School etc

Stephenson Academy

Stephenson Academy
Milton Keynes

phone: 01908 889400

principal: Dr Neil Barrett

reveal email: gate…


school holidays: via Milton Keynes council

55 pupils aged 11—16y mixed gender
60 pupils capacity: 92% full

50 boys 91%


5 girls 9%

Last updated: June 24, 2014

— Academy Special Sponsor Led

Establishment type
Academy Special Sponsor Led
Establishment #
Open date
April 1, 2012
Reason open
New Provision
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 484950, Northing: 241505
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.065, Longitude: -0.76219
Accepting pupils
13—19 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
July 2, 2013
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Milton Keynes North › Stantonbury
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Main specialism
SEN behavioural, emotional and social development (Operational)
SEN priorities
BESD - Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Free school meals %
Trust school
Is supported by a Trust
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Milton Keynes

Schools nearby

  1. The Gatehouse School MK146AX
  2. North Personalised Education Centre (NPEC) MK146AX
  3. Bridge Academy MK146AX (79 pupils)
  4. 0.2 miles Wood End First School MK146BB (81 pupils)
  5. 0.3 miles Great Linford Primary School MK145BL (234 pupils)
  6. 0.3 miles The Webber Independent School MK146DP (140 pupils)
  7. 0.4 miles St Andrew's CofE Infant School MK145AX (39 pupils)
  8. 0.5 miles St Monica's Catholic Primary School MK146HB (464 pupils)
  9. 0.5 miles Stantonbury Campus MK146BN (1984 pupils)
  10. 0.5 miles Stantonbury Campus South MK146BN
  11. 0.6 miles Brooksward Middle School MK146JZ
  12. 0.6 miles Brooksward First School MK146JZ
  13. 0.6 miles Brooksward School MK146JZ (283 pupils)
  14. 0.7 miles Stanton School MK137BE (204 pupils)
  15. 0.9 miles Giffard Park Primary School MK145PY (383 pupils)
  16. 1 mile Pepper Hill School MK137BQ (177 pupils)
  17. 1 mile Southwood School MK147AR (189 pupils)
  18. 1 mile Downs Barn School MK147NA (113 pupils)
  19. 1.2 mile Germander Park School MK147DU (106 pupils)
  20. 1.3 mile New Bradwell School MK130BQ (461 pupils)
  21. 1.3 mile Priory Common School MK139EZ (177 pupils)
  22. 1.3 mile Heelands School MK137QL (101 pupils)
  23. 1.4 mile Bradwell Village School MK139AZ (283 pupils)
  24. 1.4 mile Willen Primary School MK159HN (374 pupils)

List of schools in Milton Keynes

School report

Stephenson Academy

Crosslands, Stantonbury, Milton Keynes, MK14 6AX

Inspection dates 24–25 June 2015
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous inspection: Requires Improvement 3
Leadership and management Outstanding 1
Behaviour and safety of pupils Good 2
Quality of teaching Good 2
Achievement of pupils Good 2
Sixth form provision Good 2

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school
It is not yet an outstanding school because

Outstanding leadership has made sure that
High quality staff training and rigorous checks on
The majority of students in Year 11 now achieve
The governing body has an excellent range of
Governors make very effective use of additional
Parents told inspectors that the school had
teaching and achievement have improved rapidly
since the previous inspection. Senior leaders,
managers and governors have all contributed to
the improvements since the last inspection.
the quality of teaching have resulted in most
students making good or better progress in
English, mathematics and science.
a wide range of accreditation before they leave
the school. These include GCSE passes at A* to G
grades and BTEC and entry-level qualifications.
These prepare students well for their futures.
skills and knows how well the school is achieving.
Governors provide rigorous challenge to leaders
about students' behaviour and progress.
government funding. They carefully check that it
is used effectively so that disadvantaged students
can achieve as well as others and sometimes
turned their children's lives around and that they
receive high quality support.
Students benefit from exciting activities that
The range of subjects and topics provided meet
Behaviour is good. Students say that they feel like
Almost all students improve their attendance when
Teaching has improved so that it is consistently
Staff are overwhelmingly positive about leadership
The sixth form is good. Leaders make sure that
contribute to their good spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development. For example, they visit the
Normandy battlefields and a German concentration
students’ needs and abilities well. Therapies help
students to develop the confidence to take part in
all that the school offers. As a result their
behaviour and personal skills improve rapidly.
a big family. One said, 'You help your family and
that's what we're like here. We try to help each
other.' Students are safe at school.
they start at the school because they receive
effective rewards that they value highly.
good and sometimes outstanding. Students' work
is marked well with helpful ideas about how they
can improve further. They receive effective support
from teaching assistants.
and management of the school and their work.
students achieve well on their accredited courses.
A minority of students do not make rapid enough
progress in English and mathematics.
A small number of students do not stay in lessons
long enough to benefit from the learning provided.

