phone: 01543 452886
associate headteacher: Miss Helen Keenan
955 pupils capacity: 68% full
300 boys 46%
350 girls 54%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Secondary — Foundation School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Foundation School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 404750, Northing: 306337
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.655, Longitude: -1.9312
- Accepting pupils
- 11—18 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 6, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Aldridge-Brownhills › Brownhills
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Sports (Operational)
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- Brownhills School Trust
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.2 miles St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School WS86HX (183 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Watling Street Primary School WS87LW (236 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Ogley Hay Junior School WS86AE
- 0.5 miles Ogley Hay Infant School WS86AB
- 0.5 miles St James Primary School WS86AE (173 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Chase House School WS86AR (5 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Ogley Hay Nursery School WS86AU (56 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Millfield Primary School WS86BN (203 pupils)
- 1 mile Brownhills West Primary School WS87LA (179 pupils)
- 1 mile Chasetown Specialist Sports College WS73QW
- 1 mile Erasmus Darwin Academy WS73QW (923 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School WS87EG (234 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Chasetown Primary School WS78QL
- 1.1 mile Chasetown Community School WS73QL (68 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Ridgeway Primary School WS74TU (344 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Ridgeway Middle School WS78TP
- 1.4 mile Shire Oak School (A Science College) WS99PA
- 1.4 mile St Joseph and St Theresa Catholic Primary WS73XL (209 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Shire Oak Academy WS99PA (1405 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Walsall Wood School WS87BP (237 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Springhill Primary School WS74UN
- 1.6 mile Springhill Middle School WS78UN
- 1.6 mile Springhill Primary Academy WS74UN (200 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Park Primary School WS70BN
Deakin Avenue, Brownhills, Walsall, WS87QG
|Inspection dates||6–7 June 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Outstanding||1|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because:
| Students achieve well from low starting |
Teaching is good with some outstanding
As a result of highly effective leadership the
The sixth form is good, offering an increasing
points. GCSE results have been broadly in line
with national averages over the last few years
but achievement is now set to improve
practice. It is improving rapidly as a result of
focused training for teachers and rigorous
management of staff performance.
school is rapidly improving with students in
the current Year 11 now achieving above
national averages. Achievement in
mathematics has improved since the last
range of appropriate courses. This is ensuring
that all students in the sixth form make good
| The school is a positive community where |
Attendance has much improved since the last
Members of the governing body know the
students behave well and feel safe. They form
good relationships with each other and with
inspection and, as a result of the better
teaching and effective support, the number of
exclusions has rapidly reduced.
school well and regularly check on students’
achievement. They are highly effective in
supporting the headteacher in making
| Not enough teaching is outstanding. At times, |
not all students are given opportunities to
develop skills in finding out things for
| Achievement is not yet outstanding because |
some small inconsistencies exist between
subjects and recent high levels of achievement
have yet to be sustained over a period of time.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 41 lessons, including eight observed jointly with senior leaders.
- Meetings were held with students, the headteacher, other senior and subject leaders, an
external advisor, other staff and members of the governing body.
- The inspection team scrutinised school documents, including the school’s own evaluation of how
well it is performing, the school development plan, school policies and statistical information
about students’ achievement, attendance and exclusions.
- Inspectors considered views from 22 completed staff questionnaires and 37 responses to the
online parent questionnaire (Parent View), along with the school’s own analysis of parents’ and
|Chris King, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Rosemary Litawski||Additional Inspector|
|Glen Goddard||Additional Inspector|
|Lesley Greenway||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is a smaller than the average-sized secondary school
- Most students are White British and few students speak English as an additional language.
- An above average proportion of students are eligible for support through the pupil premium
(additional government funding for those known to be eligible for free school meals, children in
local authority care and those with a parent or carer in the armed services).
- The school is part of an education Trust which includes University College Birmingham, Walsall
College and Bartley Green School
- The proportion of disabled students and those with special educational needs supported through
school action is above average. The proportion supported through school action plus or with a
statement of special educational needs is below average.
