Gloucester and Forest Alternative Provision School
phone: 01452 782050
headed by: Paul Holroyd
90 pupils capacity: 69% full
45 boys 73%
20 girls 32%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
— Pupil Referral Unit
- Establishment type
- Pupil Referral Unit
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 1, 2007
- Reason open
- New Provision
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 381986, Northing: 215164
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.835, Longitude: -2.2628
- Accepting pupils
- 4—16 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- July 9, 2012
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South West › Gloucester › Grange
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- SEN Facilities
- PRU Does have Provision for SEN
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Full time provision
- PRU does offer full time provision
- Pupils educated by others
- PRU Does offer tuition by another provider
- Pupils With EBD
- PRU Does have EBD provision
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.1 miles Grange Junior School GL40RN
- 0.2 miles Grange Primary School GL40RW (311 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Grange Infant School GL40PH
- 0.4 miles Harewood Infant School GL40SS (224 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Harewood Junior School GL40SS (298 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Beaufort Community School GL40RT
- 0.4 miles Beaufort Co-operative Academy GL40RT (1116 pupils)
- 0.6 miles The Crypt School GL25AE
- 0.6 miles The Crypt School GL25AE (847 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Meadowside Primary School GL24LX (232 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Tuffley Primary School GL40JY (198 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Whaddon County Infant School GL40JY
- 0.9 miles St Peter's Catholic High School and Sixth Form Centre GL40DD
- 0.9 miles Whaddon Junior School GL40DJ
- 0.9 miles Kingsway Primary School GL22AR (343 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Peter's Catholic High School and Sixth Form Centre GL40DD (1635 pupils)
- 1 mile Beech Green Primary School GL24WD (406 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Calton Junior School GL15ET
- 1.1 mile Calton Primary School GL15ET (383 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Ribston Hall High School GL15LE
- 1.1 mile Ribston Hall High School GL15LE (808 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Waterwells Primary Academy GL22FX (135 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Linden Primary School GL15HU (425 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Field Court Junior School GL24UF
Gloucester and Forest Alternative
Russet House, 35 Russet Close, Gloucester, GL4 0RQ
|Inspection dates||12–13 March 2015|
|Overall effectiveness||This 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
| Some pupils do not make the progress in reading, |
The assessment of pupils’ knowledge and skills
When teaching does not build sufficiently on
Teaching programmes are not designed to
writing and mathematics of which they are
when pupils join the school is insufficiently
pupils’ existing knowledge and skills, it does not
challenge pupils to make rapid progress.
develop pupils’ skills quickly enough.
| Pupils’ attendance, especially among those in Years |
Pupils entitled to additional funding are not
Pupils’ safety requires improvement because their
10 and 11 at The Russet House Centre, is too low.
This leads to gaps in pupils’ learning that slow their
identified with sufficient accuracy. As a result,
school leaders are unable to identify the impact of
the funding on improving these pupils’
frequent absence can place some of them at risk.
| The behaviour of pupils within the centres is good. |
The curriculum is effective in raising young
Any unacceptable behaviour is managed well by
people’s self-esteem and in teaching the skills
pupils need to live and work independently. The
alternative provision makes a strong contribution
to this for pupils in Years 10 and 11.
| The acting headteacher is successfully tackling |
The school’s outreach work in mainstream schools
some of the school’s weaknesses, especially in
teaching. This has led to some recent improvement
in pupils’ achievement. She is supported well by an
effective management committee.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors, accompanied by the acting headteacher, visited the three sites used by the school, and
observed parts of 12 lessons. Three alternative providers were visited, where three further lessons were
- Inspectors scrutinised pupils’ written work in order to analyse their achievement over a period of time and
to assess the quality of teachers’ marking.
- School documents were reviewed. These included those relating to pupils’ attainment and progress, pupils’
behaviour and attendance and safeguarding.
- Inspectors held meetings with staff, pupils, members of the management committee and representatives
of the local authority. They also met with the headteachers of the mainstream schools that use the
school’s services and with staff employed by alternative providers.
