School etc

Second Chances

Second Chances
The Vine Trust Walsall
33 Lower Hall Lane
West Midlands

phone: 01922 621951

headed by: Ms J Concannon

school holidays: via Walsall council

20 pupils aged 13—15y mixed gender
24 pupils capacity: 83% full

15 boys 75%


5 girls 25%


Last updated: Sept. 15, 2014

— Other Independent School

Religious character
Establishment type
Other Independent School
Establishment #
Open date
Aug. 29, 2003
Reason open
New Provision
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 401246, Northing: 298238
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.582, Longitude: -1.983
Accepting pupils
14—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Walsall South › St Matthew's
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Walsall

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Independent Learning Centre WS13NQ
  2. 0.1 miles Walsall Studio School WS11RL (74 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Blue Coat Church of England Aided Infant School WS13AF (316 pupils)
  4. 0.3 miles Blue Coat Church of England Comprehensive School A Performing Arts Specialist College WS12ND
  5. 0.3 miles Blue Coat Church of England Academy, Walsall WS12ND (643 pupils)
  6. 0.4 miles Caldmore Village Primary School WS13RH (302 pupils)
  7. 0.4 miles Blue Coat Church of England Aided Junior School WS12LP (347 pupils)
  8. 0.4 miles Pregnant Schoolgirls' Teaching Unit WS28EN
  9. 0.5 miles Walsall College WS28ES
  10. 0.6 miles Chuckery Junior School WS12DZ
  11. 0.6 miles Chuckery Infant School WS12DZ
  12. 0.6 miles Palfrey Infant School WS14HY (333 pupils)
  13. 0.6 miles Birchills Church of England Primary Community School WS28NF
  14. 0.6 miles St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, Walsall WS28HN (247 pupils)
  15. 0.6 miles Queen Mary's High School WS42AE
  16. 0.6 miles Mayfield Preparatory School WS12PD (212 pupils)
  17. 0.6 miles Birchills CofE Infant School WS28UH
  18. 0.6 miles Birchills CofE Junior School WS28UH
  19. 0.6 miles Emmanuel School WS28PR (132 pupils)
  20. 0.6 miles Chuckery Primary School WS12DZ (456 pupils)
  21. 0.6 miles Abu Bakr Girls School WS14JJ (348 pupils)
  22. 0.6 miles Queen Mary's High School WS42AE (660 pupils)
  23. 0.6 miles Birchills Church of England Community Academy WS28NF (413 pupils)
  24. 0.7 miles Butts Primary School WS42AH (254 pupils)

