North West Kent Alternative Provision Service
phone: 01322 228395
headed by: Ms Jo Southby
200 pupils capacity: 21% full
30 boys 70%
15 girls 35%
Last updated: June 24, 2014
— Pupil Referral Unit
- Establishment type
- Pupil Referral Unit
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Feb. 10, 2012
- Reason open
- Result of Amalgamation
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 553216, Northing: 172097
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.427, Longitude: 0.20247
- Accepting pupils
- 5—18 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 25, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Dartford › Wilmington
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- SEN Facilities
- PRU Does have Provision for SEN
- Full time provision
- PRU does offer full time provision
- Pupils educated by others
- PRU Does offer tuition by another provider
- Teen mother
- Provides places for Teen Mothers
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- Barn End Centre DA27DP
- 0.1 miles North West Kent Behaviour Service DA27DP
- 0.3 miles Wilmington Primary School DA27DF
- 0.3 miles Wilmington Grammar School for Boys DA27DA
- 0.3 miles Wilmington Grammar School for Boys DA27DA (889 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Wilmington Primary School DA27DF (206 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Wilmington Enterprise College DA27DR
- 0.4 miles North West Kent College of Technology DA12JT
- 0.4 miles Wilmington Academy DA27DR (890 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Wilmington Grammar School for Girls DA27BB
- 0.5 miles Wilmington Grammar School for Girls DA27BB (798 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Oakfield Infant and Nursery School DA12SW
- 0.6 miles Oakfield Community Primary School DA12SW (609 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Oakfield Junior School DA12SW
- 1 mile Dartford West Boys' School DA12LZ
- 1 mile Dartford Science & Technology College DA12LY (773 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Joydens Wood Infant School DA52JD
- 1.1 mile Dartford Grammar School for Girls DA12NT (1064 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Joydens Wood Infant School DA52JD (222 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Westgate Primary School DA12LP (208 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Hextable Junior School BR87RL
- 1.2 mile Joydens Wood Junior School DA27NE
- 1.2 mile Dartford Grammar School DA12HW
- 1.2 mile Furness School BR87RP (34 pupils)
North West Kent
Alternative Provision Service
189 High Road, Dartford, Kent, DA2 7DP
|Inspection dates||25–26 June 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Outstanding||1|
|Previous inspection:||Not previously inspected|
|Achievement of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Quality of teaching||Outstanding||1|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Leadership and management||Outstanding||1|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school.
| Pupils make rapid progress in their learning |
Pupils respond exceptionally well to the highly
Pupils’ behaviour, attendance and attitudes to
Pupils are able to progress very well because
because staff are highly effective at re-
engaging them with education. Over short
periods of time, pupils make excellent
progress towards closing the gaps in their
learning which had developed due to their
absence from school through exclusion. This
helps them to regain lost confidence in their
own abilities and, for many, reintegrate
successfully into mainstream school.
structured and nurturing environment that
the service provides in each of its centres.
The service’s highly effective systems for
managing and improving pupils’ behaviour
are used consistently well by all staff.
learning improve significantly during their
placement with the service. Their behaviour
at the service’s centres is often exemplary.
Pupils have great respect for those who teach
and support them.
the school ensures that they are placed in the
centre which runs the most suitable
curriculum for them. This also prevents issues
occurring between older and younger pupils
and contributes very well to helping pupils
feel very safe at school.
| Teachers very quickly gain an accurate |
The executive headteacher’s leadership of the
The senior leadership team ensures that there
The management committee maintains an
understanding of pupils’ needs. They routinely
set and communicate high expectations of
pupils’ work and behaviour. However, the
difficulty of work is occasionally not well
matched to the range of different abilities in all
lessons and marking does not always help
pupils to improve their learning most
effectively. Nevertheless, teachers ensure that
most pupils still make exceptionally quick
service is exemplary. The purpose of the
service is communicated with great clarity to
the schools that it serves. As a result, the
service is able to match the resources it has to
the needs of the pupils who are referred very
is a very high degree of consistency across all
sites. This ensures, for example, that pupils’
welfare is safeguarded equally well in all
accurate overview of the service’s work. It
provides rigorous challenge to ensure that the
service is providing the quality of education
and behaviour support that is required by the
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors, together with the executive headteacher and members of the senior leadership
team, observed teaching and learning in 17 lessons, taught by 12 teachers or appropriately
qualified staff. Teaching was observed on four of the school’s sites. It was not possible to
directly observe lessons on two sites or at the commissioned service because the inspection was
carried out after the end of the examination period for Year 11 pupils and during a period when
some of the sites were running their annual activities week.