- The school sends a small number of students in Key Stage 4 to Walsall College to study
vocational courses that it does not provide itself, such as Hair and Beauty.
- The school works with Walsall College to provide courses for a small number of students that it
does not offer.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for students’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve achievement by eliminating inconsistencies across subjects and making sure that recent
improvements in achievement are sustained and built upon.
- Increase the proportion of outstanding teaching further by ensuring teachers:
continue to share the very best practice in the school and learn from each other
give all students enough opportunities to understand how they learn and to develop the skills
to find out things and learn for themselves
challenge students’ thinking by planning demanding tasks that encourage them to discuss
ideas and closely analyse their work.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Students make good progress. They enter Year 7 with low and sometimes very low levels of
attainment compared to national averages. Students in Year 11 leave with GCSE results broadly
in line with national averages. Significant improvements can be seen in recent analysis of
achievement. The proportion of Year 11 students leaving in 2013 who are on track to gain five
or more GCSEs at grades A* to C, including in English and mathematics, is above the national
- There is some small variability between the performance of some subject areas. Actions taken
by the school to reduce this variability are effective. For example, achievement in mathematics is
now much stronger than in previous years, although performance in some areas, such as
technology, is still not as strong as that in the very best performing subjects, such as English.
- Over time, progress in English has been strong with the percentage of students making typically
expected progress being above average. This has been supported effectively by consistent
strategies to develop students literacy skills across the whole school. Although students’ progress
in mathematics has not been as strong, the school’s effective tracking systems show that current
students are making at least the expected progress in both English and mathematics.
- Achievement in the sixth form is good as a result of a broad range of appropriate courses now in
- Those students eligible for the pupil premium achieve above national averages and although a
gap still exists between them and other students it is closing rapidly, particularly in English and
mathematics where extra funding has increased the support and attainment for these students.
They lag approximately two thirds of a grade behind their peers.
- The school’s policy of early examination entry is entirely appropriate for students; it enhances
their achievement and has ensured, for example, that students’ progress in mathematics is now
nearly as good as in English.
- The school promotes equality of opportunity, fosters good relationships and tackles
discrimination effectively. Disabled students and those with special educational needs are very
well supported and achieve well.
- Those students with English as an additional language and those from a variety of ethnic groups
make the same good progress as their classmates.
- The few students that follow alternative courses at Walsall College achieve well and make good
progress in line with their peers in school.
- Those Year 7 students in need of catch-up work in literacy are benefiting from additional
support. As a result of effective work in the Toe By Toe accelerated reading programme, these
students’ reading ages quickly develop.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is good with examples of outstanding practice in a range of subjects. Recently, the
quality of teaching has improved quickly as a result of effective strategies to share the very best
practice and the challenge provided by leaders to help weaker teachers improve.
- The school’s focus on developing teaching and learning, and eradicating any inadequate
teaching, is having an impact. A stronger group of teachers is starting to maximise the potential
of students and as a result increasing proportions of teaching are good and outstanding. The
school’s own evaluation of the strengths and areas of teaching to improve is accurate.
- Relationships between teachers and students are very positive. Teachers are always clear about
what is expected in the lesson. They provide good resources and check students’ understanding
through regular assessment.
- Teachers set out clear learning intentions to students and show good subject knowledge. As a
result students are engaged in the vast majority of lessons. When teaching is not as strong,
some students sometimes lose focus and do not make as much progress as they should.
- The best teaching ensures that students are fully involved in their own learning. Teachers make
sure that students are fully challenged to develop the skills they need to find things out for
themselves and become more independent in their learning.
- In the best lessons observed during the inspection, teachers were creative and built in a variety
of tasks to ensure learning was fast paced and provided stretch and challenge for all students.
For example, in a PE lesson tablet computers were used well to evaluate the individual
performance of students. This allowed students to have a far more detailed view of performance
and enabled them to be confident in giving high-quality feedback to each other.
