Sandwell Community School
phone: 0121 5564951
head pupil referral unit: Mr Graham Angell
160 pupils capacity: 51% full
65 boys 79%
20 girls 24%
Last updated: July 21, 2014
— Pupil Referral Unit
- Establishment type
- Pupil Referral Unit
- Establishment #
- Open date
- May 14, 2007
- Reason open
- New Provision
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 400678, Northing: 293860
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.543, Longitude: -1.9914
- Accepting pupils
- 11—16 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 11, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › West Bromwich East › Hateley Heath
- 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 With EBD
- PRU Does have EBD provision
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- The Bridge Centre (KS4 Unit) B712JN
- Millfield School B712JN
- 0.2 miles Hall Green Primary School B712JQ (433 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Hall Green Junior School B712JQ
- 0.2 miles Hall Green Infant School B712JQ
- 0.3 miles Menzies High School Science College B712BX
- 0.3 miles The Phoenix Collegiate B712BX (1451 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Pennyhill Primary School B713BU (687 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Hollyhedge Primary School B713DJ
- 0.5 miles Moorlands Primary School B712NZ (209 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Charlemont Junior and Infant School B713DL
- 0.6 miles Joseph Edward Cox Junior School WS100JG
- 0.6 miles Joseph Edward Cox Infant School WS100JG
- 0.6 miles Kent Close Junior and Infant School B712SL
- 0.6 miles St John Bosco Catholic Primary School B712ST (261 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Wodensborough Community Technology College WS100DR
- 0.6 miles The Priory Primary School WS100JG (236 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Wodensborough Ormiston Academy WS100DR (963 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Tameside Infant School WS100EX
- 0.7 miles Tameside Junior School WS100EX
- 0.7 miles St Mary Magdalene CofE Voluntary Controlled Primary School B711RP (231 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Tameside Primary School WS100EZ (537 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Hateley Heath Junior School B712RP
- 0.8 miles Hateley Heath Infant School B712RP
Sandwell Community School
Westminster Road, West Bromwich, B71 2JN
|Inspection dates||11–12 June 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| The senior leadership team has quickly and |
The senior leadership team are successfully
The executive headteacher, senior leadership
All staff, feeder schools, the local authority
Good teaching across the whole school has
Regardless of their starting points, students
effectively reorganised the school to make
sure that all students receive a good
managing improvements in teaching and
team and governing body have created a
shared and focused vision for improvement.
parents and students have a full and agreed
understanding of the purpose of the school.
re-engaged students in learning and, as a
result, progress rates are rising.
make good progress in English, mathematics
| Due to positive relationships with staff, |
Parents are pleased with their children’s
The school offers a wide range of academic,
The governing body has structured itself well
students’ behaviour is good. Behaviour in
lessons and around the school is positive.
progress and the support of staff; they rightly
feel the school is a safe environment.
vocational and work-related learning
opportunities to support its core provision of
English, mathematics and science.
and uses the expertise of its members to be
highly challenging and supportive of the
| There is not a consistent approach to the |
collection, analysis and presentation of
information on students’ progress. This
results in teachers occasionally being unsure
about students’ skills and knowledge.
| The attendance of some of the hard-to-reach |
students is too low.
Information about this inspection
- The inspection team observed 26 lessons over all five sites, a number of which were joint
observations with different members of the senior leadership team.
- Discussions were held with members of the senior leadership team, groups of students, two
members of the governing body, a representative of the local authority, two parents, a
representative from the school’s support agencies, a representative from the local police force,
and a representative from one of the high schools the school serves. A telephone conversation
took place with an external provider.
- There were no responses to Parent View, the online parent questionnaire.
- The inspection team scrutinised students work, the information the school holds regarding the
progress students make, the leadership and management teams’ self-evaluation and school
development documentation and the policies and procedures relating to the safeguarding of
|Ronald Hall, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Glen Goddard||Additional Inspector|
|Jennifer Taylor||Additional Inspector|
|Roisin Chambers||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Sandwell Community School was formed in April 2013 by the amalgamation of five different
pupil referral units spread out across Sandwell. Some of the units stand alone on their own sites
and others are based on the sites of local high schools.
- Sandwell Community School is a Key Stages 3 and 4 pupil referral unit which caters for students
with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. An increasing number of students also have
other barriers to learning.
- Students have either been permanently excluded or are at risk of exclusion from their
- Some students have a statement of special educational needs, but many do not.
- The school population is predominantly of White British heritage.
- The proportion of students for whom the school receives the pupil premium, which is additional
government funding for students who are known to be eligible for free school meals or who are
looked after by the local authority, is above average.
- The school makes use of work and vocational opportunities at Start Right in Smethwick,
Groundworks in Sandwell and The Prince’s Trust Group in Sandwell.
