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Longfield School Closed - academy converter July 31, 2011

see new Longfield School

Longfield School
Longfield Road
County Durham

phone: 01325 *** ***

headteacher: Mr Keith B Cotgrave M.Sc


school holidays: via Darlington council

Secondary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Close date
July 31, 2011
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 428937, Northing: 517085
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 54.548, Longitude: -1.5542
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Ofsted last inspection
March 11, 2009
Region › Const. › Ward
North East › Darlington › Harrowgate Hill
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Sports (Operational)
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Darlington

Schools nearby

  1. Longfield School DL30HT (889 pupils)
  2. 0.2 miles Harrowgate Hill Infants' School DL30HQ
  3. 0.2 miles Harrowgate Hill Junior School DL30HZ
  4. 0.2 miles Harrowgate Hill Primary School DL30HZ (638 pupils)
  5. 0.5 miles Rise Carr Primary School DL30NS
  6. 0.5 miles Glebe School DL13EB
  7. 0.5 miles Salters Lane School DL13EB
  8. 0.5 miles Rise Carr College DL30NS (8 pupils)
  9. 0.6 miles Mayfair School DL13EA
  10. 0.7 miles Northwood Primary School DL12HF (458 pupils)
  11. 0.7 miles St Bede's RC Primary School DL13ES
  12. 0.7 miles St Bede's RC Primary School DL13ES (252 pupils)
  13. 1.1 mile Albert Hill Nursery School DL12ND
  14. 1.1 mile Corporation Road Nursery School DL36AR
  15. 1.1 mile Corporation Road Junior School DL36AR
  16. 1.1 mile Corporation Road Infant School DL36AR
  17. 1.1 mile Gurney Pease Primary School DL12NG
  18. 1.1 mile Reid Street Primary School DL36EX
  19. 1.1 mile Corporation Road Community Primary School DL36AR (332 pupils)
  20. 1.1 mile Reid Street Primary School DL36EX (414 pupils)
  21. 1.1 mile Gurney Pease Academy DL12NG (194 pupils)
  22. 1.2 mile Alderman Leach Junior School DL30TW
  23. 1.2 mile Springfield Primary School DL12AN
  24. 1.2 mile Haughton Community School DL12AN

List of schools in Darlington

Age group 11–16
Inspection date(s) 11–12 March 2009
Inspection number 325990

Longfield School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 114322
Local Authority Darlington
Inspection number 325990
Inspection dates 11–12 March 2009
Reporting inspector Margaret Farrow HMI

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005, under pilot
arrangements; it was also deemed section 5 under the same Act

Type of school Secondary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 11–16
Gender of pupils Mixed

Number on roll

School (total) 901

Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Mrs Elizabeth Hart


Mr Keith Cotgrave

Date of previous school inspection 20 March 2006
School address Longfield Road

County Durham

Telephone number 01325 380815
Fax number 01325 254219
Email address reveal email: kcot…

This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes,
provided that the information quoted is reproduced without adaptation and the source and date of
publication are stated.
Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school
must provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not
exceeding the full cost of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.


This pilot inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and three
Additional Inspectors. The inspectors visited 26 lessons, and held meetings with
staff, groups of pupils, and representatives of the governing body. They observed
the school’s work and looked at a selection of documentation such as school and
departmental improvement plans, procedures for safeguarding pupils and a range of
policies. They investigated systems the school uses for assessing pupils’ achievement
and monitoring their progress, analysed the school’s test and examination results
and the most recent attendance and exclusion data. Inspectors also conducted a
book scrutiny and reviewed a number of case files that illustrated how the school
works in partnership with parents and other agencies to support vulnerable pupils.
228 parents returned the Ofsted inspection questionnaire and their responses were
also analysed.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school’s work. It looked in detail
at the following:

  • the impact of the school’s actions to improve pupils’ attainment and progress,
    particularly in English and mathematics
  • the impact of leadership and management of the senior leadership team and
    beyond, including the impact of actions the school takes to promote equality of
    opportunity and tackle discrimination
  • the quality of the school’s provision, particularly the curriculum and the impact
    of teaching on pupils’ learning
  • the impact of the school’s work on pupils’ enjoyment, achievement and well-

Information about the school

Longfield is a popular, average sized secondary school, serving the North Western
area of Darlington local authority. Most pupils are White British and an average
proportion is known to be eligible for free school meals. The proportion of pupils
deemed to have learning difficulties and/or disabilities is significantly above average
while the proportion with a statement of special educational need is well below that
seen nationally. A higher than average number of pupils who enter the school in Year
7 remain there until they leave statutory education at the end of Year 11. The school
attained Sports College status in 2004 and achieved the International School’s award
and attained National Healthy School’s Status in 2008.