- There were insufficient responses from parents and carers to the online Parent View questionnaire for the
results to be considered. Evidence of parents’ and carers’ views supplied by the school was taken into
account. The views of 27 staff who completed a questionnaire were also considered.
|Paul Sadler, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Janet Simms||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school serves pupils experiencing educational difficulties who live in the area of the City of Gloucester
and in the Forest of Dean.
- There are two centres in Gloucester. The Raikes Centre caters for pupils in Years 1 to 6 who are
permanently excluded, and pupils in Years 1 to 11 who are at risk of permanent exclusion. Young people
usually attend this centre for a period of 20 school days. The Russet House Centre educates pupils in
Years 7 to 11 for longer periods of time. Most of these pupils have been permanently excluded from
- The Joys Green Centre educates pupils from the Forest of Dean. It is situated in the village of the same
name, which is over 20 miles from Gloucester. Currently, on a temporary basis, only pupils in Years 7 to
11 attend this centre; those in Years 1 to 6 travel to Gloucester.
- Staff from the school undertake outreach work in mainstream schools, supporting young people at risk of
exclusion and their teachers.
- All pupils have special educational needs, mostly behavioural and/or learning difficulties.
- The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is not known; the proportion of children in the care
of the local authority is high. The school receives a lump sum grant from the pupil premium funding to
which these two groups of pupils are entitled. A small amount of primary sport funding is allocated for
pupils in Years 1 to 6.
- The school uses a wide range of external provision. This includes Gloucester College, The Gloucester
Youth Project, Phocale Farm, The New Leaf Project, Broadwell Hub and Gleam. A small number of other
providers are used on an occasional basis for individual pupils.
- Plans by the local authority to reorganise alternative education are at an advanced stage. From 1 April
2015, an executive headteacher, who will lead the three schools that make up the provision, and a newly
appointed head of school will take up their posts. At the time of the inspection almost all senior and
middle leaders at the school were holding their posts in an acting capacity.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Speed up pupils’ progress, especially in reading, writing and mathematics, by:
accurately assessing pupils’ current levels of knowledge and skills when they arrive at the school
planning programmes that develop pupils’ skills as quickly as possible
ensuring that teachers set challenging work that builds on pupils’ interests and previous learning and
adapt it when necessary to meet their changing needs.
- Improve attendance, especially among pupils in Years 10 and 11 at The Russet House Centre, by
clarifying for pupils, their parents and carers and staff, the very limited range of circumstances under
which absence other than for medical reasons might be authorised
making clear to parents and carers the possible consequences of condoned, unauthorised absence.
- Ensure the effective use of the pupil premium by:
accurately identifying eligible pupils when they enrol
analysing the achievement of eligible pupils and comparing it to that of other pupils, both within the
school and nationally
taking effective action to eliminate any identified gaps in achievement.
An external review of the school’s use of the pupil premium should be undertaken in order to assess how this
aspect of the leadership and management may be improved.
|The leadership and management||require improvement|
- School leaders do not check adequately the impact of additional funding on pupils’ achievement. Pupils
eligible for free school meals are not identified accurately, and there is no effective analysis of the
progress of these pupils and those in the care of the local authority. As a result, the extent of any gaps
between the achievement of these two groups of pupils and others in the school and nationally is not
- Policies on the authorisation of absence, other than for medical reasons, are not applied with sufficient
rigour. The consequences of condoning absence are not made sufficiently clear to parents and carers. As
a result, attendance, especially among pupils in Years 10 and 11 at The Russet House Centre, is too low.
- While there have been improvements in teaching, it is not yet routinely good. This is because pupils’
previous learning is not assessed with sufficient accuracy when pupils arrive at the school. There is too
much reliance on information supplied by pupils’ most recent mainstream school which may be incomplete
- The acting headteacher has held the post for a short time, during which effective action has been taken to
tackle the weakest teaching. Correctly, improving teaching has been given a very high priority. The
checking of teachers’ performance and the provision of necessary training are increasingly effective.
- Middle leadership is of variable quality, reflecting the fact that many of these staff are in an acting
capacity. The provision for pupils who are disabled or have special educational needs is led well, whereas
the management of attendance is less effective.
- Leaders and staff have been successful in improving behaviour within the school. In this respect the
school is successful in promoting good relationships and tackling discrimination.
