School etc

Cul Academy

Cul Academy
Suite 7 Cuckoo Wharf, 435 Lichfield Road

phone: 0121 3280547

headed by: Mr Wayne Henry

school holidays: via Birmingham council

23 pupils aged 13—16y mixed gender
25 pupils capacity: 92% full

15 boys 65%


5 girls 22%


Last updated: June 24, 2014

— Other Independent School

Establishment type
Other Independent School
Establishment #
Open date
Jan. 12, 2012
Reason open
New Provision
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 409209, Northing: 289977
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.508, Longitude: -1.8658
Accepting pupils
13—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Birmingham, Ladywood › Nechells
Urban > 10k - less sparse

rooms to rent in Birmingham

Schools nearby

  1. 0.3 miles Nechells Junior and Infant School (NC) B75LB
  2. 0.3 miles Spring Hill High School B237PG (29 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Nechells Primary E-ACT Academy B75LB (240 pupils)
  4. 0.5 miles Slade Junior and Infant School B237PX
  5. 0.5 miles St Clement's Church of England Primary School B75NS
  6. 0.5 miles Manor Park Primary School B65UQ (441 pupils)
  7. 0.5 miles St Clement's Church of England Academy B75NS (207 pupils)
  8. 0.5 miles Slade Primary School B237PX (301 pupils)
  9. 0.5 miles Avecinna Academy B65UH (25 pupils)
  10. 0.6 miles Deykin Avenue Junior and Infant School B67BU (209 pupils)
  11. 0.7 miles Yew Tree Community Junior and Infant School (NC) B66RX (466 pupils)
  12. 0.7 miles Flexible Learning Centre B237RJ (137 pupils)
  13. 0.9 miles Cromwell Junior and Infant School and Nursery Class B75BA (236 pupils)
  14. 0.9 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School B75HA (209 pupils)
  15. 0.9 miles King Edward VI Aston School B66DJ
  16. 0.9 miles St John Earlswood B236BQ
  17. 0.9 miles St John's Children's Resource Centre B236BQ
  18. 0.9 miles King Edward VI Aston School B66DJ (761 pupils)
  19. 1 mile Bloomsbury Children's Centre B75BX (87 pupils)
  20. 1 mile Brookvale Primary School B237YB
  21. 1 mile Aston Tower Community Primary School B65BE (442 pupils)
  22. 1 mile Leigh Junior Infant and Nursery School B82YH
  23. 1 mile St Mary and St John Junior and Infant School B237NB (447 pupils)
  24. 1 mile Jaffray School B236AB

List of schools in Birmingham

Cul Academy

Independent school standard inspection report

DfE registration number 999/1131
Unique Reference Number (URN) 1131
Inspection number 408670
Inspection dates 11–12 December 2012
Reporting inspector Susan Lewis

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Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

T: 0300 123 1231
Textphone: 0161 618 8524
E: reveal email: enqu…
No. 090070

Independent school standard inspection report


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

Cul Academy opened in January 2012 and is located in Birmingham. The school
accepts students who are disaffected with a history of disrupted schooling and
behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD).
It is owned by City United Limited, which also provides a range of alternative
provision and courses for pupils and schools in the West Midlands. The school is
registered for up to 15 boys and girls, aged between 14 and 16 years of age. At the
time of this inspection there were 15 students on roll, two of whom were Year 9
students. The school has applied to the Department for Education to extend its
registration to include Year 9 pupils.
Almost all students come from the City of Birmingham. Students come from a range
of ethnic backgrounds although the majority are White British. One student has a
statement of special educational needs and one student is looked after by the local
authority. This is the school’s first inspection.
The school’s motto is ‘engage, inspire, develop, support.’ It aims to ‘provide a broad,
balanced and relevant curriculum that shows progress and continuity so that each

child meets their full potential.’

Evaluation of the school

The school successfully meets its aims and provides a good quality of education.
Students’ achievements, given their starting points are good. This is because the
curriculum and teaching are good and the school promotes students’ personal
development well so that behaviour is satisfactory and improving. The school takes
good care of students and students say they feel very well supported and safe.
Provision for welfare, health and safety is satisfactory, rather than good, because
although the school cares for students very well the management does not check
sufficiently that all of its policies are being systematically followed. All but two
regulations are met.