Inspection judgements

Grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Overall effectiveness 2

Capacity for sustained improvement 2

Main findings

Longfield is a good school with outstanding aspects including the curriculum, actions
taken to safeguard pupils, and the support, care and guidance provided for them. It
has made good improvement since the last inspection and has been resolute in its
determination to live up to the school’s motto; ‘Achieving high standards by
demanding excellence’. Following a period of staffing turbulence, when standards
dipped, the headteacher has built strong, talented leadership and middle management
teams which have provided a catalyst for the improvements in provision, the progress
made by pupils and the standards now being attained.
Standards are improving because the school has a relentless focus on them. The
outstanding curriculum provides secure pathways that meet pupils’ individual needs
and interests, and managers’ effective efforts to improve lessons are generating
quicker progress for pupils than previously. In addition, the robust tracking system
enables staff to be clear about the actual amount of progress pupils make and to
challenge any underachievement. Pupils join the school in Year 7 with broadly average
attainment yet by Year 11 standards rise to above average compared with the country
as a whole.
Getting to know and understand the needs of each pupil is at the heart of the school’s
work. Any challenges or difficulties they face are tackled immediately. They are well
supported to be fully included into the life of the school. This commitment and
improvements made since the last inspection ensures that the large majority of pupils
achieve well. Pupils who are vulnerable, the small number of looked after pupils,
traveller pupils, those from disadvantaged communities, and pupils with learning
difficulties and/or disabilities all make similar progress to their peers. However, the
school knows that some pupils could do even better. As yet, not all teachers mark
pupils work effectively or use the school’s good assessment information to inform their
planning or teaching methods. Consequently some pupils do not always understand
what they need to do to improve and some are not always stretched to do their very
The school’s sports specialism has been very effective in promoting pupils’ good
attainment and progress and specialist targets are met or exceeded. It contributes to
pupils’ excellent understanding of how to lead healthy lives and helps build their
leadership skills, confidence and self-esteem. It also successfully supports local schools
and increasingly the local community, through its outreach work and shared use of
Senior leaders monitor the quality of teaching and learning accurately and as the roles
of middle managers develop they are also becoming increasingly effective in
monitoring the quality of teaching in their departments. Senior leaders have developed
robust systems to evaluate the impact of the school’s work. This informs well focused
school improvement plans. Procedures involve, and take account of the views of, staff
and governors; consequently all have a good understanding of the school’s strengths
and weaknesses. Morale is high, staff say they feel valued and supported and
performance management procedures hold them effectively to account by making sure
that all actions are focused on continuing improvement. The school has developed
outstanding partnerships with a wide range of agencies to enrich pupils’ experiences in
school and help support them in times of need. The impact of such actions, together
with strong leadership, and pupils’ improved attainment and progress since the last
inspection indicate the school has good capacity to improve further.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Reduce the in-school variation in the quality of teaching by:
    - improving all teaching to the standard of the best in all departments
    - ensuring all teachers use the school’s accurate assessment information when
    planning lessons, so that work is always matched to pupils’ learning needs
    - making sure all staff adhere to the school’s marking policy so that pupils always
    know how well they are doing and what they need to do to improve.

How good is the overall outcome for individuals

and groups of pupils?


In 2008, GCSE results were much better than the previous year when there was a dip,
and were above average in several respects, for example, in the proportion of pupils
with five higher grades. However, although significantly improved, the proportion of
pupils having five higher grades including English and mathematics was no better than
average, because GCSE results in these two subjects were average. The better results
in 2008 made the school the eighth most improved school in the country. Pupils who
followed vocational courses in school and with external providers achieved well. Pupils
with learning difficulties and/or disabilities did well too because virtually all of them left
with five graded GCSE results, often in the range A* to C. Pupils’ current work in
school indicates that pupils are making good progress and standards are rising further
in all year groups. Checks on pupils’ progress in the two previously average subjects,
English and mathematics, show that standards have improved to above average by
Years 9 and 11 in response to the emphasis that the school has put on them.
Pupils say they feel safe and are taught effectively about how to be safe both in school
and the community. They are very well informed about internet safety. A small number
of parents expressed concerns about bullying. Pupils agree that bullying occasionally
takes place, but are confident that swift action is taken to tackle any untoward
incidents. Some parents expressed concerns about poor behaviour; inspectors found
pupils to be well behaved, polite and friendly in lessons. Pupils correctly consider they
achieve well in lessons and assessments. They say they enjoy school and the
opportunities to evaluate their own work, check the work of their peers and know
exactly what they need to do to improve when marking is clear and consistent.
Pupils’ contribution to the school and wider community is good and enriched well by
the work of the school council and through activities as part of the sports college
specialism. Examples include pupils’ roles as junior sports leaders and the partnership
which pupils instigated with the police to develop the ‘Longfield Rave,’ a dance club
each Friday. This is having a marked impact on reducing anti-social behaviour in the
local community. Pupils show great care and concern for people less fortunate than
themselves by raising significant sums for charities chosen by the school council. They
have a very good understanding about worldwide issues through the international
school’s programme which also promotes their very good cultural development.
Subjects such as personal, social, citizenship and health education are developing
pupils’ personal development well, alongside the skills needed to become caring and
responsible members of their school, town and global community.
Pupils are well prepared for the world of work, through, for example, extensive work
experience placements, enterprise projects and practice interviews. A particularly
impressive element is the action taken to develop the financial literacy of pupils across
all age groups through innovations such as the ‘Dragon’s Apprentice’. Partnership with
a local college provides those who wish it, the opportunity to follow and successfully
complete applied learning course while remaining part of the school community. Such
actions, including good careers advice, ensure a high proportion of pupils continue
with their education or enter training or employment at the age of 16. Although pupils’
attendance and punctuality are satisfactory, they are improving due to the
considerable efforts made by staff and other agencies.