- The management committee, local authority and senior leaders, including those who will take up their
posts shortly, share a positive vision for the future role of the school. They are aware of its strengths and
most of its weaknesses and are developing suitable improvement plans.
- Rightly, the curriculum is designed to enhance pupils’ self-esteem and their ability to return to mainstream
education. This shows the commitment of school leaders to promoting equality of opportunity. Progress
has been made on implementing the revised National Curriculum, and productive discussions concerning
its assessment are taking place with mainstream, partner schools.
- There is a good emphasis on developing pupils’ social and emotional skills. Pupils have a growing
awareness of British values, such as the importance of tolerance and fairness.
- Pupils have good opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity. The primary sport funding is
used well. Pupils in Years 1 to 6 have a growing awareness of the importance of healthy living and of the
dangers of substance misuse.
- Pupils receive effective advice and guidance concerning their futures. Those in a position to do so are
helped to return to mainstream schooling, while pupils in Years 10 and 11 are successfully helped to find
college courses or employment.
- The alternative provision is a strength. Placements are tailored to meet pupils’ needs and interests.
Arrangements to check that these pupils are safe and making good progress are effective.
- Arrangements for safeguarding pupils meet requirements and are, in most respects, of good quality. This
record is marred by the poor attendance of some pupils, because when they are not at school it is possible
that they may be at risk.
- The local authority provides a high level of support. Support for improving teaching and attendance has
had some positive impact, but has not fully resolved the weaknesses in these areas. Much energy has
been focused on the reorganisation of the service overall, the impact of which will not be apparent for
some time. Significant shortcomings in the school’s accommodation, such as the lack of specialist facilities
for teaching the curriculum for Years 7 to 11, have not been rectified.
- The governance of the school:
The management committee works well and is committed to a positive future for the school. Members
are aware of the outcomes of checks on the quality of teaching and of what is being done to improve it.
They know how teachers’ good performance is rewarded and how underperformance is tackled.
Members of the committee understand performance data, but because comparative information about
the performance of similar schools is difficult to obtain, they find it hard to know how the school
compares with others. This is true especially of the impact of additional funding on improving the
achievement of disadvantaged pupils.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||require improvement|
- The behaviour of pupils requires improvement because too many do not attend regularly. This slows their
progress, as they miss teaching and have gaps in their learning.
- When they are at school, pupils’ behaviour is good. Pupils sometimes start at the school with very poor
attitudes to learning. These are dealt with effectively by staff who are all well trained in the management
of difficult behaviour. Pupils are taught in small groups or one to one, which contributes well to their
- Pupils’ behaviour in almost all lessons is good. Pupils get on with their work and respond well to adults’
instructions. Poor behaviour rarely slows the learning of others.
- Pupils try their best to be polite to adult visitors. Many lack the necessary experience or social skills. Staff
plan carefully, for example by using young people to guide visitors around the school, to develop such
- Pupils say there is little bullying. This is confirmed by the school’s own records. Breaks and lunchtimes are
planned carefully to avoid potential conflict.
- Pupils behave well whilst attending the alternative provision. Staff who teach them are aware of their
potentially challenging behaviour and have the skills to manage it. Strategies include therapies such as
contact with domestic animals. Pupils’ behaviour and their attendance at the alternative provision are
checked carefully by school staff.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure requires improvement. This is because the poor
attendance of some has the potential to place them in risky situations.
- Among most pupils, notably those taught at The Raikes and Joys Green Centres, attendance has improved
during the current school year. However, attendance at The Russet House Centre remains very low,
especially among Years 10 and 11. Pupils have a good understanding of the risks of bullying in its different
forms. They understand the risks associated with the misuse of electronic media and could easily recall a
recent police visit on the subject.
- Staff are well trained in child protection requirements. They are alert to the potential dangers of issues
such as radicalisation or child sexual exploitation. Records on child protection matters are kept secure and
- Senior leaders have good contact with other agencies and with the carers of children in the care of the
local authority. They check the welfare of children in the care of the local authority very well, but are less
effective in checking on their progress as a group.