- Pupils, staff and school leaders, including those responsible for the day-to-day management of
each centre and the intervention service, met with the inspectors to discuss the school’s work.
- Inspectors met with a representative of the management committee, who are responsible for
the school’s governance, and a representative of the local authority.
- Inspectors looked carefully at a range of documents including the school’s tracking of pupils’
progress, the school’s checks on how well it is doing and its development plans, safeguarding
arrangements and minutes of meetings held by the management committee.
- The inspectors considered the views of 16 parents, provided through the Parent View website or
by email to the inspection service provider, and those of 49 staff.
|Jon Carter, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Sue Cox||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- North West Kent Alternative Provision Service opened on 10 February 2012 as a result of an
amalgamation of three pupil referral unit (PRU) services. When its predecessor PRU services,
The North West Kent Behaviour Service, The Behaviour and Guidance Support Service Centre
Class and Dartford and Gravesham Alternative Provision PRU were last inspected by Ofsted, The
North West Kent Behaviour Service and The Behaviour Guidance Support Service Youth Wing
were judged to be good in July 2010 and the North West Kent Alternative Provision PRU was
judged to be inadequate in February 2012. The current executive headteacher was previously
the headteacher of The North West Kent Behaviour Service.
- North West Kent Alternative Provision Service operates from six different sites, each offering a
different element of education or support:
The Rosemary Centre, Dartford, provides education for up to 50 pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4
Centre Class, Swanley, provides education for up to 20 pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2
The Limes, Dartford, provides education for up to 21 pupils in Year 10. It is also the base of
the Intervention Service, which provides behaviour support and therapy for pupils in Years 7
to 10, most often at the pupils’ mainstream schools
The Hive, Northfleet, provides education for pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4. It is also the base
for behaviour support, reintegration and outreach work in mainstream schools
Northcourt, Gravesend, provides education for up to 16 pupils in Year 11
Miracles, Gravesend, provides education for up to 16 pupils in Year 10.
- The service also commissions the YMCA in Dartford to provide education for up to 21 pupils in
- Pupils in Key Stages 1 to 3 receive short-term education from the service. The average length of
referral for these pupils is 14 weeks. The length of stay of pupils in Key Stage 4 varies
considerably. Many complete their education with the service, whilst a smaller proportion is
successfully reintegrated into mainstream school. Overall, a much larger number of pupils
attends the school on short-term placements than stays for long periods.
- Pupils on roll at the school have a history of disrupted education. Many are at risk of being, or
have been, excluded from mainstream school because of their attitudes and behaviour.
- All pupils have special educational needs. A very small number of pupils has statements of
special educational needs. The main needs of pupils are behavioural, emotional and social
- There is more than double the number of boys as girls on roll at the school.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium, which is additional funding
for looked after children, pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and children of service
families, is above average.
- Pupils mainly come from White British backgrounds.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the consistency of the quality of teaching, so that a greater proportion is outstanding,
by ensuring that:
work in lessons is always closely matched to the different abilities of individual pupils
marking of pupils’ work always shows pupils how it can be improved, gives them opportunities
and time to respond, and is followed up to check the impact on their learning.
|The achievement of pupils||is outstanding|
- Pupils’ attainment when pupils begin their placements with the service is almost always below
average. This is because they have often missed a significant amount of education through
exclusion, disengagement or absence.