- Where teaching is not as strong, teachers spend too long talking to students and do not plan
enough activities or time to ensure that students develop their own learning skills. Students
become too reliant on their teachers telling them what to do and do not always develop their
own capacity to think for themselves and push themselves further. In such lessons, questioning
is not used well enough to encourage students to think for themselves or develop their own
- Students appreciate the effective support given by teaching assistants in one-to-one situations
but the school recognises that, in a few cases, it needs to fully develop their role within the
classroom to maximise students’ potential.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of students around the school and in lessons is good. Students are friendly and
polite to each other and visitors. Students’ attitudes to learning are good and they are very
proud of their school and the changes that have taken place over recent years that, they say,
have led to it becoming even better.
- Students, parents, carers and staff are positive about behaviour over time. Students feel safe
and parents and carers have confidence in the school’s management of students and the
- Students say bullying is rare and feel confident that if they ever had a problem they could tell
staff who would then deal with the issue.
- Attendance is rapidly improving and students’ punctuality is good. The school’s own tracking and
analysis of data show that it continues to improve year on year and far fewer students are now
underachieving because of low attendance. However, the school is not complacent and is
striving to make further improvements in this area.
- Strategies used by the school to reduce exclusion have been highly effective with far fewer
students now missing days from school as a result of exclusion.
- In the vast majority of lessons students behave very well, although where the teaching is less
engaging some small low-level disruption occasionally takes place. The school is keen to
eradicate this disruption in its determination to make behaviour and safety outstanding.
- Students talk extensively of the support they get in keeping themselves safe when using
technology and value the education and advice they receive about this aspect when using it at
- Those students that attend off-site provision feel safe and conduct themselves in line with their
peers in school.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- Leadership and management are outstanding. The headteacher, supported by a highly effective
senior team, has worked successfully to ensure that leadership at all levels is rigorous and
focused on continued improvement. As a result, subject leaders have the support and skills to
continually develop achievement in their subject areas.
- The school has very strong capacity for further improvement. Teaching, behaviour and
achievement have all improved recently as a result of highly effective leadership. A staff team is
now in place to ensure that all students achieve their potential and that excellent achievement is
sustained over a period of time.
- Robust management of teachers’ performance has resulted in considerable improvements in
teaching. Staff have been supported effectively with a personalised training programme.
Teachers speak very highly of the support they have received to improve teaching.
- Parents and carers have confidence in the school and its work. The school has put in place a
large range of strategies to engage parents and carers with the education of their children. As a
result parental engagement has increased.
- The school meets all statutory requirements for safeguarding.
- The school has worked highly effectively with its Trust partners over a period of time to ensure
that it improves its work. Partnerships have helped raise aspirations for students and also
offered support to the school’s improvement.
- The school’s curriculum is broad and balanced and is continually reviewed to ensure that it gives
it students the best possible chances to achieve well. Changes in the sixth form curriculum, for
example, have seen improved progress for students in post-16 provision.
- The school makes use of extensive partnerships, not least through its Trust status and its school
improvement consultant, to provide external support and challenge. This has been highly
effective in making significant improvements over time and consequently the Local Authority are
not used for any school improvement work.
- The governance of the school:
Governors have an accurate view of the quality of teaching and achievement in the school.
They keep themselves informed with regular updates and training when required. They
provide highly effective support to the school and ensure that they continually review and put
in place the skills needed within their group to support the headteacher in her drive for
continued improvement. Governors have an excellent understanding of the performance
management processes and the links between these, teaching and achievement. They are
very supportive of the headteacher’s work to improve the quality of teaching in the school.
They are fully aware of the achievement of the pupil premium cohort in the school and the use
of additional funding to support improvement. Governors hold the headteacher and senior
leaders to account very well through the use of appropriate information on students’
achievement. They are aware of the school’s performance compared to that of others.
What inspection judgements mean
|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 employment.
|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.
|Unique reference number||1042248|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Secondary|
|Age range of pupils||11–18|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||700|
|Of which, number on roll in sixth form||100|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||25–26 May 2010|
|Telephone number||01543 452886|
|Fax number||01543 370105|