School etc

Sneyd Community School Closed Aug. 31, 2011

Sneyd Community School
Vernon Way
Sneyd Lane
West Midlands

01922 *** ***

Headteacher: Dr Sean Sweeney

School holidays for Sneyd Community School via Walsall council

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Secondary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Close date
Aug. 31, 2011
Reason closed
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 398037, Northing: 302490
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.62, Longitude: -2.0304
Accepting pupils
11—18 years old
Ofsted last inspection
March 23, 2011
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Walsall North › Bloxwich West
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Maths and Computing (Operational)
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Learning provider ref #

Rooms & flats to rent in Walsall

Schools nearby

  1. Black Country UTC WS32PA (146 pupils)
  2. 0.4 miles Mossley Junior School WS32SQ
  3. 0.4 miles Mossley Infant School WS32SF
  4. 0.4 miles Abbey Primary School WS32RP (211 pupils)
  5. 0.4 miles Allens Rough Primary School WV125XB
  6. 0.4 miles Mossley Primary School WS32SQ
  7. 0.4 miles Jubilee Academy Mossley WS32SQ (235 pupils)
  8. 0.5 miles Beacon Infant School WV125HA
  9. 0.5 miles Beacon Junior School WV125HA
  10. 0.5 miles Beacon Primary School WV125HA (301 pupils)
  11. 0.6 miles Busill Jones Primary School WS32QF (293 pupils)
  12. 0.9 miles New Invention Infant School WV125SA (348 pupils)
  13. 0.9 miles New Invention Junior School WV125SA (329 pupils)
  14. 1 mile Sandbank Nursery School WS32HR (121 pupils)
  15. 1 mile Elmore Green Primary School WS32HW (313 pupils)
  16. 1 mile Woodlands Primary School WV125PR
  17. 1 mile Frank F Harrison Engineering College WS27NR
  18. 1 mile Mary Elliot School WS27NR (110 pupils)
  19. 1 mile St Alban's Church of England Primary School WV112PF (150 pupils)
  20. 1 mile Grace Academy B64TN
  21. 1 mile The Mirus Academy WS27NR (1207 pupils)
  22. 1 mile Woodlands Academy of Learning WV125PR (457 pupils)
  23. 1.1 mile Bloxwich CofE Primary School WS33LP (304 pupils)
  24. 1.1 mile All Saints Academy WS33LP

List of schools in Walsall

Sneyd Community School. A Specialist Maths and Computing College

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number104252
Local AuthorityWalsall
Inspection number336269
Inspection dates3–4 February 2010
Reporting inspectorDavinder Dosanjh HMI

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Type of schoolNursery
School categoryCommunity
Age range of pupils11–18
Gender of pupilsMixed
Gender of pupils in the sixth formMixed
Number of pupils on the school roll618
Of which, number on roll in the sixth form62
Appropriate authorityThe governing body
ChairStella Forsdike
HeadteacherSean Sweeney
Date of previous school inspection 12 November 2008
School addressVernon Way
Sneyd Lane, Bloxwich
Walsall WS3 2PA
Telephone number01922 710298
Fax number01922 473145

Age group11–18
Inspection dates3–4 February 2010
Inspection number336269

© Crown copyright 2009


This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and three additional inspectors. The majority of time was spent looking at teaching and learning, including the observation of 23 lessons and 10 short observations during a learning walk with a senior manager; 29 teachers were observed. Meetings were held with staff, groups of students and representatives of the interim executive board. Inspectors observed the school's work and looked at the school's action plan, the school's tracking data and a variety of documents and policies. They also scrutinised 83 parental questionnaires, 108 student questionnaires and 73 staff questionnaires.

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:

    • how well issues raised at the last inspection have been addressed
    • the rates of progress of all groups of students in the school
    • the quality of teaching and learning across the school
    • the effectiveness of the sixth form provision in meeting students' needs
    • the effectiveness of leaders and managers in monitoring, evaluating and improving performance.

