School etc

Sneyd Community School Closed Aug. 31, 2011

Sneyd Community School
Vernon Way
Sneyd Lane
West Midlands

phone: 01922 *** ***

headteacher: Dr Sean Sweeney

school holidays: via Walsall council

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 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

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 104252
Local Authority Walsall
Inspect ion number 363380
Inspect ion dates 23–24 March 2011
Reporting inspector Brian Cartwright HMI

This inspection was carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005 which gives Her Majesty's Chief
Inspector of Education, Children's Services and S kills (HMCI) the authority to cause any school to be
inspected. The inspection was also deemed a section 5 inspection under the same Act.

Type of school Comprehensive
School category Community
Age range of pupils 11–18
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 169
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Stella Forsdike
Headteacher Lesley Clarke
Date of prev ious school inspection 3 February 2010
School address Vernon Way
Sneyd Lane
Bloxwich WS3 2PA
Telephone number 01922 710298
Fax number 01922 473145
Email address reveal email: head…
Age group 11–18
Inspect ion dates 23–24 March 2011
Inspect ion number 363380


This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majestys Inspectors. He observed 13 lessons
of 13 teachers, met with school leaders and managers, teaching and support staff, parents
and carers, representatives of the local authority, the School Improvement Partner, the
executive headteacher, the Chair of the Interim Executive Board, and groups of students.
He observed the schools work, and looked at records of students achievement, records of
governors meetings and monitoring reports by the local authority.
The inspector reviewed many aspects of the schools work. He looked in detail at a number
of key areas.
The extent to which students are on track to reach their expected targets.
The impact of partnerships on improving the quality of teaching and learning.

Information about the school

When Sneyd Community School was inspected in February 2010, it was judged to require
special measures. Subsequently, the school was inspected on three occasions. At the
previous monitoring inspection, the school was judged to be making good progress. The
school will close at the end of the summer term 2011. There are no sixth form, Year 10 or
Year 7 students in school. There are small numbers of Year 8 and Year 9 students
remaining who will transfer to other secondary provision, and 132 Year 11 students due to
complete their compulsory education in June 2011. At the start of the autumn term 2010,
a formal partnership between Barr Beacon School and Sneyd Community School was
established. The headteacher of Barr Beacon operates as the executive headteacher of the
partnership; a Barr Beacon deputy headteacher is deployed full time to Sneyd as its
headteacher. Another assistant headteacher from Barr Beacon is now full-time deputy
headteacher at Sneyd. Other specialist teachers have been deployed to Sneyd to help
ensure sufficient curriculum expertise as staff at Sneyd leave, prior to its closure.
Currently, the proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is well
above the national average. The proportion of students with special educational needs
and/or disabilities is higher than average. The proportion of students with a statement of
special educational needs is average. The proportion of students who speak English as an
additional language is low. The proportion of students from non-White British backgrounds
is low. The school is a specialist mathematics and computing college.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, 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? 3
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 2

Main findings

In accordance with section 13 (4) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majestys Chief Inspector
is of the opinion that the school no longer requires special measures.
Sneyd Community School is now providing a satisfactory and improving quality of
education. Despite the challenges that inevitably surround school closure, morale and
confidence among staff and students are high; this is clear testimony to the excellent
leadership of the headteacher. The outstanding partnership with Barr Beacon School has
been instrumental in catalysing the rapid improvement of teaching and learning and lies
behind the good capacity for further improvement in the remaining few months of the
schools operation. Teachers, students and their parents and carers are now rightly
confident that they are well supported and that discipline is firmly and consistently applied
where necessary. A parent said that staff had turned their child back onto school.
Students in Year 11 are making good progress and have already achieved much better
results in early GCSE entries than in previous years. In the subjects where results are
already available, students have exceeded predictions based on their prior attainment.
Students spoke very positively about the way they see staff as going the extra mile to help
improve results. One said, They are actually willing to help. Consequently, the attitude of
the vast majority of Year 11 students to their classroom learning is good, and an
important factor in their good progress. Teachers have been able to concentrate fully on
improving their own provision through effective staff development and support led by Barr
Beacon and local authority advisory staff.
Students now enjoy school much more, and speak highly of the positive support and
encouragement they get from teaching and support staff. Teachers have worked hard, in
collaboration with Connexions and the local authority, to try to ensure students and their
parents and carers know of the transition routes away from Sneyd, either to post-16
provision, or to other school providers. Parents and carers also spoke highly of the
detailed support, advice and resources that the school has given them to help their
children learn at home. There are now very good measures in place to encourage students
with poor records of attendance to attend more frequently, including very good liaison
between the schools parent support worker and the local education welfare officer. At the
same time, the attendance of the students who are not subject to specific attendance
support plans has also increased sharply, although remains below average.
Written lesson plans do not always identify which tasks each different ability student
would best tackle. But in practice the very good knowledge that teachers have of their
class means that this differentiation is taking place in the majority of classrooms as
lessons progress. There are constructive conversations between teachers and students
that encourage, direct and challenge each learner, and usually a range of supporting

