Mecklenburg Pupil Referral Unit
North Kingston Centre
Kingston upon Thames
Headteacher: Mr Trevor Sykes
|Unique Reference Number||102561|
|Local Authority||Kingston upon Thames|
|Inspection dates||7–8 December 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Tim Feast|
|Type of school||Pupil referral unit|
|School category||Pupil referral unit|
|Age range of pupils||11–16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||19|
|Appropriate authority||The local authority|
|Date of previous school inspection||26 June 2007|
|School address||North Kingston Centre|
|Kingston upon Thames KT2 5PE|
|Telephone number||0208 547 6736|
|Fax number||0208 547 6710|
|Inspection dates||7–8 December 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by one additional inspector. The inspector visited seven lessons, and held meetings with members of the management committee, staff, students and representatives of other agencies. He observed the centre's work, and looked at students' work, centre assessment information, safeguarding documentation, agendas and minutes of management committee meetings and centre policies. He also looked at two parental questionnaires as well as questionnaires completed by centre staff.
The inspector reviewed many aspects of the centre's work. He looked in detail at the following:
This small centre provides education and support for students who have been excluded at least once from mainstream schools. At the time of the inspection there were only students from Years 10 and 11 on roll in the centre. The average stay at the centre is seven months. None of the current students has a statement of special educational needs, but all have individual education plans to tackle their behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. All the students are currently admitted on a part-time basis, attending either in the morning or in the afternoon. Mecklenburg is in a federation with another pupil referral unit and the headteacher leads both establishments.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
Mecklenburg provides a good education for its students because effective practice is evident in many aspects of its work. The care, guidance and support for the students continues to be outstanding, as at the last inspection. This, together with good teaching, allows a very large majority of the students to be helped to tackle many of the difficulties that they have experienced previously. They succeed when they take externally accredited examinations, such as GCSEs. A large majority goes on to further education, employment or returns to mainstream schooling. The school works outstandingly well with partners from external agencies to remove as many barriers as possible to students' development and progress. Parents and students are very appreciative of the support they receive. One student commented that they 'were really good teachers, really helpful'.
Students achieve well. All staff have high expectations as to what the students will achieve and the progress that they will make. There is a good balance of care, support and challenge which is very successful in helping nearly all students to re-engage with learning. Students respond positively to the centre's supportive ethos and progress quickly. Students make particularly strong progress in the key skills of literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) and in science, art and design and media studies. This academic progress contributes positively to their rapidly improving behaviour in the centre and their increased confidence and self-esteem, which helps students to be proactive in their planning for their future. Attainment in the 2009 examinations was similar across the key skills, reflecting the high expectations of all staff. Teachers quickly establish students' academic levels on entry to the centre and use this information well to plan to meet the differing needs of the students. The centre's tracking procedures in respect of academic and personal development are in the process of being upgraded and there is limited evidence of the use of target setting for students. Good teaching, backed by an innovative curriculum, successfully improves students' knowledge, understanding and skills and in the best lessons this combination motivates and the students are enthused.
Most students are admitted to the centre with a history of poor behaviour and persistent absence. Students make good progress with their personal development; their behaviour improves significantly, as does the attendance of a majority of students. However despite the centre's considerable efforts, the overall attendance remains low in comparison with mainstream schools, partly due to barriers in the students' lives which are outside the centre's contol. Students feel very safe in the centre and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding.
The headteacher and other leaders have been very successful in establishing a purposeful ethos in which students succeed. They have demonstrated a good capacity to make the necessary improvements to continue to operate a successful education establishment. Effective steps were taken by senior leaders when their self evaluation showed some teaching required improvement. The curriculum continues to be improved. Leaders work very effectively in establishing partnerships with other agencies and with the local secondary schools and further education colleges to improve the provision for and outcomes of students and these effective partnerships contribute strongly to Mecklenburg's good capacity to improve. Senior leaders identify priorities for improvement accurately but the planning contains too few specific targets and success criteria related to outcomes for students. The management committee supports the centre well but plays a more limited role in holding the centre to account. Within the constraints of part-time education, the centre is a clearly cohesive community but there is only limited evidence of its success in promoting community cohesion beyond the school. The centre's safeguarding procedures meet requirements and there is good practice in respect of child protection.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Most students take good advantage of what the centre has to offer and make good progress. Standards attained by the students by the end of Year 11 are generally below average but are much better than anticipated when they started at the centre. Results in art and design are better and at the national average. Good use is made in Year 10 of entering students for examinations early and their achievement is good. Students' improving skills are evident in their positive responses to lessons, reflecting improved knowledge and understanding and demonstrating their increasing self-confidence. In lessons, students generally apply themselves well, work at a brisk pace and often take care and pride in their work. This was seen to good effect in some mathematics lessons and in the art and the design and technology coursework. In the best lessons students respond positively and thoughtfully and with enthusiasm to challenging activities, for example, in discussing moral values in sports and leisure. Consequently, a large majority make good and sometimes outstanding progress in lessons and show a rapidly improving trend of attainment. The centre's data show wide variations in the attainment of students on entry but there is no discernable difference in the achievement of different groups by gender or geographical location.