- Pupils say they feel safe, both at school and at the alternative provision. Safety checks made on the
alternative provision are rigorous and effective.
|The quality of teaching||requires improvement|
- Because teachers lack reliable information about pupils’ levels of attainment when they join the school,
teaching programmes sometimes fail to develop pupils’ skills and knowledge quickly enough, particularly in
reading, writing and mathematics. Some of the tasks pupils are set are repetitive or lack challenge. An
example is where similar mathematical calculations are repeated over a lengthy period of time, without
moving on to more complex examples.
- While teachers are aware of those children in their class in the care of the local authority, they do not
know which other pupils receive additional funding. Hence, they are not in a position to ensure that
additional resources are used to enable these pupils to make better progress.
- Teachers and other adults are effective in developing young people’s social and emotional skills. In Years
10 and 11 the curriculum builds well on pupils’ personal interests, often through courses offered at the
- Some subjects are taught well. These include art and cookery, and English in Years 7 to 11. Specialist
teaching is used well, for example in information and communication technology (ICT), sport and physical
education, and in courses offered at the alternative provision.
- Improvement has taken place in some aspects of teaching, including those identified as weak at the
previous inspection. Questioning in depth, allowing pupils time to give a well thought out answer, is a
- Pupils value the oral and written guidance they receive on how to improve their work. Teachers’ good
feedback is having a growing, positive impact on pupils’ improving written and other work.
- The teaching in mainstream schools carried out by school staff is highly valued by the headteachers of
those schools. They can give examples of where the work of Gloucester and Forest staff in raising pupils’
self-esteem has enabled young people to avoid exclusion.
|The achievement of pupils||requires improvement|
- Most pupils start at the school with levels of knowledge and skill below those that might be expected for
their age. While most pupils then achieve well, too many do not do so in important areas, including
reading, writing and mathematics.
- Pupils do not always achieve what they might because the progress they have made cannot be checked
with sufficient accuracy. This is especially true for some disadvantaged pupils, because their progress is
not checked separately. A few pupils, notably in Years 10 and 11, do not make good progress because
they miss vital work when absent.
- There are very few pupils in the most-able category at the school. As with other pupils, this small group
makes good progress in most subjects, those in Year 11 attaining GCSE grades of C or above. Sometimes,
however, these pupils are not challenged enough. When Year 10 pupils were set simple work on ratios in
mathematics, it was clear that they already had a good understanding of ratios.
- Many pupils, when they arrive at the school, lack confidence in reading. While their progress in learning to
read is erratic, most develop their enjoyment of reading and hence widen the scope of their reading.
Often this is because they are motivated to use the internet for research purposes.
- Pupils make good progress in their understanding of spiritual, moral, social and cultural matters. This is
true, especially of those in the care of the local authority. Additional funding for these young people is
used well to promote this understanding, such as by funding adventurous activities or visits to cultural
- Whilst all pupils have special educational needs, those with more profound needs achieve well as staff are
aware of how to meet their needs and plan accordingly.
- In some subjects, pupils’ achievement is good. In art, pupils in Years 9 and 10 were observed making
excellent ceramic tiles with an insect design. A review of their work showed that Year 11 pupils studying
for GCSE English had made good progress over time, except when absent. Pupils’ books also showed good
progress in science among pupils in Years 7 to 9.
- Pupils in Years 1 to 6 make good progress in sport and physical education. They like to be active and
know the importance of exercise and a healthy diet. This shows that the primary sport funding is used
- In Years 10 and 11, most pupils are entered for GCSE or other externally recognised qualifications. They
generally achieve some success, notably in English, mathematics, science and ICT. Early entry for these
examinations sometimes takes place. This is for good educational reasons, such as helping pupils become
familiar with external examinations, and does not hold pupils back.
- Pupils make good progress at the additional provision. They generally reach what they have set out to
achieve, including any available external accreditation. School staff check on their progress through
regular discussions with pupils and the staff of the provision.
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
|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
|Unique reference number||135330|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Pupil referral unit|
|School category||Pupil referral unit|
|Age range of pupils||5–16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||140|
|Appropriate authority||The local authority|
|Chair||David Bishop (management committee)|
|Headteacher||Marie Walker (acting)|
|Date of previous school inspection||9–10 July 2012|