These are the grades for pupils’ outcomes

Pupils’ attainment



The quality of pupils’ learning and their progress 2
The quality of learning for pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and their


How well do pupils achieve and enjoy their learning? 2
To what extent do pupils feel safe? 2
How well do pupils behave? 2
To what extent do pupils adopt healthy lifestyles? 1
To what extent do pupils contribute to the school and wider community? 2

Pupils’ attendance 3

How well do pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being?


What is the extent of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development? 2

The quality of the school’s work

Because of good actions taken by senior and middle managers to increase the
proportion of good or better teaching, pupils generally make good progress in their
lessons. Where pupils learn well, high expectations of teachers, their excellent subject
knowledge and pupils’ good attitudes and behaviour are the norm. In such lessons


Grades for attainment are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; 4 is low

teaching is pacy; pupils are enthusiastic, well motivated and display high levels of
concentration. Teaching challenges pupils and encourages them to formulate and
discuss their own ideas with partners or in groups. This helps pupils to grow in
confidence, secure in the knowledge of the good progress they are making. However,
where teaching is predominantly satisfactory, learning slows because it is not always
pitched precisely enough to the needs of all pupils. This means some more able pupils
are not always challenged enough while others lose interest when taught concepts
that are above their current level of understanding.
The improvement in pupils’ progress is in part attributable to improvements made to
the regularity and quality of assessment. The assessment system now ensures that
targets set are based on high expectations of individual pupils and groups and their
prior learning. Pupils’ progress towards their targets is monitored assiduously by senior
and middle managers and well targeted interventions take place if pupils need extra
help. Improvements to the curriculum have also played a significant part. Tailored
routes have been carefully designed to meet pupils’ individual needs and interests and
maximize motivation for their learning. The ‘Opening Minds’ programme which all Year
7 pupils follow, helps them settle well into school. It successfully promotes their
personal development and well-being, stimulates an enthusiasm for learning and
develops their confidence and skills such as enterprise that they will need as they grow
up. A wide and varied programme of enrichment and out of school activities such as
astronomy, extra support in basic skills, drama and cooking contributes valuably to
pupils’ achievement and enjoyment. Participation levels are very high. Pupils’
competence with information and communication technology is very strong and
successfully supports pupils’ learning and achievement in many of the subjects that
they study.
The school prides itself on the excellent support, care and guidance offered to pupils
and rightly so. Pupils speak highly of the pupil-support team whose accessibility and
care are valued. Support does not stop there; pupils know that form tutors, the CHIPS
team and any adult in school will help them if they have a problem. The school has
developed wide ranging partnerships with agencies such as health, education welfare,
the police, and local authority children’s services to quickly secure additional help and
support for pupils as well as their families in times of acute crisis.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

High quality teaching and purposeful learning 2
Effective assessment 2
An appropriate curriculum which meets pupils’ needs, including, where
relevant, provision through partnership with other organisations


Support, guidance and care 1

How effective are leadership and management?

