Long Close School
phone: 01753 520095
headmaster: Mr Brendan Pavey
300 pupils capacity: 103% full
180 boys 57%
130 girls 42%
Last updated: July 16, 2014
— Other Independent School
- Establishment type
- Other Independent School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Nov. 20, 1957
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 498294, Northing: 179029
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.502, Longitude: -0.58527
- Accepting pupils
- 2—16 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Slough › Upton
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.2 miles St Mary's Church of England Primary School SL12AR (526 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Slough Grammar School SL37PR
- 0.3 miles Upton Court Grammar School SL37PR (1063 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School SL37AF (873 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Bernard's Preparatory School SL11TB (237 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Slough and Eton CofE Business and Enterprise College SL12PU
- 0.8 miles Eton End School Trust (Datchet) Limited SL39AX (217 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation SL25DN (126 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Slough and Eton CofE Business and Enterprise College SL12PU (1091 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Ditton Park Academy SL11YG
- 0.9 miles Castleview Primary School SL37LJ
- 0.9 miles Castleview Primary School SL37LJ (609 pupils)
- 1 mile Lea Nursery School SL25JW (130 pupils)
- 1 mile Lea Infant School SL25JW
- 1 mile Ryvers Primary School SL37TS
- 1 mile Littledown School SL13QW
- 1 mile Iqra Slough Islamic Primary School SL25FF (622 pupils)
- 1 mile Willow Primary School SL25FF
- 1 mile Ryvers School SL37TS (599 pupils)
- 1 mile Willow Primary School SL25FF (410 pupils)
- 1 mile Littledown School SL13QW (22 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Lea Junior School SL25JD
- 1.1 mile Churchmead School SL39JQ
- 1.1 mile Churchmead Church of England (VA) School SL39JQ (454 pupils)
Long Close School
Independent school inspection report
DCSF registration number 871/6001 EY 3888239
Unique Reference Number (URN) 110162
Inspection number 361264
Inspection dates 26–27 May 2010
Reporting inspector Jonathan Palk HMI
Published: June 2010
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 Children, Schools and Families about the school’s
suitability for continued registration as an independent school.
Information about the school
Long Close School is a day school for boys and girls aged from two to sixteen years.
It is situated in a residential district between Slough in Buckinghamshire and Datchet
in Berkshire. The school opened in 1940 and is now part of a chain of schools owned
by Cognita Limited. At present there are 293 pupils on roll including 86 children in
the Early Years Foundation Stage. Of these 65 attend the Nursery and are in receipt
of nursery education funding. The school has not applied for any exemptions. No
pupil has a statement of special educational needs. Currently most pupils leave at
the age of 11 before transferring to maintained grammar schools or independent
selective day schools. A few pupils remain beyond this age. A significant minority of
pupils join the school with the prospect of taking their GCSE examinations at the age
of 16. The school has applied for a material change of registration to provide for
pupils continuing their education beyond the age of 14. The appropriateness of this
provision was evaluated as part of this inspection.
The education provided is founded on broadly Christian principles but most pupils are
of other faiths. A large majority of pupils are from Asian backgrounds, with a few of
African, Caribbean or White British heritage. The school has a set of core values,
‘that puts the child at the centre of everything it does’. The separately registered
provision for children aged two was last inspected in September 2009. The school
was last inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in January 2007.
Evaluation of the school
Long Close School successfully meets its stated aims and provides a good quality of
education for its pupils. The overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
is good. Pupils make outstanding progress overall because the teaching is
consistently good and the pupils have exemplary attitudes towards learning. The
good curriculum underpins pupils’ good personal development and sense of well-
being; pupils are well cared for. The school has made good progress since its last
inspection, and the leaders are always seeking ways in which to improve. All of the
regulations are met, including those relating to safeguarding arrangements.
Quality of education
The school offers a good curriculum for its pupils and for children in the Early Years
Foundation Stage. It is well planned across the school to provide the pupils with
broad and balanced experiences and preparation for their entry into schools at 11+.
There is a satisfactory range of courses at GCSE level taught by specialist teachers.
The school is ambitious to offer a wider range of options for those wishing to study
more than eight GCSEs and there are well-developed plans to increase this offer next
year. The overwhelming majority of pupils studying for their GCSEs consider the
academic courses to meet their needs. However, there is not enough choice in
accredited courses in technology, other than information and communication
technology, or for them to gain experiences in the world of work. This limits their
view of future destinations.