- The school provides support for a number of schools, parents and other agencies in relation to
students with more complex needs.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Raise achievement across the school by:
ensuring that all leaders and managers within the school have a consistent approach to data
collection, analysis and presentation to ensure teachers have a good understanding of their
- Improve attendance across all the units, particularly for the hard-to-reach students, by:
developing and implementing a common approach to managing attendance
promoting positive attitudes to engaging in and enjoying learning
rapidly instigating the proposed computer-based learning programmes of study
ensuring that the students’ involvement in these programmes is well monitored and tracked.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- The vast majority of the students enter the school having had long-term disruption to their
education. Many have skills and knowledge well below those expected for their age. The staff
work effectively with their feeder high schools to create a clear baseline from which the students
can be developed. This in turn results in generally well-constructed, individualised programmes
of study in which students thrive.
- All students, regardless of their background, gender or ethnicity make good progress in
mathematics, English and science. Students also make good progress in other subjects such as
art, history and physical, health, social and emotional studies. Work in books and around the
various sites all show that progress over time has been good and is improving. Students’ art
work seen in several of the units is of a particularly high standard.
- The highly positive relationships created between staff and students enables the students to
quickly improve their behaviour and attitudes to learning. Progress in developing students’ social
skills is rapid. This was clearly seen during the short breaks the students have, in which they
took part in a variety of activities with respect and courteous consideration towards each other
and the staff supervising them.
- The improvements in behaviour have led to an increasing number of students catching up in
their achievement to the point that many now return to mainstream schools within two or three
terms of being placed in the school. This success was shown in the response of a high school
representative who stated: ‘Not only have exclusions in our school dropped but students return
to us without re-offending. They settle back into their lessons effectively and enjoy school.’
- The school makes good use of a range of external provision for its oldest students. Here
students thrive still further, gaining qualifications in mechanics, construction and a range of
vocational programmes. One of these providers was quick to explain to a member of the
inspection team just how well the students settled into and persevered with their courses: ’They
want to learn, to succeed and have very positive attitudes.’
- Students who receive extra support through the pupil premium make good progress in line with
that of their peers in the school. Many leave school with skills and knowledge in English and
mathematics approximately half a term above that of their peers. The school focuses spending
on one-to-one support and developing individualised programmes, which make use of a wide
range of learning opportunities, such as outdoor pursuit activities, to build confidence and self-
- Staff ensure that skills in reading, writing and spelling are an integral part of the students’
learning. Besides being taught in direct English lessons, these skills are carefully woven into all
subjects and this has led to rapid progress in the students’ abilities in these areas. In a science
lesson, the teacher began with a written element which effectively developed the students’
understanding of the subject language, the spellings of key words and phrases used.
- Mathematical skills are also taught both directly and within other lessons. Students are
encouraged to and happily participate in their own self-assessment of their work and behaviour.
In turn, students know how well they are progressing and what to do to improve further.
Students say they can progress at a faster rate in mathematics because staff explain their next
steps in learning well.
- Although teachers generally use students’ progress information well, this is not consistent and so
teachers occasionally find it difficult to fully gauge the skills and knowledge their students
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- The senior leadership team have worked with the local authority, its feeder high schools and
external consultants to raise the quality of teaching across the whole school. Parents and
students rightly feel that teaching is now typically good. As one parent stated, ‘My boy has learnt
more here in the last few months than he has done in his whole school life.’ A student summed
up their views saying, ’The teachers here listen to us, they talk to us and explain things
- Teachers plan lessons well to make sure that work meets the needs of all students in their
lesson. They make sure that resources are appropriate and that lessons are engaging. As one
student commented during a mathematics lesson, ‘The work is challenging but the staff really
explain it well, so we know what we are doing.’ Staff take great care to make sure that every
student, regardless of their ability, understands and makes appropriate progress.
- Staff constantly encourage students to do their best. This develops their confidence, self-esteem
and attitudes towards learning. In a challenging English lesson, students were studying forms of
poetry and language structures. Students’ responses to the excellent questioning of staff showed
that they had rapidly acquired the skills taught. They could relate the work to other aspects of
learning and took pride in their success.
- Students make excellent progress in their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding as
they reflect on the choices they make in life, the consequences of their actions and the effect
they may have on others. As the link police officer stated: ‘The way in which the staff work with
the students and support them in developing their behaviour means that they are less likely to
offend. Therefore, we are often able to deal with them through support rather than
- The other adults who support learning are fully involved in the assessment of the students’
progress throughout all lessons. They provide positive support to the students, through the use
of good questioning and discussion skills. In almost all lessons seen these adults encouraged
students to rise to the challenges set by the teachers and to do their best.
- Teachers use the information they collect during lessons well to change their lessons to suit the
rates of progress the students make and to keep their engagement. This was seen during a
science lesson where the students enjoyed the challenges set and the teacher varied the lesson
- Teachers generally use information on students’ progress effectively to plan for future learning.
However, as the way this information is presented varies across the school, this occasionally
causes concerns for teachers in its interpretation.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of students is good. There is a consistent approach across the whole school and
this has resulted in behaviour improving for all students. Both parents and students rightly feel
that behaviour is positive. As one student stated, ‘There are still odd times when someone loses
their temper but this is rare and staff deal with it well.’ A parent stated, ‘If it wasn’t for the way
the school helped my child improve, we might not have a home now.’