Longfield is a harmonious school community where the ethos for learning is good and
all show respect and tolerance for each other. The safety and well-being of pupils is
paramount, and excellent safeguarding procedures are in place. All staff are carefully
inducted into the school’s robust child protection, risk assessment and health and
safety arrangements and receive regular update-training. The school promotes
community cohesion well and pupils have good opportunities to engage with others of
different cultures, socio-economic groups and faiths outside of school especially
through the opportunities provided through the international school programme and
actions taken through its sports college specialism. Because the school values all of its
pupils equally it has taken concerted action to ensure all achieve equally well. The gap
between the attainment of pupils at different Key Stages has narrowed markedly and
standards in English and mathematics are rising to match those of other subjects. The
school’s excellent partnerships with a wide range of external organisations, including
schools and colleges locally and overseas also supports pupils’ learning and extends
the curriculum extremely well.
Governance is good. Governors have good links with subject departments and are kept
well informed about the school’s work. They clearly understand the school’s strengths
and weaknesses and support and challenge its work well. Governors monitor finances
robustly, make the best of the limited accommodation and assure that the school
provides good value for money. Senior managers and governors continually seek out
ways to build their relationship and communication with parents. They seek out
parents’ views in surveys and have developed a parental web-portal to improve
communication further. Parents and pupils are appreciative of the regular reports,
phone calls and complimentary postcards they receive.

These are the grades for leadership and management

Communicating ambition and driving improvement 2
Promoting equality of opportunity and tackling discrimination 2
Ensuring that safeguarding procedures are effective 1
Ensuring that the governing body provides effective challenge and support so
that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities are met


Promoting the school’s relationship with parents and carers, including their
involvement in decision making about matters relating to learning and


Developing partnerships with other providers, organisations and services 1
Ensuring the school contributes to community cohesion 2
Deploying resources to achieve value for money 2

Views of parents and carers

The vast majority of parents who responded to the inspection questionnaire were
positive about the quality of education and care their children receive. A number wrote
additional positive comments about their children’s enjoyment of school and the
opportunities it affords them provided by the school. Some commented appreciatively
on the communication flow between school and home, particularly valuing the way
that important communications are sent out in the post. A minority however, felt that
their suggestions and concerns are not taken into account. Nearly all parents say their
children are safe and around ninety per cent feel well informed about the progress
their children are making. A significant minority expressed concerns about the timing
and value of academic mentoring days.

What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description

Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding

school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs.
In 2007-8, 15% of schools were judged to be

Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school

that is good is serving its pupils well. In 2007-8, 49% of
schools were judged good.

Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory

school is providing adequately for its pupils. In 2007-8,
32% of schools were judged satisfactory.

Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An

inadequate school needs to make significant
improvement to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted
inspectors will make further visits until it improves. In
2007-8, 5% of schools were judged inadequate.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Attainment: the standard of the pupils’ work shown by test and

examination results and in lessons.

Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and

over longer periods of time. It is often measured
by comparing the pupils’ attainment at the end of a
Key Stage with their attainment when they started.

Achievement: an overall measure of the pupils’ success in their

academic learning. The term combines attainment
and progress. Pupils might make good progress,
for example, but if their attainment remains low,
inspectors may judge that their achievement is
only satisfactory.

Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue

improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what
the school has accomplished so far and on the
quality of its systems to maintain improvement.

Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,

not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the

13 March 2009
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Longfield School, Darlington DL3 0HT

On behalf of the inspection team, thank you all for making us so welcome when we
inspected your school recently, especially those of you who spoke to us at lunchtime
and during lessons. We have considered your views and the views of parents who
completed the inspection questionnaire carefully. Longfield is a good school and has
some outstanding features, such as the curriculum, actions taken to safeguard you
and the support, care and guidance you receive. You value greatly the pupil-support
team and other adults who help you in times of need.
Longfield has improved well since the last inspection. Because of improvements in
teaching, assessment of your work and the curriculum, you are now attaining above
average standards and making good progress in your learning from the time you
enter school in Year 7 to the time you leave in Year 11.
You told us you feel safe and enjoy school and we think you make a good
contribution to the life of the school and your community. Although some parents
believe that bullying is a problem, some of you who spoke to us said that it does
occasionally occur but any incidents are quickly dealt with. Some parents also think
that behaviour is an issue but we found your behaviour in lessons to be good. You
have a great range of out-of school activities, particularly sporting activities, that you
attend and enjoy and your information and communication technology skills are
exceptionally good. Your attendance is satisfactory and improving.
To help the school to improve further we have asked it to reduce the in-school
variation in the quality of teaching by:

  • improving all teaching to the standard of the best in all departments
  • ensure all teachers use the school’s accurate assessment information when
    planning lessons so that work is always matched to pupils’ learning needs
  • making sure all staff adhere to the school’s marking policy so that pupils always
    know how well they are doing and what they need to do to improve.

Thank you again and on behalf of the inspection team, please accept our very best
wishes for the future.
Margaret Farrow
Her Majesty’s Inspector

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the
procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available
from Ofsted’s website:

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