Information about the school

Information about the school

Sneyd Community School is a specialist mathematics and computing college. It is smaller than the average secondary school and has a very small sixth form. The proportion of students eligible for free school meals is well above average. The vast majority of students are from White British backgrounds. The proportion of students identified with special educational needs and/or disabilities is similar to the national figure. An interim headteacher has been in post since November 2007.

When the school was inspected in November 2008, it was given a notice to improve. Significant improvement was required in pupils' achievement, in the quality of teaching and learning, and in the sixth form.

The local authority has taken the decision to close the school at the end of August 2012 so there will be no new Year 7 students joining the school. Current Year 9 students will be supported in a move to other schools before they start Year 10.

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

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?


The school's capacity for sustained improvement


Main findings

In accordance with section 13(3) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its students an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.

The school's leaders have faced a number of difficulties since it was given a notice to improve, which have hindered its progress. Key members of staff have left and a high number of students have transferred to other schools. The school has had to deal with a budget deficit, partly due to the falling roll, which has entailed making staff redundant. Attainment in 2009 showed a marked improvement on 2008 with the proportion of students who gained five or more GCSE passes at grades A* to C including English and mathematics increasing by eight percentage points. Despite this improvement, the figure remains well below the national average and below the Government minimum target of 30%. Students also make less than expected progress.

Under these difficult circumstances, the school's leaders remain positive and very committed. Faced with a legacy of underachievement, they have managed to accelerate students' progress and improve their attainment from a very low base despite severe staff shortages in English and mathematics and one third of staff employed on a temporary basis. Leaders have focused on ensuring that the drive for improvement continues by monitoring lessons and samples of work on a regular basis. Since the last inspection there have been improvements in the overall quality of education provided in the sixth form which is now satisfactory. The proportion of inadequate teaching has been reduced and staff supported to improve their practice. Care, guidance and support are now satisfactory. The school has established an effective system for tracking students' progress and subject leaders use this system very well to analyse students' results and target intervention.

The majority of students enjoy school and feel safe, but this is not always reflected in attendance which is low and declining. Behaviour is generally satisfactory, although a very small minority of students and staff raised some concerns about the management of poor behaviour. Some minor disruption occurs in lessons where activities are not challenging or engaging. Students' low levels of attainment, especially in basic skills, and their poor attendance demonstrate that they are not developing workplace skills adequately and are not prepared effectively for the next stage of their lives.

Teaching is satisfactory with an increasing proportion that is good. In the best lessons students are highly engaged and work is well matched to their different abilities; in others, work is not sufficiently demanding. Lessons are sometimes too dominated by teachers, and activities do not allow students to take responsibility for their own learning. There are limited opportunities across the curriculum for students to improve their literacy. The feedback given to students about what they need to do to improve is of inconsistent quality. The school's specialist status has not yet had a significant impact on raising students' attainment across the curriculum.

The capacity of the school to secure future improvement is very fragile. There are appropriate plans in place to tackle the continuing departure of teachers and senior leaders. However, although the school is accurate in the evaluation of its weaknesses, the rate of improvement is not consistent across the school and examination results in some subjects remain low. While teaching is improving, too much remains no better than satisfactory and is therefore not addressing the legacy of underachievement fast enough. The school continues to receive significant external support due to the difficult circumstances it faces.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Raise levels of attainment in all subjects by:
    • speeding up students' progress in lessons
    • eveloping a coordinated approach to literacy across the curriculum and increasing the number of planned literacy tasks in lessons.
  • Improve attendance by using existing data more effectively to target interventions at those students who are, or who are in danger of becoming, persistently absent.
  • Increase the proportion of good or better teaching by ensuring that:
    • all teachers plan lessons taking account of the full range of students' individual needs and ability levels
    • students are given challenging activities and more opportunities for independent learning
    • effective verbal feedback and consistently high-quality marking give students clear guidance on what they need to do to meet or exceed their targets.

Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils


Overall attainment in GCSE examinations is low. All groups underachieve, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. In the lessons observed by inspectors, students' progress was as expected, but their progress over time, as seen in many workbooks, was not always good enough.