List of schools in Walsall

Progress monitoring school report

Second Chances

The Vine Trust Walsall, 33 Lower Hall Lane, Walsall, WS1 1RR

Inspection dates 17 March 2015
Overall outcome Independent school standards met

Context of the inspection

  • This inspection was undertaken at the request of the registration authority for
    independent schools in order to follow up the school’s progress in meeting the
    regulations for independent schools. This was an unannounced inspection.
  • The school’s last full inspection was in January 2014. It was judged to be inadequate
    overall. Many standards were not met. This reflected significant weaknesses in the
    curriculum and the quality of teaching. In addition, the inspection report noted failings
    in the school’s policies to support good behaviour and tackle bullying, and in the
    information made available to parents and others.
  • The school produced an action plan for improvement in February 2014, which was
    evaluated in March of that year. The action plan was judged to require improvement as
    some actions were not planned in enough detail.
  • The school received its first and second progress monitoring inspection visits in June
    2014 and October 2014 respectively. These inspections noted that the school had
    amended its action plan. Many of the actions were completed successfully and so the
    school met many of the previously failed standards. However, some requirements
    remained unmet.
  • This is the third monitoring inspection visit made to the school to check whether the
    school has rectified the remaining weaknesses identified in the second progress
    monitoring inspection visit of October 2014.
  • The school was not requested by the Department for Education to produce an action
    plan prior to this visit. The inspector had access to the school’s earlier amended action
    plan; this was provided by the school.
    Main findings
  • The inspection of October 2014 found that staff had not received training to improve the
    quality of learning and teaching and that plans to monitor, evaluate and review the
    quality of teaching had not been implemented. As a consequence, teaching was not
    good enough to ensure that students made rapid and sustained progress across
  • Since the previous progress monitoring inspection, the school has developed a
    partnership with Wood Green Academy, an outstanding state maintained academy. Staff
    have received training from Wood Green Academy on assessment of, and providing
    feedback on, students’ work, teaching strategies and approaches, and on improving
    students’ literacy skills and revision techniques.
  • School leaders now frequently monitor and evaluate the quality of learning and
    teaching. This is done through lesson observations, brief visits to classrooms to monitor
    students’ learning and six-weekly checks on students’ progress in all subjects. Teachers’
    strengths and areas for improvement are identified and appropriate training put in place
    to improve teachers’ performance. Leaders’ judgements on the quality of teaching and
    students’ learning have been checked by the headteacher of a local studio school and
    also by Wood Green Academy staff.
  • As a result, the work in students’ books, information provided by the school and
    students’ learning observed during this inspection show that most students are
    improving their knowledge, skills and understanding in a range of subjects, particularly
    in English and mathematics.
  • The previous inspection in October 2014 found that staff did not have sufficient
    information about students’ knowledge and understanding to plan appropriately for
    students’ differing learning needs and abilities. As a result, students did not make the
    progress expected of them.
  • This inspection found that school leaders assess students’ needs and abilities when they
    enter the school. This information is shared with staff. Teachers now use the
    information to direct the work of teaching assistants and to provide appropriate support
    and guidance to individual students.
  • Staff regularly check students’ knowledge and understanding through effective
    questioning in class, marking of students’ work and summative topic tests in all
    subjects. Staff use the information from these assessments to plan learning
    opportunities that meet the needs of individual students. As a consequence, most
    students are now making the progress expected of them, particularly in English and
  • The inspection in October 2014 found that teachers’ assessment of students’ work and
    progress was inconsistent across subjects. In addition, not all members of staff had
    sufficient information about students’ knowledge, skills and understanding and what
    needed to be provided to speed up students’ progress.
  • This inspection found that the school now has a systematic procedure for assessing
    students’ needs and abilities on entry to the school. This is achieved by gathering
    information from the students’ host school, formal interviews with the student, students’
    parents and host school’s staff and a range of commercial diagnostic tests.
  • Staff use this information to plan appropriate learning opportunities. As a result, the
    work in students’ books, information provided by the school and students’ learning
    observed during this inspection show that most students are making the progress
    expected of them across all subjects, particularly in English and mathematics.
  • The requirements for the quality of teaching are now fully met.
    Welfare, health and safety
  • The inspection in October 2014 found that anti-bullying messages had not been
    delivered through the curriculum. As a result, not all students were clear about the
    school’s strategies to tackle bullying.
  • This inspection found that the school has a range of strategies to develop students’
    knowledge and understanding of bullying. These include participation in national anti-
    bullying week, all students signing the school’s ‘Respect Agreement’ and anti-bullying
    policy during the students’ initial interview, anti-bullying work through personal, social
    and health education and citizenship lessons and work with outside groups, for example,
    the ‘Black Sisters’ Cooperative group’ and the police.
  • Most students are clear about the school’s strategies to tackle bullying. Students’
    relationships with staff and each other are positive and contribute to a calm and
    purposeful atmosphere in the school.
  • School leaders monitor and evaluate the number of bullying incidents. Most students
    agree that the school deals quickly and effectively with incidents of bullying.
  • As a result, information provided by the school shows that, since the last progress
    monitoring inspection, the number of bullying incidents has dropped significantly.
  • Therefore, this standard is now fully met.
    Compliance with regulatory requirements
    The school meets The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014
    and associated requirements

Inspection team

Peter Humphries, Lead inspector Her Majesty’s Inspector

Information about this school

  • Second Chances is a small independent day school, with a Christian ethos, in Walsall. It
    opened in 2004 and is registered for up 24 students aged from 14 to 16 years. It makes
    alternative provision for students at risk of exclusion from schools and academies in a
    number of local authority areas in the vicinity.
  • All students start at the school following a period of disrupted education which has had
    an adverse impact on their achievement.
  • Most students have a range of social and emotional difficulties. One student has a
    statement of special educational needs. All students are dual registered and are on the
    rolls of their host schools.
  • There are currently eight male and nine female students on roll. One student attends
    the school on a part-time basis.
  • The school makes use of the facilities and expertise at a local leisure centre for physical
    education lessons.
  • The school is part of the Vine Educational Trust and its aim is ‘to be an exemplar in an
    educational system where young people outside traditional school can reach their full
    academic and vocational potential’.
  • An executive headteacher was appointed in September 2014. A school manager, with
    responsibility for the day-to-day running of the school, was appointed in January 2015.
  • The school works in collaboration with Wood Green Academy, an outstanding state-
    maintained academy in Wednesbury.

School details

Unique reference number 134414
Inspection number 455635
DfE registration number 355/6012

This inspection was conducted at the request of the registration authority for independent schools.
It was carried out under section 109(1) and (2) of the Education and Skills Act 2008.

Type of school Secondary
School status Independent
Age range of pupils 14–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 18
Number of part-time pupils 1
Proprietor The Vine Education Trust
Chair John Proctor
Executive headteacher Rob Grant
Date of previous school inspection 17 October 2014
Fees £260 per week
Telephone number 01922 621951
Fax number 01922 621984
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