Independent school standard inspection report


Quality of education

The quality of the curriculum is good. It is broad, relevant and all the required areas
of learning are covered. It is supported by detailed schemes of work and has very
strong elements such as the provision made for personal, social and health education
and for English and mathematics.
Many students arrive at the school with low attainment in comparison to others of

their age because of disrupted schooling. The school recognises students’ potential

and tries to find courses that will enable all to achieve. Students achieve well in basic
skills such as literacy and numeracy because these subjects are consistently well
taught and they have good opportunities to apply these core skills, for example in
biology. The curriculum is enriched through visits and residential experiences and
opportunities for enterprise such as through printing T-shirts. Good partnership
working with placement authorities and other schools, and opportunities for work
experience prepare students well for the next steps in their life and education.
Teaching and assessment are good and overall, students make good progress in
their learning and personal development. Teachers and support staff generally work
well together although there is sometimes no clear role for support staff in lessons.
Teachers plan work carefully that will interest students and takes account of
students' needs and capabilities. They explain well to students what they are
learning and how the work relates to course requirements or their target levels.
Students say that the school is helping them to be more ambitious for the future.
When teaching is good or better the work is challenging, practical and interesting

and engages students’ enthusiasm. It is well matched to students’ levels and needs

and the activities challenge them to work things out and do even better. Students
have individual education plans but these tend to focus almost entirely on behaviour,
rather than identify specific educational needs. However, teachers overcome this

using their own knowledge and understanding of the students’ needs.

Relationships are good between staff and students and between the students
themselves. They say that they feel safe at the school and it is helping them to make
good progress in their learning and their behaviour. Families are almost all pleased
with the progress their children make, although a few wish they were given more
information about their child’s learning.
Regular assessment tracks students’ progress on the courses they study and in their
behaviour. These systems are currently being developed further to provide greater
detail about students’ achievement. In lessons, teachers make good use of

questioning and feedback to check on students’ learning and adjust the pace and

challenge appropriately. In the best lessons teaching assistants or learning mentors
join in the lessons and help to develop students’ thinking further. Students are
encouraged to reflect on their behaviour and how it can be improved.

Independent school standard inspection report


Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils

Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. Attendance is low

but improving significantly as students settle into the school. Students say they enjoy
school more now and their parents agree. They have a keen sense of right and
wrong and of fairness. Students work well in classes and in one to one sessions if
they find managing their behaviour or staying in class hard. The strong personal,
social, health and citizenship education (PSHCE), religious education and history
modules and specialist classes such as anger management successfully underpin

students’ personal development. Students’ behaviour is satisfactory and improving;

as they settle in to the school and adjust to its rules, the number and severity of
incidents reduce significantly. An atmosphere of mutual respect pervades the school.
Students say that staff are firm but fair and it helps that the rules are clear.
Work in music, religious education, English and PSHCE promotes well students’

understanding of different cultures. Residential opportunities, visits and sports

activities and paired working in class help develop students’ social skills. Through
their citizenship programme students have good opportunities to learn about national

institutions, visiting magistrates’ courts, the Houses of Parliament and police stations.

Welfare, health and safety of pupils

Provision for students’ welfare, health and safety is satisfactory. Although students’
safety and well-being are given high priority, two of the regulations are not met.
Staff work well with placing authorities, with social services and other practitioners to
ensure students’ needs are met and that they are kept safe. The safeguarding policy
provides clear guidance on how staff should deal with any child protection concerns
and staff, including the designated person, are trained at the appropriate level.
There is an appropriate number of first aiders, whose training is regularly updated.
Students, themselves, follow health and safety and first aid courses. Risk
assessments are in place, including those for fire safety and for educational visits.
Students are confident in the school’s ability to keep them safe and show a good
understanding of different forms of bullying and how to deal with these as a result of
good teaching. They say bullying is rare and that everyone ‘usually gets on very
Pupils are well supervised at all times. Records of sanctions imposed upon pupils are
kept and recorded, although they are not recorded in a common format or in
sufficient detail in the sanctions book. The school does not keep its admission
registers and attendance registers in line with guidance, although it does document

students’ admissions and attendance carefully elsewhere and checks up on them

swiftly if they do not arrive at school. On one occasion, it did not follow safe
recruitment guidance in ensuring it had the required written references before the
member of staff started work, although the references were received soon
afterwards and the school had prior spoken assurance as to the suitability of the
candidate. Though these weaknesses do not reflect best practice, the school has in
place alternative procedures which are adequate to ensure that students are not at

Independent school standard inspection report


risk; for example, staff never start work without an enhanced Criminal Records
Bureau check and meticulous identity and qualification checks. This is why the
judgement is satisfactory rather than inadequate.

