Futures Community College
Headteacher: Mr Stuart Reynolds
School holidays for Futures Community College via Southend-on-Sea council
840 pupils capacity: 95% full
435 boys 55%
365 girls 46%
Last updated: July 28, 2014
Secondary — Foundation School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Foundation School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 1, 2007
- Reason open
- Result of Closure
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 590731, Northing: 186222
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.543, Longitude: 0.74911
- Accepting pupils
- 11—19 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- March 12, 2014
- Ofsted special measures
- In special measures
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › Rochford and Southend East › Southchurch
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- Fresh start
- Fresh Start
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.1 miles The Thorpe Bay School SS24UY
- 0.2 miles Southend High School for Girls SS24UZ
- 0.2 miles Southend High School for Girls SS24UZ (1062 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Thorpe Hall School SS13RD (304 pupils)
- 0.5 miles St Nicholas School SS24RL (81 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Hamstel Junior School SS24PQ (465 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Hamstel Infant School and Nursery SS24PQ (493 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Thorpe Greenways Junior School SS13BS (479 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Thorpe Greenways Infant School SS13BS (360 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Bournes Green Junior School SS13PX (263 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Alleyn Court Preparatory School SS30PW (307 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Alleyn Court Eton House School SS30PW
- 0.8 miles Bournes Green Infant School SS13PS (180 pupils)
- 1 mile Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and Nursery SS12RF (236 pupils)
- 1 mile Cecil Jones College SS24BU (1139 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Temple Sutton Primary School SS24BA (850 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Thorpedene Primary School SS39NP (539 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Thorpedene Junior School SS39NP
- 1.1 mile Temple Sutton County Junior School SS24BA
- 1.1 mile Temple Sutton County Infant School SS24BA
- 1.2 mile Porters Grange Infant School and Nursery SS12RL
- 1.2 mile Bournemouth Park Primary School SS25JN (530 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Bournemouth Park Junior School SS25JN
- 1.3 mile Bournemouth Park Infant School and Nursery SS25JN
Ofsted report transcript
5 June 2015
Mr Stuart Reynolds
Futures Community College
Dear Mr Reynolds
Special measures monitoring inspection of Futures Community College
Following my visit with Beverley Johnston, Additional Inspector, to your school on 3–
4 June 2015, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education,
Children’s Services and Skills to confirm the inspection findings. Thank you for the
help you gave during the inspection and for the time you made available to discuss
the actions which have been taken since the school’s previous monitoring inspection.
The inspection was the fourth monitoring inspection since the school became subject
to special measures following the inspection which took place in March 2014. The
full list of the areas for improvement which were identified during that inspection is
set out in the annex to this letter. The monitoring inspection report is attached.
Having considered all the evidence I am of the opinion that at this time:
The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.
The school may appoint newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring
inspection. Appointment of newly qualified teachers can be made following
discussions with me.
This letter and monitoring inspection report will be published on the Ofsted website.
I am copying this letter and the monitoring inspection report to the Secretary of
State, the Education funding agency, the Chair of the Interim Executive Board and
the Director of Children’s Services for Southend-on-Sea.
|Serco Inspections |
20 Colmore Circus Queensway
|T 0300 123 1231 |
Text Phone: 0161 618 8524
|Direct T 0121 679 9167 |
Her Majesty’s Inspector
cc. Chair of the Interim Executive Board for Futures Community College
cc. Simon Leftley, Director of Children's Services for Southend-on-Sea
The areas for improvement identified during the inspection which took
place in March 2014
Improve the quality of teaching in order to raise standards and enable all groups
of students to make at least expected progress in English and mathematics, by
- teachers make effective use of assessment information and plan lessons that
take account of what students know and can do, and what they need to
- teaching in all subjects contributes to developing students’ basic skills,
particularly in writing
- marking improves throughout the school to match the good practice which
exists in some subjects.
