School etc

Gloucester and Forest Alternative Provision School

Gloucester and Forest Alternative Provision School
Russett House
35 Russett Close

phone: 01452 782050

headed by: Paul Holroyd

school holidays: via Gloucestershire council

62 pupils aged 9—15y mixed gender
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 #

rooms to rent in Gloucester

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Grange Junior School GL40RN
  2. 0.2 miles Grange Primary School GL40RW (311 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Grange Infant School GL40PH
  4. 0.4 miles Harewood Infant School GL40SS (224 pupils)
  5. 0.4 miles Harewood Junior School GL40SS (298 pupils)
  6. 0.4 miles Beaufort Community School GL40RT
  7. 0.4 miles Beaufort Co-operative Academy GL40RT (1116 pupils)
  8. 0.6 miles The Crypt School GL25AE
  9. 0.6 miles The Crypt School GL25AE (847 pupils)
  10. 0.7 miles Meadowside Primary School GL24LX (232 pupils)
  11. 0.8 miles Tuffley Primary School GL40JY (198 pupils)
  12. 0.8 miles Whaddon County Infant School GL40JY
  13. 0.9 miles St Peter's Catholic High School and Sixth Form Centre GL40DD
  14. 0.9 miles Whaddon Junior School GL40DJ
  15. 0.9 miles Kingsway Primary School GL22AR (343 pupils)
  16. 0.9 miles St Peter's Catholic High School and Sixth Form Centre GL40DD (1635 pupils)
  17. 1 mile Beech Green Primary School GL24WD (406 pupils)
  18. 1.1 mile Calton Junior School GL15ET
  19. 1.1 mile Calton Primary School GL15ET (383 pupils)
  20. 1.1 mile Ribston Hall High School GL15LE
  21. 1.1 mile Ribston Hall High School GL15LE (808 pupils)
  22. 1.1 mile Waterwells Primary Academy GL22FX (135 pupils)
  23. 1.2 mile Linden Primary School GL15HU (425 pupils)
  24. 1.2 mile Field Court Junior School GL24UF

List of schools in Gloucester

School report

Gloucester and Forest Alternative

Provision School

Russet House, 35 Russet Close, Gloucester, GL4 0RQ

Inspection dates 12–13 March 2015
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Requires improvement 3
Previous inspection: Good 2
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.
is good.

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.

Inspection team

Paul Sadler, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Janet Simms Additional Inspector

Full report

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
    mainstream schools.
  • 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.

Inspection judgements

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
    or inaccurate.
  • 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
    improving behaviour.
  • 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
    meet requirements.
  • 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
    alternative provision.
  • 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
    developing strength.
  • 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 Judgement Description
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
Ofsted inspectors.

School details

Unique reference number 135330
Local authority Gloucestershire
Inspection number 449459

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
Telephone number 01452309510
Fax number 01452309510
Email address reveal email: mari…

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