

Inspection of Brixham College, Brixham TQ5 9HF

Thank you for your help and for taking the time to talk to us during the recent
inspection. I am writing to tell you about our findings. We judged the college to be
good. It has worked really hard since the last inspection to improve your
achievement. Your principal leads the college very well, and is ably supported by
other staff and the governors. They are all determined that you should have the
opportunity to succeed and their work enables you to achieve good outcomes. You
told us how much you appreciate the work of your teachers.
You enjoy coming to school, are extremely well cared for, have a good range of
curricular opportunities and examination support and are well taught. You
particularly appreciate the good range of curricular options and their impact on your
achievement and in helping you to prepare successfully for life beyond school. You
told us you feel safe, and we think your behaviour in and around the college is good.
You are able to make an excellent contribution to the life of the college and the
wider community, thanks to the strong partnerships that the college has developed,
particularly at a local and global level.
College leaders and staff are committed to continuing its improvement and are all
ambitious to make it even better in the future. We have asked Mr Eager and his
team to continue raising attainment across the curriculum and concentrate in
particular on:

  • enabling teachers to share their best ideas across all subjects and learn from
    each other so that all teaching is consistently good or better
  • ensuring all teachers provide you with challenging learning activities which
    engage you more actively in learning and better meet your individual learning
  • using dialogue and questions in lessons to deepen your understanding, allowing
    you enough time to develop and explain your ideas and enabling you to take
    greater responsibility for your own learning and progress.

You can certainly help your teachers by responding to their comments and using the
feedback that they give, so you improve your learning and the quality of your work.
Yours sincerely
Karl Sampson

Her Majesty’s Inspector


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