Students say that they feel safe at school and that staff work hard, and successfully, to tackle bullying. Students treat the school facilities well and show respect for staff. Most students make healthy choices about the food that they eat, and many take part in extra-curricular activities. Their understanding of the dangers of smoking, drug-taking and alcohol is satisfactory, but they are less sure about sexual health risks and pregnancy. Students make a satisfactory contribution to their local community, for example by fund-raising for local charities. After a period of improvement, attendance has now fallen to below average. Students enjoy school when they are challenged in lessons and they are effectively supported in their learning. Students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is satisfactory.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attainment¹
          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 safe3
Pupils' behaviour3
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles3
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community3
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development3

1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low

How effective is the provision?

Where teaching was judged to be good or better, teachers used highly effective questioning to enable students to make progress and employed a wide variety of learning activities. For example, in English several students said that teaching was brilliant and that they enjoyed learning. There are examples of high-quality marking. In science, marking is diagnostic with comments from the teacher which clearly give advice about what the students need to do to get to the next level. However, elsewhere marking is frequently cursory, providing very little information about a student's performance, current working level or grade, or how to improve.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is well balanced, while at Key Stage 4 an alternative curriculum has increased the engagement of disaffected students. Students can take a range of examination pathways from 12 GCSEs to a combination of GCSEs and vocational qualifications. Information and communication technology is increasingly used to enhance teaching. There are a number of extra-curricular programmes, including booster classes and coursework sessions in virtually all subjects, and a range of sporting activities, including weight training. Trips abroad include skiing, and the creative arts are prominent with high-profile performances and choirs.

Students speak highly of the advice and guidance that they receive from the careers service. Students say that they feel supported to make choices about their next steps and that they have been well prepared for a move to another school. The school has a wide range of support in place for students. Participation in the education business partnership gives students access to a range of work experience opportunities and mock interviews in Year 11. There are robust procedures in place for keeping students safe during work experience. The provision for children who are looked after is satisfactory. The school has a range of successful behaviour management strategies to identify and support students who are exhibiting challenging behaviour. The recent provision of mentoring and coaching by dedicated staff appears to be having an impact on outcomes for some of the most vulnerable students.

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 partnerships3
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support3

How effective are leadership and management?

Despite the turbulence faced by the school, the headteacher has maintained effective day-to-day management while seeking to resolve staffing issues and accommodate the fall in student numbers. Staff remain proud to be part of the school and continue to ensure students have valuable support. Only a very small minority raised concerns about the leadership of the school and the closure. The comprehensive raising achievement plan provides a detailed overview of recent actions with some reference to impact and future plans. The school remains in the intensive support category of the Black Country Challenge. Although senior leaders are accurate in their assessment of the quality of teaching and learning, too much teaching remains no better than satisfactory. While a range of professional development has taken place for teachers, it has not yet had a significant impact.

Governance of the school is at a transition point; the intentions of the interim executive board, which contains some members of the former governing body, are to raise the level of challenge while supporting the school prior to its closure. The interim executive board monitors the school, effectively discharges its statutory duties and understands the school's strengths and weaknesses.

The school's relationship with parents is generally positive. Additional information evenings have taken place for gifted and talented students, which have been well attended. The school has a wide range of partnerships which support students effectively in their personal development and well-being. In particular, the alternative curriculum is leading to better attendance, improved behaviour and reduction of fixed-term and permanent exclusions. Safeguarding procedures meet statutory requirements. The school has satisfactory systems in place for monitoring these and gives high priority to those students potentially most at risk.

A clear analysis is undertaken of the performance of all groups. The school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination in a variety of curriculum areas and through assemblies. Very few incidents of racist behaviour are reported. The school has a detailed action plan in place to develop the promotion of community cohesion and greater engagement with the local community and beyond, but the evaluation of this is in the early stages.

Overall, in view of the inadequate achievement of students, the budget deficit, and the high number of staff on temporary contacts, the school does not provide adequate value for money.