Strengthen the effectiveness of all leaders and the interim executive board by:
- revising the systems for checking students’ attainment and progress so they
provide accurate information for use by students, teachers and leaders in
planning for further improvement
- evaluating the impact on achievement of all new initiatives and broadening
the programmes of study in the sixth form
- strengthening leadership in mathematics and science
- ensuring teaching staff are suitably trained and reducing the number of cover
and supply teachers used
- improving systems for checking behaviour so that all students feel safe in
- ensuring that all staff implement the school’s behaviour policy consistently
- taking students’ progress into account when evaluating the quality of teaching
- ensuring that the interim executive board monitors the school’s effectiveness
and holds leaders and managers to account for students’ attainment and
Report on the fourth monitoring inspection on 3–4 June 2015
Inspectors visited lessons, many jointly with members of the school’s middle and
senior leaders, and evaluated learning in students’ books. Inspectors scrutinised a
wide range of documents including: the school’s monitoring of its own work,
students’ progress and attendance data, records of meetings, behaviour logs and the
single central record. Inspectors met with the headteacher, senior leaders, middle
leaders, teachers, groups of students, the Chair and two other members of the
Interim Executive Board, and a representative from the local authority. Inspectors
also considered responses from 78 staff to Ofsted’s staff questionnaire.
Since the last monitoring visit in February 2015, the assistant head of mathematics
has left and a new teacher took on this role in April. An assistant head with
responsibility for English and literacy joined the school in May, and an English tutor
was appointed in April. Five teachers will leave at the end of this term and six will
join in September. In addition, a deputy head and one middle leader are due to go
on maternity leave very soon.
The sixth from will close in September 2015.
Achievement of pupils at the school
All Year 11 students remain in school during their study leave, experiencing a range
of intensive revision classes prior to their examinations. Evidence from a sample of
these lessons, as well as school data, show achievement is improving. In English,
Year 11 students have greatly accelerated their progress rates. In mathematics,
although students’ achievement is higher than last year, the vast amount of learning
missed in earlier years limits their progress. The English and mathematics tutors
provide regular support to individual students to further enhance their achievement.
The reading programme is contributing to higher reading levels, with some very
good gains being made by students across the school.
The progress disabled students and those who have special educational needs are
making has improved because of the careful support they receive from teachers and
teaching assistants. In an English lesson, lower-ability students crafted a well-
thought-out analysis of a challenging poem and gave mature feedback to each other
as to how their analysis could be improved further. While evidence of stretching the
most-able students is seen, for example in science, they are still not making as much
progress as they are capable of. Achievement is also hindered when teachers set
work that is too easy, as was seen in Key Stage 3 lessons in particular.
The achievement of looked-after children, some of whom are receiving regular one-
to-one tuition, is being monitored well through revised educational plans. Case
studies and the school’s data show many individuals are making good progress.
Students’ achievement is higher in Key Stage 4 than in Key Stage 3 in many
subjects. This is partly due to the conscious decision to commit resources and the
most effective teachers in order to improve standards for students taking external
examinations. Senior and middle leaders now have to ensure achievement improves
across the school.
The quality of teaching
Although the quality of teaching is improving, it remains inconsistent in its
effectiveness across and within departments. Too much variability exists in teaching
across the school. As a result, students can experience highly effective teaching
which is well-structured and challenging, as well as teaching that is undemanding,
inaccurately pitched, or which fails to develop students’ skills in a systematic way
over time. A contributory factor in less effective teaching is the lack of skills of some
teachers in managing behaviour; the absence of planning of systematic progression
of skills in subjects; and expectations that are not high enough. Teachers are not
regularly using assessment information about their students to plan lessons that are
appropriately demanding for different groups of students, including the most able.
Teaching assistants are well-briefed on individual students’ needs and were observed
on several occasions providing good support for students who need it. However,
they do not always call on the specialist knowledge of the class teacher when it is
Although schemes of work have been developed, they are not all of a consistently
high quality. Some, including in mathematics, have not taken on board fully the
changes to the new Key Stage 3 curriculum.
Students understand their ‘comfort’ and ‘target’ levels and are clear that teachers
expect them to be aiming for the higher level. However, there are instances where
students’ books show they have attained higher levels than the targets they are
supposed to be aiming for. Teachers are not then revising students’ targets. Marking
by teachers is regular and often gives clear guidance on how to improve, and is
beginning to include literacy-specific marking. Homework is not regularly set. Senior
leaders have recently introduced a new system to address this.
The new focus on literacy is helping to ensure expectations of students’ work are
higher and teachers now have greater understanding of how to improve students’
writing. However, this is a new focus and is not embedded across the curriculum.
Teachers are providing more opportunities for oracy in lessons and using questioning
to push this further, for example, in drama and humanities. This more demanding
work was less evident in music and modern foreign languages.