Suitability of staff, supply staff and proprietors

All staff and the proprietors have been suitably vetted to confirm their suitability to
work with pupils. Information contained in the single central register meets

Premises and accommodation at the school

The premises are of good quality and spacious for the number of students. They
enable good learning outcomes to be achieved and students to be taught in groups
and individually. Although the school does not have an outdoor play environment it
has a good size common room and makes good use of a park and sports facilities
immediately opposite the school. It has a good range of ICT facilities. There are no
specialist rooms for science and this limits the science that can be taught to biology.
There is a room dedicated to design technology and students’ enterprise work in
designing T-shirts. The school makes good use of local community facilities to
enhance its facilities further such as specialist music and sports provision.
Appropriate provision is made for those who become ill.

Provision of information

All of the required information is provided, or made available, to parents, carers and
others. Satisfactory annual reports are provided to parents and carers about their

children’s progress in all of the subjects taught. These are well supported by regular

parents meetings and celebratory events. Appropriate reports are made to the local

Manner in which complaints are to be handled

The complaints policy meets requirements.

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.


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


Independent school standard inspection report


  • ensure that arrangements are made to safeguard and promote the
    welfare of pupils at the school which have regard to guidance issued by the
    Secretary of State (paragraph 7)
  • maintain admissions and attendance registers in accordance with the
    Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (paragraph 17).

What the school could do to improve further

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

points for development.

  • Ensure that staff record behaviour incidents in a uniform way, making clear
    the context of the incident and the actions taken following it, including the
    students’ views.
  • Improve individual education plans to include academic as well as behavioural
  • Improve the quality of support from teaching assistants, so that best use is
    made of them at all times.
    Independent school standard inspection report


Inspection judgements
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
The behaviour of pupils

Welfare, health and safety of pupils

The overall welfare, health and safety of pupils

Independent school standard inspection report


School details

School status Independent
Type of school Special for disaffected students and students
with challenging behaviour.
Date school opened 12 January 2012
Age range of pupils 14–16 years
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number on roll (full-time pupils) Boys: 10 Girls: 5 Total: 15
Number on roll (part-time pupils) Boys: 0 Girls: 0 Total: 0
Number of pupils with a statement of
special educational needs
Boys: 1 Girls: 0 Total: 1
Number of pupils who are looked after Boys: 0 Girls: 1 Total: 1
Annual fees (day pupils) £9,000
Address of school Suite 7, Cuckoo Wharf, 435 Lichfield Road,
Aston, Birmingham, B6 7SS
Telephone number 0121 3280547
Email address reveal email: dawn…
Headteacher Wayne Henry
Proprietor Dawn Miller

Independent school standard inspection report


13 December 2012
Dear Students

Inspection of Cul Academy, Birmingham, B6 7SS

I did enjoy visiting your school recently and talking with you and your teachers.
Thank you to those of you who talked with me and also to everyone who shared
their work with me. You told me that you think your school is a good school which is
helping you to make better progress and is encouraging you to be more positive
about your behaviour and learning. You like the smallness of the school and feel all
the staff really care about you.
I agree that the school is helping you to learn and to manage your behaviour well.
You are making good progress in the subjects that you study because the teaching is
good and because teachers try hard to make the learning interesting. You have a
good balance of more practical subjects and academic subjects to study. The sports
activities and visits, for example to the Lighthouse and the residential trips you can
go on add very well to the curriculum you study. It was good to see so many of you
being challenged to work towards C grades or even better in your GCSE. All of this
means the school is helping you to prepare well for what you do next in work or at
The school has some things it needs to do to improve further. These include:

  • improving the ways it keeps the attendance and admissions registers so they
    make clear exactly who is on the roll of the school, how often they are
    attending and if their attendance is improving
  • making sure no staff start work before all their required references have been
  • improving the support that you are given by teaching assistants.

Your attendance is improving significantly and I would like to see you maintain this.
Yours sincerely
Susan Lewis
Lead inspector

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