- Pupils’ learning is often outstanding as a result of the exceptionally effective ways in which staff
help them re-engage with education. Pupils make especially rapid progress during short, fixed-
length placements which lead quickly to their successful reintegration to mainstream school. This
ensures that pupils are being well prepared for the next stage of their education.
- Pupils in all key stages make excellent progress in reading. For example, the youngest pupils
catch up well with learning the sequence of the alphabet and the sounds that letters make.
Pupils’ rapidly improving reading skills help pupils to have a better understanding of the
resources used in other lessons so that they make better progress overall. Their development is
supported well in a range of different subjects because they read regularly, not just in English
- Pupils make outstanding progress in English, particularly in Key Stage 3. Key Stage 4 pupils on
short-term placements make more rapid progress than pupils of similar age on long-term
placements. In lessons, pupils in Years 3 and 4 showed that they knew how to use a dictionary
and could use their knowledge of the sounds that letters make to spell and write unfamiliar
- Pupils who are known to be eligible for the pupil premium in Key Stages 1 and 2 have
maintained the same rate of progress as their peers, while pupils on short-term placements in
Key Stage 4 have made better progress than their peers in English. This is because part of the
funding has been used to provide staff training and resources for teaching literacy skills. This is
one of the ways that the school very effectively ensures there is equality of opportunity for all
- Pupils’ learning in numeracy and mathematics is also outstanding. In lessons, pupils usually
progress well from their starting points. However, pupils in Key Stage 3 classes did not all
demonstrate the same level of confidence when converting between using fractions, decimals
and percentages because work was not consistently well matched to their different abilities.
Pupils in Key Stage 4 make better progress in mathematics than they do in English.
- Pupils’ progress in information and communication technology (ICT) and science in Key Stages 1
and 2 is not as rapid as in other subjects. Pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4, however, make excellent
progress in these subjects.
- The attainment of most pupils improves by the time they finish their placement with the service,
although it remains low due to the short duration of the placement. Those who complete their
education with the service, or at the commissioned provision, successfully gain a range of
accredited qualifications including GCSEs. The school does not enter pupils early for GCSE
|The quality of teaching||is outstanding|
- Teachers and other adults in all centres consistently support pupils to improve their attitudes
and behaviour extremely well. The empathy they show to pupils throughout the school day,
together with the personalised approaches they take to managing the difficulties that pupils
experience, builds mutual respect very quickly. In this environment, and as a direct impact of
the teaching, pupils rapidly regain their enthusiasm for learning, settle quickly and make rapid
- Staff routinely have very high expectations of pupils’ work and behaviour. This demonstrates
clearly to pupils that the service has every confidence in their ability to be successful. It is highly
effective in motivating pupils and improving their self-esteem. In summarising many older pupils’
views of the most important characteristics of the service’s staff, one simply said, ‘They believe
- Where needed, staff manage pupils’ behaviour exceptionally well. This ensures that on the
occasions where pupils find it difficult to cope they are given appropriate alternatives that allow
learning to continue for all the other pupils. Pupils value the professional way in which staff help
them. The way in which staff model appropriate responses supports pupils’ social and moral
development very well.
- Teachers make accurate assessments of pupils’ learning and progress. They work effectively
with colleagues from within the service and from mainstream schools to check the accuracy of
these assessments. They use information from each pupil’s individual behaviour programme and
their targets for improvement to plan and teach lessons which are strongly linked to the
individual behavioural needs of the pupils in each class. However, the difficulty of work is not
always consistently well matched to the range of different abilities in all lessons. Lessons
regularly include appropriate opportunities for pupils to use their reading, writing, speaking and
- Teachers and other adults frequently check pupils’ learning and understanding during lessons.
They provide pupils with clear verbal feedback which helps pupils to improve their skills and
understanding. However, while the marking of pupils’ work is regular and provides comments
which identify areas for improvement, it does not consistently show them how the work can be
improved. Teachers do not routinely give pupils opportunities and time to respond to their
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- At the beginning of their referral to the service, pupils often have entrenched, negative views of
their abilities and low self-esteem because of previous failure at school.