Information about this inspection

  • The inspectors observed students' learning in 17 lessons, all jointly with the executive principal or the
    deputy principal. Inspectors also listened to some younger students reading.
  • Inspectors had lunch with students and talked to different groups about their school and about their
  • One of the inspectors observed learning and talked to leaders, staff and students at the off-site provision
    at Bradwell Abbey.
  • The inspectors held meetings with the executive headteacher, senior and middle leaders, the Vice-Chair of
    the Governing Body and the Head of the Academy Trust.
  • Inspectors observed the school’s work and looked at several documents. These included the school’s own
    information about students’ progress, planning and monitoring documents, safeguarding information and
    students’ books.
  • Parents attending a coffee morning at the academy spoke to an inspector and shared their views about
    the school and their child’s progress; there were too few responses to the Ofsted online survey (Parent
    View) questionnaire to be considered. Questionnaires from 20 staff were also taken into account.

Inspection team

Denise Morris, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Jackie Blount Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • This academy caters for secondary-aged students with social, emotional and mental health needs from
    across Milton Keynes and neighbouring counties. A Pupil Referral Unit, 'Bridge Academy' shares the same
    site and the same senior leadership team. Bridge Academy was not part of this inspection.
  • All students at Stephenson Academy have a statement of special educational need or an Education Health
    Care Plan. Most students have additionaql needs including autism spectrum conditions, social
    communication or moderate learning difficulties.
  • Some students have been out of school for some considerable time before they start at the school.
  • Most students are of White British heritage and no students speak English as an additional language.
  • The proportion of students eligible for the pupil premium is well above average. This is additional
    government funding for students known to be eligible for free school meals and looked after children.
  • The school also receives an additional sports grant.
  • There is off-site provision for six students with the most challenging behaviour at Bradwell Abbey. This is
    a short term intervention for students at high risk of permanent exclusion.
  • The school has its own sixth form. Some students in Key Stage 4 and all sixth form students study
    vocational courses at Milton Keynes College.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Increase the rate of all students' progress in English and mathematics by making sure that tasks always
    challenge them to persevere and do their very best
  • Develop strategies so that all students stay in class until the end of lessons so that their progress