No classroom disruption was observed during the inspection, and behaviour and attitudes improve significantly over time and are good overall. A majority of students improve their attendance while at the centre, some of them dramatically. Students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding, particularly with students' reflecting on their experiences and being creative. Students say that they feel very safe at the centre and have an excellent understanding of what constitutes an unsafe situation. There is almost no bullying and any that does occur is tackled effectively. Students have a good understanding of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, and enjoy physical activities and opportunities to cook healthy meals.
The part-time nature of the placements and the widespread area from which students are referred restrict opportunities to help in the local community. There are limited opportunities for students to express their views formally but students were able to cite areas in which they have given opinions to the centre staff leading to improvements, for example, in respect of the breakfast facilities. Students develop and improve a good range of skills that they will need in the next stage of their lives, including the key skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT, more positive behaviour and attitudes, working cooperatively and listening to each other respectfully and attending on a more regular basis.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||1|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||3|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||1|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Teachers are effective in using their good subject knowledge to identify activities that will quickly motivate and re-engage students with learning. Teaching is a good mixture of a traditional formal approach and innovative use of topics that will interest and sometimes enthuse students. Good use is made of ICT, for example, when students were seen developing thinking skills by tackling the problem of people crossing a river by raft but facing a number of constraints. The art displays and current coursework show an innovative approach which results in high quality work. Teachers know their students' work well but while some teachers make clear to students what constitutes success in their lessons and what students need to do next to improve, others do not and there is limited evidence of the impact of target setting on students' achievement.
The curriculum is tailored well to match the needs of the students, so that nearly all achieve good and sometimes outstanding outcomes. The centre successfully pursues innovative approaches to their externally accredited courses. GCSE media studies has been added to the offer as it has been found to complement the English work effectively with its engagement of students. With the refurbishment of one of the centre's areas as a kitchen, students now enjoy their food technology lessons and gaining accreditation such as 'Active Kids get Cooking' awards. Students produce good work as a result, for example, a student was really pleased with the pasta bake he had cooked, which was the first time he had done any cooking at all. The curriculum prepares most students very well for the next stage of their education.
The whole staff team assesses each student's personal, academic, social and emotional needs very carefully at the start of the placement so that the right support and guidance can be put in place to help the students get back on track quickly. In this the team is outstandingly successful. Students value the rewards system and all the support they receive. Parents value the reports that they receive showing their child's progress. Vulnerable students are monitored meticulously. The service is enhanced through its excellent partnerships with other agencies such as those dealing with sexual health, drug and substance abuse, the education welfare service and the youth offending team. Support and interventions are tailored specifically to the circumstances of each student and the family.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||2|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||1|
The centre's leadership is strongly committed to providing a high quality service for the students. This has resulted in the centre being outstandingly successful in the care, guidance and support of students, with students making good progress in their academic and personal outcomes and thereby significantly improving their life chances. Promoting equality of opportunity is strategically at the heart of the centre's work and is done well. The local schools the centre serves value highly the service provided and the expertise of the staff.
Staff performance, including through lesson observations, is monitored regularly and accurately, targets for improvement are set and school records show improved performance as a result. Data are analysed but limited use has been made historically of this analysis to set challenging targets linked to national benchmarks. Nonetheless, the data available are a good platform on which to build, and the new system that is being devised by the pupil referral unit with the help of the local authority gives the centre a good capacity to remedy the gap. The management committee contributes to the centre's success by maintaining a sound oversight of statutory requirements, ensuring that the students and staff are safe and that they know the work of the centre well. They have had less impact in challenging the centre, particularly in respect of the higher national expectations, and the setting and reviewing of targets accordingly.
The centre has appropriate safeguarding procedures and statutory requirements are met. There are excellent partnerships to promote safety and to develop students' future education pathways. The centre has an appropriate partnership with parents and carers and as a result parents are appreciative of what the centre does for their children and of the information that they receive. The centre has a good understanding of the context of the wide locality from which the students come and has audited its provision for promoting community cohesion. Some good outcomes are evident, such as the positive impact of the work on African art and students work well alongside students from different ethnic, religious and social groups. The centre's evaluation of its impact on community cohesion is satisfactory.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||3|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||2|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||2|
Only a small proportion of the parents/carers returned questionnaires. Those who did return them were overwhelmingly positive about the quality of care and education provided. None of them provided comments on these questionnaires but in the surveys conducted by the centre they indicated that their children had been helped by 'smaller classes', by the centre staff 'treating children as individuals' and that for their children, 'talking to staff about problems past and present helps'. The inspector agrees with these positive views about the centre and judges that the centre is effective in its relationship with parents/carers.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Mecklenburg Pupil Referral Unit to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.
The inspector received 2 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 19 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||0||0||1||50||0||0||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||2||100||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||2||100||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||0||0||2||100||0||0||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||1||50||1||50||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||1||50||1||50||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||1||50||1||50||0||0||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||1||50||1||50||0||0||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||1||50||1||50||0||0||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||2||100||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||2||100||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||2||100||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||2||100||0||0||0||0||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|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 school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
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.
9 December 2009
Inspection of Mecklenburg PRU, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 5PE
I really enjoyed visiting your centre this week to see how well you were all getting on. I was pleased to be able to talk with some of you and to be able to see you at work in lessons and relaxing in the breaks. Please thank your parents for filling in the questionnaires which provided a great deal of useful information.
This is what I found about your centre. Many of these findings agreed with what your parents told me in their questionnaires and from my discussions with you.
In order to help the centre to be even better, I have asked school leaders to do the following:
|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: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|