The practical and exploratory curriculum provided for children in the Early Years
Foundation Stage is well maintained throughout Years 1 to 6. There is a good blend
of activities to enhance pupils’ skills in mathematics and science and the opportunity
for them to use their considerable writing skills in other subjects. Good opportunities
for music, performance and sport enhance the personal achievements of all pupils.
There is also good enrichment for pupils to support their knowledge and
understanding and further their appreciation of British culture, through termly visits.
The curriculum is fine-tuned for those who find some aspects of their learning harder
than others. The school has continued to seek ways to extend and challenge gifted
and talented pupils since its last inspection. This is largely provided for outside of
class lessons rather than as an integral part of teachers’ lesson planning. Personal
and social education is good across the school but opportunities for older pupils to
lead and take greater responsibility within the school and the wider community are
more limited. School leaders have prioritised this area for development.
The teaching and assessment are good across the school, including in the Early
Years Foundation Stage. The regular, focused and general observations of children’s
learning and development are recorded efficiently, evaluated by staff and used to
inform effective individual learning plans. The incisive teaching of structured schemes
for writing and reading results in outstanding progress in these areas. Since the last
inspection there has been increasing use of interactive whiteboards to hold pupils’
attention and revisit their earlier learning efficiently. Teachers know the pupils well
and make the most of the opportunities arising from small class sizes to give plenty
of individual support. They are adept at providing the support to pace the learning so
that pupils of different abilities learn well.
Some elements of using assessment information to improve learning are in place.
Teachers make it clear for pupils what they are going to learn at the start of the
lesson and use opportunities during and at the end of the lesson to return to the
lesson focus. The use of questions at these times that probe pupils’ learning and
challenge their thinking is inconsistent, and in some lessons opportunities are missed
to engage pupils in thinking more deeply or to help them focus on their particular
targets. Teachers maintain the learning through their own enthusiasm for the
subject. They anticipate problems but give answers too quickly. In some lessons the
desire to move pupils on results in work that is not well enough matched to the
individual and that limits the opportunity for independent learning.
The school is more effective than at the last inspection in accumulating assessment
information about the attainment of its children and pupils. Assessment systems are
thorough and rigorous and well matched to the ambitions of the school to nurture
and develop all aspects of the individual. Marking is regular, encouraging and
detailed. However, there is not enough time given to the pupils to correct their work
and learn from their mistakes.
Progress is outstanding. It is underpinned by the excellent progress children make in
their reading, writing and mathematical skills through the Early Years Foundation
Stage and on into Years 1 to 6. These skills combine well with pupils’ diligence and
application. Those entering the school for their GCSE studies are ambitious for
themselves and benefit from the knowledgeable staff team and small classes where
one-to-one tuition is the norm.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good, including in the Early
Years Foundation Stage. Those joining the school with lower levels of confidence and
self-esteem rapidly improve within the harmonious climate the school promotes. This
is recognised in parents’ and carers’ comments to inspectors. From an early age, all
pupils report that they enjoy their school life and are enthusiastic about their
learning. Work is extremely well presented and there are many bright and interesting
displays around the school which exemplify pupils’ work in writing and art.
Pupils’ behaviour is good. They set high standards for themselves and are critical of
those who do not match up to this. They are extremely polite and keen to help each
other in lessons. Their respect for each others’ values and religious beliefs are
sincere and well understood. Pupils say that they value the presence of those from
different parts of the world. This facilitates pupils’ openness to new ideas, their
appreciation of cultural diversity and their readiness to challenge racism.
Attendance is below the national average for all schools, due to the school
authorising absence for pupils to attend family events. The school is aware of these
absences but does not adequately monitor them through its present systems. Pupils’
development of their skills and knowledge in literacy, and of their interpersonal skills,
is strong. As a result, they are well prepared for their future economic well-being.
Pupils’ contributions to the school and the wider community are satisfactory. The
school council plays an important role in offering suggestions on how the school can
improve: for example encouraging the setting up of a pasta bar and water fountains.
Older pupils in particular are keen to play an active role in developing their
responsibilities by managing aspects of the school community. They show an
appropriate awareness of local and national public services and institutions.
Welfare, health and safety of the pupils
This aspect of the school’s work is good. Children’s well-being in the Early Years
Foundation Stage is significantly enhanced by excellent organisation and risk
assessments and by an outstanding partnership with parents and carers, who feel
very well informed and involved through comprehensive notice boards and the
school’s useful website.
The requirements to safeguard children and pupils are met. All staff are aware of
procedures, including the designated person, who is trained to a standard set by the
local safeguarding children’s board.