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

resources to hand that will stretch their thinking. Students get good written feedback on
how they could further improve their work in most, but not all, subjects.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Further consolidate lesson planning to ensure students are set activities that match
    their prior attainment and knowledge from the outset.
  • Make sure every teacher is regularly providing detailed information to students on
    how to improve their work.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 3

The attainment of students when they started school was on average lower than that
found in most secondary schools. In previous years, including up to the summer of 2010,
students made inadequate progress and achieved low standards. All groups of learners,
including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities in the current Year 11,
are making good progress now, and are progressing well towards broadly average
attainment; that is already evident in English and for the majority of students in
mathematics. That should give them a sound preparation for future study or employment.
Attainment of Years 8 and 9 students remains lower than average although their progress
was good in the lessons observed.
In most lessons, students learn well, including those with special educational needs and/or
disabilities, and participate well in classroom activities. Individual support for learners who
need extra help is effective and unobtrusive. Students now recognise what good teaching
is like, and have responded by trying hard to meet the higher expectations placed upon
them, compared to previous years. An increasing number of Year 11 students stay at
school for extra lessons although some are not yet consistently completing homework
tasks on time, and one or two are not punctual enough to lessons. Some students, rightly,
expressed some disappointment in looking back at the weaknesses of their previous
learning experience, but are now very pleased with the quality and commitment they are
experiencing from teachers and support staff. This includes good support for moving on to
their next stages in education.
Year 11 students are fully focused on getting the best out of their next few weeks of
study; the sharply falling roll has limited opportunities for them to take on much by way of
responsibilities, although it does means they have, and enjoy, good opportunities to talk
with senior staff about school life and areas they would like to see improve. Three
students have presented their ideas about the schools future to local councillors. Students
feel safe and well looked after, and almost all have improved their attendance from last
year. The proportion of serious disciplinary offences is decreasing and is typical for
secondary schools; students thought the new headteacher was strict, but also fair in her
enforcement of school rules. The school provides a reasonable range of spiritual and
cultural experiences although students have not had enough regular opportunities to work
alongside others from different backgrounds.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning 3
Taking into account:
Pupils' attainment¹
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress 2
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities
and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe 2
Pupils' behaviour 3
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles 3
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:
Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 3


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?

Teaching has improved rapidly, thanks to the hard work and professional approach of staff
coupled to excellent external support from Barr Beacon and local authority advisory staff.
During the inspection, the large majority of teaching seen was good, with nothing that
was inadequate. Some lessons were outstanding. For example in a Year 11 English lesson
for students working at lower GCSE levels, the skilled questioning of students by the
teacher helped the whole class to understand the very highest level of ideas hidden within
a poem by Jonathan Swift. The debate and discussion proceeded with pace and good
humour. There was brilliant use by the teacher of her exceptional skills in verbal and non-
verbal communication that lifted the spirits of each pupil that she addressed, and they
tried their utmost to respond, at the limit of their abilities. For half an hour or so, those
students experienced their full potential to think, reason, argue and debate. Another,
much lower key, but equally outstanding, mathematics lesson took students through
difficult spatial awareness problems, again stretching and challenging, provoking debate,
mixing written with practical work, assigning different levels of challenge appropriate to
ability. Here, the real effort had gone into the planning, leaving the teacher free to
circulate, listen and talk to individual students, and continuously assess each students
progress in learning.
The curriculum is satisfactory, with every effort being made by the school to maintain
specialist teachers delivering subjects; that includes using partners from Barr Beacon or

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

the local authority where necessary in drama, science and information and communication
technology (ICT). The impact of the mathematics and computing specialism has been
weak in the past until this academic years arrival of additional support and expertise from
Barr Beacon. There is a range of additional activities, including some cross-curricular
sessions in Key Stage 3, designed to promote creative thinking. Joint international visits
with Barr Beacon have helped retain access to these enrichment activities despite the
small size of the school. A minority of students take part in a range of additional sporting
activities after school.
Students are all known well by their teachers and supporting staff, and this ensures that
individual support, advice and guidance is quickly available. The school in partnership with
the local authority has made good arrangements to meet parents and carers, and involve
other providers, in managing the transition of students out of the school. Parents and
carers are provided with detailed information evenings, and resources for home use to
help their children revise for English and mathematics GCSE courses. All Year 11 students
have had personal interviews with Connexions staff. Students whose circumstances make
them potentially vulnerable are closely monitored; the school can call quickly upon a range
of support agencies, and also has an effective parent support worker who knows families

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching 2
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 2

How effective are leadership and management?