- Students are polite and respectful to both each other and adults. This in turn leads to their
positive attitudes in lessons, where students concentrate and persevere in their work. Students
show pride in their success and that of others. At the end of one lesson when students discussed
their achievement and behaviour, each not only gave an honest view of their contribution but
also that of others. All took pride from each other’s comments and the success of their peers.
- The school’s work to keep the students safe and secure is good. All areas of each site are secure
and well maintained. The governing body make sure that each site is safe and they review all
risk assessments, safeguarding procedures and policies. Staff are well trained in safeguarding
aspects, as are members of the governing body. The senior leadership team work well with the
local authority to make sure that their work in this area is robust.
- Students and parents rightly feel the school is a safe place to be. Students feel that staff keep
them safe and always want the best for them. This is clearly shown by the care taken to make
sure that external provision is also safe. The school carries out its own checks, draws up risk
assessments and carefully monitors students’ attendance and progress.
- Students have a good understanding of the various forms of bullying and say that it does not
happen in the school. They understand how to stay safe on the internet and state there are no
issues in the school regarding race, culture or homophobic behaviour. One student summed this
up effectively when they said: ‘Here we are all the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or
anything else and all staff respect that and no one pushes their views.’
- Students have a good understanding of how to stay safe both in and out of school. They are
more responsive to alternative choices and understand what a criminal record may do for their
future lives. Therefore, students are increasingly being positive citizens.
- As students’ behaviour has improved, the number of exclusions has reduced. However, in two
units there was a short period where a number of exclusions occurred during a period of
turnover in staffing. The senior leadership team reacted quickly and this rectified the situation.
- Attendance is rising and the average increase in attendance has been between 25% and 45%.
However, attendance is still not high enough for the hard-to-reach students in some units. The
school is in the process of initiating a computer-based learning programme. This will provide an
alternative form of learning for those students who are school phobic and struggle in any form of
school environment. It will also ensure the school can track students’ participation in learning.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Since the school was created in April 2013 the senior leadership team has worked hard to unite
all the units into an effective single school. They have rigorously monitored teaching and the
progress of students. The fact that the behaviour policy is consistent across all the units has
helped reduce behavioural issues.
- Leaders and managers at all levels have high expectations and aspirations for the students. All
staff share a common desire to improve. Positive external support from the local authority and
feeder high schools has helped the senior leadership team to moderate and develop the work of
the school. They use this support to moderate their initial assessments of the students and
ongoing assessments during their stay.
- The executive headteacher and governing body have created an effective interim management
structure and are moving to a model based on the lines of a mainstream school. All areas of the
school are improving effectively, but the senior leadership team are aware of the need to
accelerate this process.
- The senior leaders and managers have an accurate view of the school based on evidence
collected by all the heads of the units. This means self-evaluation is accurate and the school
improvement plan is well constructed. The senior leadership team have introduced further
training for all staff in order to make sure the students receive the best teaching possible.
- The school goes out of its way to ensure that everyone who learns and works in the school has
an equal opportunity to achieve at their very best. Performance management systems are used
effectively to both raise the quality of teachers’ performance and their personal development.
They are also used to eliminate any underperformance of teaching. Students are provided with
every opportunity to achieve in a wide range of learning and social opportunities.
- The senior leadership team allocate pupil premium funding effectively. It provides one to one
support for a number of students and support for families. A range of resources have been
purchased to make sure all the students’ needs are fully met. This has resulted in these students
making progress at least in line with their peers in school. They leave the school with skills and
knowledge approximately a term above their peers.
- Safeguarding arrangements meet current requirements and these are closely linked to the
school’s behaviour policy and procedures. Linked to these elements are a wide range of
specialist agencies, the police, medical specialists and the high schools the school serves. This
provides a ‘wrap-around approach’ to all the work the school does to ensure that students leave
the school with the best possible life chances.
- The executive headteacher and governing body have ensured that most policies and procedures
are consistent across the whole school. However, the senior leadership team are aware that the
inconsistency of approach in the collection and interpretation of information regarding students’
progress could be improved.
- The local authority provides good support to the school and supports all aspects of its
- The governance of the school:
The governing body has created a robust structure and is using the strengths of its members
very effectively to both challenge and support the school. They know the school very well
based on evidence from their visits. Governors moved quickly to make sure there is a common
behaviour policy across the school. They have assisted the headteacher in creating a
management structure modelled on a mainstream school. Members of the governing body
have attended appropriate training to help them hold the school to account for all aspects of
its performance. The governing body carry out their safeguarding duties effectively and check
that statutory requirements are met. Members know how well the students are doing in all
aspects of their learning. They are aware that there is a need to bring about a greater
continuity of collection, analysis and presentation of students’ progress. They have a good
understanding of the quality of teaching and make sure that teachers’ pay and professional
development is closely linked to students’ progress.
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||135254|
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||11-16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||183|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Executive Headteacher||Graham Angell|
|Date of previous school inspection||24 January 2011|
|Telephone number||0121 556 4951|
|Fax number||0121 588 7449|