Pupils report that they feel safe and that there are always members of staff they can
go to if they have worries or concerns. Younger pupils reported that they are anxious
about the behaviour of some older students, and complain that they use bad
language towards them. School records show that matters or concerns over pupils’
welfare are treated seriously, explored fully and dealt with swiftly. Pupils say that
they like coming to a small school where everybody knows them well. Many pupils
wrote to inspectors about how much they enjoy school and how well they were
cared for. The vast majority of parents and carers agree and appreciate the family
The school places excellent focus on healthy eating, which is valued by the pupils.
They take regular exercise and have a very good programme of lessons with a
specialist teacher for physical education. There is a clear policy for first aid which is
implemented effectively and staff have received appropriate training. Risk
assessments are managed appropriately.
The school has an appropriate statement of intent to improve access as required by
the Disability Discrimination Act 2002, as amended. However, there was no written
plan available for inspectors to evaluate how well intentions are being met.
Suitability of the proprietor and staff
The school conducts rigorous Criminal Records Bureau checks on the proprietor, staff
and other adults prior to their appointment and staff have been trained in safer
recruitment. The school maintains all the required information on a single central
School’s premises and accommodation
The premises and accommodation are satisfactory, being safe and conducive to
effective learning. Sensible adaptations have been made to classrooms to provide
suitable accommodation for the increased numbers of students joining the school to
take their GCSEs. The school provides adequate space indoors and outside for the
numbers currently on roll. The school makes good use of the adjacent public playing
fields and local schools for competitive sporting events. The school is in good
decorative order and is clean and tidy.
Provision of information for parents, carers and others
Parents and carers, prospective parents and carers and others are provided with a
comprehensive range of information through the school’s prospectus and website.
The school has good systems for informing parents, carers and others about updates
to policies and the progress of pupils. Particulars of the school’s policy on and
arrangements for admissions and exclusions now meet regulations.
Procedures for handling complaints
Procedures fully meet the requirements. There have been two formal complaints in
the last year, both of which were managed appropriately in accordance with school
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
The overall effectiveness and provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage are
good. Children learn well in a very safe environment, with highly effective induction
procedures to ensure they separate happily from their parents and carers. Staff in
the under-fours day care are excellent play partners as they clearly enjoy being with
very young children. They seize every opportunity to engage with the children and to
successfully promote their social and language development.
Outcomes are good, as children make good progress from whatever their starting
points, in all the areas of learning, both academically and in their personal
development, as a result of good teaching and high quality care. On entry to Year 1,
the vast majority have attained the levels of knowledge and skills expected for their
age. More able children exceed the expected levels and are already competent
readers and mathematicians.
Children enjoy numerous practical activities such as hand painting, building boats
and going on treasure hunts. Resources to support learning indoors and out are
satisfactory but are not always on hand to ensure that during child-initiated activity
children can make the best gains in learning, and do not always match the particular
expectations for groups of children.
The setting’s leadership and management are good, having high aspirations and
clear plans for future development. The team works well together, sets high
standards and monitors the provision well. A good programme of staff training and
development has significantly improved the adults’ expertise in tracking children’s
learning and development.
Compliance with regulatory requirements
The school meets all of the Education (Independent School Standards) (England)
Regulations 2003 as amended (‘the Regulations’).
In order to comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 as
amended the school should devise a three-year accessibility plan.
What the school could do to improve further
While not required by regulations, the school might wish to consider the following
points for development.
- Provide more opportunity for pupils to learn for themselves through discussion
and high quality questions.
- Make better use of assessment information to focus work more precisely on
- Ensure that resources to support learning indoors and out are on hand so that
children in the Early Years Foundation Stage can make the best gains in
learning during child-initiated activity.
- Provide more opportunity for older pupils to develop their responsibility within
school and the wider community.
Inspection judgement recording form
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
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
The quality of the Early Years Foundation Stage provision
How good are the outcomes for children in the EYFS?
What is the quality of provision in the EYFS?
How effectively is the EYFS led and managed?
Overall effectiveness: how well does the school meet the needs of children in
Name of school
Long Close School
Unique reference number (URN)
EY URN (for registered childcare only)
Type of school Non-selective day school
Date school opened 1940
Age range of pupils 2–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number on roll (full-time pupils) Boys: 178 Girls: 115 Total: 293
Number of pupils aged 0–3 in registered
Boys: 5 Girls: 7 Total: 12
Annual fees (day pupils) £6,825–£10,485
Annual fees (childcare)
Address of school Long Court School
Upton Court Road
Headteacher Mr David Brazier
Proprietor Cognita Limited
Reporting inspector Mr Jonathan Palk HMI
Dates of inspection 26–27 May 2010