- Pupils’ attitudes to school improve rapidly and significantly during their referral to the service.
This is because each centre provides a calm, nurturing environment where pupils can be
successful. Staff expertly rebuild pupils’ self-confidence. Pupils say, and show, that they enjoy
coming to school.
- Pupils’ attendance at school also improves significantly. For most pupils, a fresh start together
with renewed confidence and better support encourages more regular attendance. This was
particularly noted by one pupil who said, ‘I now look forward to coming to school.’ For others,
very effective work by learning mentors provides highly personalised, successful solutions to
more severe absence problems including, for example, making alternative transport
arrangements for pupils to get to school.
- All staff consistently use the service’s behaviour management and modification systems very
effectively. Pupils respond very well to the credit points system which is used to set individual
targets for behaviour improvement and provides a reminder of the high expectations and rules
that pupils are expected to follow.
- Pupils are very clear that staff and leaders at each centre take actions to help them overcome
the specific difficulties they experienced in mainstream school, such as anger control, for
example. They are very proud, both of their school and of their achievements, and make every
effort to keep to the rules. They support each other well. For example, in a science lesson for
Years 5 and 6, a pupil successfully encouraged one of his classmates to re-engage with the
lesson by offering to work with him.
- In classes and around the centres, pupils’ behaviour is often impeccable. This represents a very
significant improvement for all pupils and is another important factor in why pupils clearly state
that they feel very safe whilst at school.
- Both parents and staff have strongly positive views that pupils behave well and are safe whilst at
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- The executive headteacher, with the support of the senior leadership team and the management
committee, leads the service very effectively. As a team, they set high expectations for the
quality of teaching and support that is given to pupils to promote rapid improvement in their
attitudes, behaviour and attendance.
- School leaders have quickly and very successfully established high levels of consistency across
the service’s different centres. For example, the school rules, staff’s management of behaviour
difficulties and the way pupils’ behaviour targets are set and monitored are identical on all sites.
In securing this consistency and ensuring that pupils’ behaviour and learning makes rapid
progress during their placements, the school has demonstrated that it has a strong capacity to
continue to improve.
- The executive headteacher and her deputies ensure that accurate judgements are made about
the quality of teaching and its impact on pupils’ learning by sharing responsibility for monitoring
lessons across the service’s different centres. School leaders and the management committee
use information from their regular checks on the impact of teaching and support to devise
thorough and detailed plans for school improvement.
- There are very strong links between school improvement plans and the management of
teachers’ performance. All staff are very clear about the contribution they make to school
development. Training for staff is highly focused on the most important priorities for
improvement. Recent training, for example in teaching reading, has been provided to the whole
staff to establish common understanding and approaches in all centres.
- The executive headteacher has a comprehensive appreciation of the link between teachers’ pay
and their performance. However, the service has not yet fully implemented this aspect of
performance management because changes to the staff structure and a new pay policy are due
to come into effect in the new school year.
- The curriculum is very well suited to pupils’ needs. Placements for younger pupils make sure that
they continue to study key subjects so that they can return to mainstream school with improved
basic skills, but without having fallen behind in other subjects. Placements for older pupils are
more highly personalised and take account of factors which contributed to pupils’ referral to the
- The local authority provides light touch support for this outstanding school.
- Arrangements for safeguarding pupils’ well-being are secure and meet current requirements.
- The governance of the school:
The management committee, mostly made up of headteachers from local schools, provides
the service with expert support from those with up-to-date knowledge and skills. The
members routinely and rigorously challenge school leaders about the impact of the service on
pupils’ behaviour and learning. They recognise that they will need to incorporate more
rigorous checks on the links between teachers’ pay and their performance as the service
becomes more established. They also have appropriate plans to improve their monitoring of
pupil premium funding once the method for receiving this from referring schools is improved
in the new school year.
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 employment.
|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.
|Unique reference number||137955|
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||116|
|Appropriate authority||The local authority|
|Date of previous school inspection||Not previously inspected|
|Telephone number||01322 228395|
|Fax number||01322 294717|