Teachers show commendable commitment to improving students’ achievement rates
and have delivered classes before and after school and at weekends. They have also
made themselves available during half term. This dedication is really appreciated by
Behaviour and safety of pupils
Students are quite clear that behaviour in the school is much improved. In and
outside of lessons, inspectors observed many polite, friendly and courteous students
who engage with their work in a serious fashion. Some students were observed
reading for pleasure in the playground and were positive about the whole-school
reading focus. The perseverance of students who struggle with reading but commit
to improving this in the morning library sessions is commendable.
Students’ maturity and ever-improving attitudes to learning are seen in the feedback
they gave to inspectors, which included a desire to be set revision topics more
frequently. It was also seen in cooperative and enthusiastic group work, where
students gave and received constructive criticism of each other. Having established
the basics of behaviour, senior leaders now need to capitalise on these more mature
attitudes by making explicit to students the attributes of excellent learners.
Students are very appreciative of the support teachers provide to them. They thrive
on the celebration of their success, which include academic as well as sporting
achievements. The focus on improving attendance since the last inspection is
evident and is resulting in attendance figures now getting closer to national rates.
This represents a reversal of the decline seen at the last inspection.
Exclusions have reduced substantially. This is a testament to the school’s emphasis
on valuing all children. A small minority of students disrupt the learning of others.
School leaders need to ensure that these students are supported to improve quickly
and that they do not compromise the progress made in improving behaviour overall.
The behaviour of this group was also a concern raised by teachers in response to the
The quality of leadership and management of the school
Key issues identified in the previous monitoring inspection regarding the
development of literacy and improving attendance have been addressed with pace.
Senior leaders demonstrate good understanding about how to improve literacy
across the school but this initiative is in its early days. Key aspects of the school’s
work, including the quality of teaching and student achievement, are improving but
developments remain fragile.
The headteacher continues to take tough decisions in order to secure improvements
in the quality of teaching and much time is taken up on recruitment. There remains
a high level of staff turnover; a concern also raised by Key Stage 3 students. Despite
a change in the leadership of the subject, there is more staffing stability in English,
contributing to stronger teaching and higher achievement of students. Teachers in
the department demonstrate much more consistency of practice and are starting to
take ownership of their own professional development. Staffing in mathematics and
science departments is also now more stable.
Joint lessons observations with several middle leaders show they are skilled at
identifying strengths and weaknesses in teaching. This also demonstrates that senior
leaders are able to delegate responsibility for school improvement to subject leaders
and heads of years. The challenge for these middle leaders is to ensure there is
consistency in their departments regarding the quality of teaching and how teachers
Initiatives to improve teaching have developed further since the previous monitoring
inspection. Staff are positive about the fortnightly training sessions, which have now
been enhanced by peer coaching sessions facilitated by an external consultant.
Teachers report that non-graded lesson observations and opportunities to talk about
teaching are valuable, and are driving up its quality. A new plan, based on a good
understanding of strengths and weakness in teaching, is in place to develop teaching
further. However, with the departure of the deputy headteacher leading in this area,
progress is very fragile. It is crucial that improvements in teaching do not falter and
this area is led effectively.
A half-termly assessment system to track students’ progress is in place which is
supported by internal and external moderation. However, there is potential for
confusion as to what senior leaders are expecting teachers to do in terms of
reporting on students’ attainment from next term, given that several systems are
The interim executive board (IEB) is providing good support in relation to the
management of school finances. The work of the IEB has been enhanced by the
addition of an experienced headteacher who has a clear focus on teaching and
learning. Although they challenge school leaders, currently, the minutes of the IEB
do not show that members set a clear and coherent direction for the school. Senior
leaders have demonstrated that when this is done they respond swiftly and to good
effect. The main priorities now for the school include eradicating the poor behaviour
of a minority of students and a relentless focus on improving the quality of teaching.
The local authority acted swiftly to address the shortcomings identified in the last
monitoring visit and the subsequent five-week plan has injected the pace required.
The local authority has increased its support for improving attendance and facilitated
a new consultant, who is making a positive difference. However, the school needs
clarity on the resources it has available to it in order to inform longer-term planning.
Further action is required in supporting the school with managing the behaviour of
its most challenging students and ensuring there is clear leadership of teaching.