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 carers3
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being3
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination3
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures3
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion3
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money4

Sixth form

The sixth form shows significant improvement since the last inspection, not least in students' performance at GCE A level. Based on their starting points when entering the sixth form, and as measured by examination outcomes, students make satisfactory progress. Most lessons also show students make satisfactory progress. Sometimes, there is too much teacher input and too few opportunities for independent learning, although in the best lessons teachers use challenging questions which require students to think, discuss and apply their prior learning to new situations. Teachers' subject knowledge is generally very good.

The school offers a satisfactory range of subjects to suit the needs of students. The allocation of time for courses in the sixth form is one hour short of that recommended for level 3 courses, which contributes to students' weak performance at GCE AS level. A satisfactory range of enrichment activities includes sports, visits to universities, trips to plays and overseas, and music and drama activities. Tracking procedures, which monitor the progress of students against targets, are much improved. Students feel well supported and have regular dates on which their progress is reviewed.

These are the grades for the sixth form

Overall effectiveness of the sixth form
Taking into account:
          Outcomes for students in the sixth form
          The quality of provision in the sixth form
          Leadership and management of the sixth form

Views of parents and carers

Views of parents and carers

Parents and carers who responded to the inspection questionnaire, although relatively few in number, are generally very positive about the school. Most parents and carers feel that the school keeps their child safe and that their child enjoys school. A very small minority disagrees that their child is being well prepared for the future, that the school takes account of suggestions and concerns and that the school is led and managed effectively. Parents were very supportive during the closure debate, and there has been disappointment arising from the recent decision to close the school. A number of individual parental concerns were discussed with the headteacher, who continues to respond to these.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of students registered at Sneyd Community School 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 inspection team received 83 completed questionnaires by the end of the

on-site inspection. In total, there are 618 students registered at the school.

My child enjoys school283451613411
The school keeps my child safe354245542200
My school informs me about my child's progress323945545600
My child is making enough progress at this school303647574511
The teaching is good at this school232855664500
The school helps me to support my child's learning192353647822
The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle222753647822
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)24294453201200
The school meets my child's particular needs212555667800
The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour283442516734
The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns2227506081000
The school is led and managed effectively2935435291100
Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school334043524522

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%.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade 1OutstandingThese features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2GoodThese are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3SatisfactoryThese features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4InadequateThese 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 of schools inspected between September 2007 and July 2008

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of schoolOutstandingGoodSatisfactoryInadequate
Nursery schools395830
Primary schools1350334
Secondary schools1740349
Sixth forms1843372
Special schools2654182
Pupil referral
All schools1549325

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.

The data in the table above were reported in the Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2007/08.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection judgements.

Common terminology used by inspectors


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.

Overall effectiveness:

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 school's capacity for sustained improvement.
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs,  including, where relevant, through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and support.

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.

This letter is provided for the school, parents and
carers to share with their children. It describes Ofsted's
main findings from the inspection of their school.

5 February 2010

Dear Students

Inspection of Sneyd Community School, Walsall WS3 2PA

Thank you for making the inspection team so welcome at your school. We all enjoyed talking with you and you helped us to find out about the school.

We found that the school has improved in some respects since the last inspection but at present it does not provide you with a satisfactory standard of education. We have therefore placed the school in 'special measures'. This will mean the school gets additional support and further visits will be made by inspectors to monitor the progress it is making. The school leaders have faced many difficult challenges arising from the decision to close the school including staffing changes and a falling roll. Staff at the school are determined to carry on providing you with effective support.

The positive changes made to the school include the improvements in the quality of education in the sixth form, the care and support you receive and the teaching, all of which are now satisfactory. Most of you, and your parents, think the school is a safe place. Behaviour is satisfactory and the curriculum enables you to study a range of courses. Examination results at GCSE, while improving, are still too low and the progress you are making is not as good as it should be. Your attendance is low overall. Leaders recognise the weaknesses in the school and are taking appropriate action.

We have asked the school to make the following improvements:

    • raise standards across all subjects and increase the number of literacy tasks you do in lessons
    • improve attendance
    • increase the proportion of teaching which is good or better.

The headteacher and school staff are already working hard to improve these areas.

We wish you well in the future.

Yours sincerely

Davinder Dosanjh

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: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email

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