The headteacher has, in a very short time, expertly led the school by firmly insisting that
everyone focuses on classroom quality, irrespective of the challenging personal
circumstances faced by all the staff. She has sustained their morale as a closely knit team
of professionals, and helped them to bring about further improvements in the quality of
their teaching. Staff and students correctly have considerable respect for the headteachers
own inclusive approach, and rely on her to maximise their future success. She promotes
the success and achievement of each child under her care, irrespective of their
backgrounds, talents or attitudes, and as a result students (and staff) of different
backgrounds know they are being equally well supported.
The interim executive board has dealt effectively with the numerous distractions
surrounding school closure and potential re-use of the building, while enabling the
headteacher to focus on the day-to-day running of the school. It gives good oversight of
statutory requirements and policies to keep school users safe, with effective,
knowledgeable and experienced staff in charge of delivering those policies well. There are
good links to specialist agencies for meeting the needs of the most vulnerable of students,

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

and also in meeting the challenges of school closure. The circumstances of school closure,
with shrinking resources and declining staff and student numbers, have compromised the
capacity of the school to actively promote community cohesion; indeed some elements of

the community argue that school closure runs counter to promoting cohesion. But

students are taught well enough about life in a modern multicultural United Kingdom, and
have growing opportunities through joint trips and visits with Barr Beacon School to meet
other students from different cultural backgrounds.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving
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 2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles
discriminat ion
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 3
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 3

Views of parents and carers

Parents and carers questionnaires are not normally distributed for monitoring inspections
conducted under section 8 of the Education Act 2005, unless inspectors have specific
reasons to request that the school does so.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Parental questionnaires are not normally distributed for inspections conducted under

section 8 of the Education Act 2005, unless inspectors have specific reasons to request

that the school does so.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding 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 of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 59 35 3 3
Primary schools 9 44 39 7
Secondary schools 13 36 41 11
Sixth forms 15 39 43 3
Special schools 35 43 17 5
Pupil referral units 21 42 29 9
All schools 13 43 37 8

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 are for the period 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010 and are consistent with
the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes (see

The sample of schools inspected during 2009/10 was not representative of all schools nationally, as weaker
schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Sixth form figures reflect the judgements made for the overall effectiveness of the sixth form in secondary
schools, special schools and pupil referral units.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their learning,
development or training.
Attainment: 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.
Learning: 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
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
The quality of teaching.
The extent to which the curriculum meets
The effectiveness of care, guidance and
pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships.
Progress: 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.

25 March 2011
Dear Students

Inspection of Sneyd Community School, Walsall, WS3 2PA

Thank for your positive welcome and open discussions with me during my inspection of
your school. I agree with you that the school has improved substantially since its
inspection over a year ago. Most of this improvement can be traced to the excellent
leadership of your current headteacher and the efforts she has inspired all of your
teachers to make in trying to ensure you make the best of the final few months of the
schools operation. The quality of teaching I saw was good, and I noted that almost all of
you were working hard in lessons, and enjoying them as you mastered new skills.
I agree with you and your parents and carers that teachers, support staff and the wider
support from Barr Beacon and the local authority are doing all they can to ease your
transition to your next school, or college placement. The progress you are making is
currently good, with every chance that you should meet the challenging targets set for
you. I am pleased that your attendance is improving, as you come to enjoy learning more
and also recognise just how important good qualifications are to shaping your future
There are two areas of teaching that should be more consistent, in order to further
increase your success. In the majority of lessons, teachers know you well enough to
challenge your thinking at the limits of your ability, but sometimes, their lesson plans do
not differentiate between your various talents and prior knowledge and that can result in
some students working on tasks that are too easy or too hard. Many teachers give you
detailed written feedback on how to improve work, but this is not happening in every
lesson. It would also help you if you tried to act on that advice promptly.
I wish you all the best of success in your futures.
Yours sincerely

Brian Cartwright
Her Majesty's Inspector


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