Inspection judgements

The leadership and management are outstanding
  • Outstanding leadership by the executive principal has resulted in excellent improvement in all areas of the
    school. This has ensured that students now benefit from at least good teaching, helping them to achieve
    and behave well. The executive principal is very ably supported by three deputy principals, senior leaders,
    staff and governors. Together they all make sure that students benefit from the improvements to
    teaching and achievement in an atmosphere that nurtures good behaviour and relationships.
  • Governors have very high expectations of staff, who are extremely supportive and work together very
    well. As a result, students' progress in English, mathematics and science has improved and is now good.
  • Staff responses to the inspection questionnaires show that all of them are proud to work at this school
    and that they value the support they receive from leaders.
  • Increased expectations of middle leaders’ work means that they, and senior leaders, focus on checking
    outcomes in their subjects. Middle leaders support their teams very well to be sure that all teachers
    provide tasks that engage students well. Senior leaders monitor assessments regularly to check that
    progress is robust.
  • High quality improvements to the subjects and topics students study have had a very positive impact on
    raising achievement across the school. The curriculum is good. A wide range of interventions and
    therapies support the different needs of students, ensuring that progress is improving.
  • Targets set for teachers are linked to predictions for students’ achievements so that leaders can be sure
    that teachers give students challenging work. Increases in teachers’ salaries are closely linked to how well
    their targets are met.
  • Students like the school. They were eager to tell inspectors about the wide range of activities that they
    really enjoy. Many cannot believe that they have opportunities to visit Europe, for example. Their
    enjoyment of school is shown by the way that most of them improve their attendance at the school.
  • Strategies to manage and improve students' behaviour are effective. Students really value the rewards
    offered for good attendance, behaviour and achievement. As a result, their personal development
    improves during their time at the school. Students are confident that there is always someone they can
    talk to if they have any difficulties.
  • Students benefit from good opportunities to learn about British values. For example students regularly
    discuss acceptance of other people. They take part in regular 'cake bakes' to raise funds for a local
    charity. They have their own school council which takes an interest in improvements to the playground
    and outdoor areas. They rescued four battery chickens and have nurtured them so that they are
    beginning to lay eggs.
  • The school makes sure that there is equality of opportunity for all students through the effective
    curriculum. This ensures that students learn about the different cultures and faiths that make up modern
    Britain. As a result, there is no discrimination at the school and students' attitudes are positive.
  • Students are taught about and discuss the prevention of sexual exploitation, extremism and radicalisation
    in their personal education sessions. Students learn about democracy through their school council. For
    example, a few students told the inspector that the on-site 'Bridge Pupil Referral Unit' should not share
    the same site.
  • Through the curriculum, students learn about world faiths and about right and wrong. In history, for
    example, they learned about the impact of the holocaust. A recent visit to one of the concentration
    camps by Year 10 students promoted high levels of empathy. 'It was awesome standing in the place
    where so many people died,' commented a student.
  • Regular fund-raising activities, residential experiences and close links with the community promote
    students’ understanding of life in modern Britain. Recent visits to the London Shard and to France and
    Belgium to see the battlefields are well received. These all reinforce promotion of students' personal and
    spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • Leaders have developed new systems to measure and monitor the assessment of students' skills. They
    check these assessments with other similar schools to ensure that they are accurate.
  • Leaders visit off-site provision to check rigorously that students’ achievement, behaviour and attendance
    are at least good.
  • Parents are pleased with the school and with their child’s education. The trustees give good support to
    the development of the school.
  • Students benefit from good quality careers guidance to help them prepare for their futures. Work
    experience is available to students who feel they would benefit from it.
  • Leaders use additional funding for those students entitled to it to provide extra support and resources
    such as technology. As a result these students make similar or better progress than their classmates in
    English and mathematics.
  • Leaders use the additional sports grant very well to improve staff skills. This has meant that all students
    benefit from high quality teaching and a rich range of activities. Students regularly go riding, swimming
    and climbing, for example.
  • Safeguarding procedures fully meet requirements. Staff receive regular training to ensure they know how
    to identify any student at risk of harm. High quality procedures ensure that students are safe. Risk
    assessments are very thorough and always completed for external activities.
    The governance of the school:
    Governance is very effective. Trustees and governors give very good support to the school. Members
    now have high quality skills and use these very well to challenge and support leaders and to hold them
    to account for students' achievements.
    Governors know about the strengths of teaching and areas for development. They know how well the
    school is doing because they check performance data with other similar schools to ensure it is accurate.
    Members regularly receive information about the performance of staff.
    Financial management is effective. Governors check the effectiveness of additional funding to ensure
    that students who are eligible benefit from it. This ensures that these students achieve as well as their
    classmates. Governors also check that the sports funding is being used effectively to benefit students’
    Governors understand the procedures for setting targets for teachers and they use these to make sure
    the best teachers are rewarded and that others receive support to improve their practice.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
  • The behaviour of students is good. Most of them behave sensibly and respond well to all that the school
    offers. Behaviour has improved due to the wide range of therapies that help students to develop positive
    attitudes and gain the confidence to succeed.
  • Most students have positive attitudes. Girls and boys get on well together. They understand the school
    rules and value the rewards that they receive. Students behave well on trips, visits and when attending
    off-site provision.
  • Students join in with a wide range of activities, working closely with their classmates. The behaviour of a
    very few students, mainly younger ones, is more challenging but staff always manage it well.
  • There have been no permanent exclusions in the past few years. Short-term exclusions are above average
    for similar schools, which is why behaviour is not outstanding. More exclusions are given to students in
    Years 8 and 9 because some of them have not yet managed to control their own behaviour. Regular
    monitoring by leaders and the good quality of support provided ensures that almost all students improve
    their behaviour and attitudes by the time they leave. This is also due to the way students want to do well
    at the school. Almost all of them save their rewards for something they want to buy, and they work hard
    to achieve this.
  • School staff and the parents who spoke to the inspectors are positive about students' behaviour.
  • The school prepares students well for their futures by helping them to achieve and behave well and by
    supporting them to attend regularly.
  • The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is good. Policies to ensure their safety are securely in
    place and leaders make sure that all staff adhere to them rigorously. Good risk assessments are in place
    for any trip or visit and safety procedures at off-site provision are checked regularly.
  • Students told the inspector that they are fully aware of the importance of staying safe on the internet and
    about e-safety procedures. They recognise and understand the impact of risks, which helps them to feel
  • Students know about different forms of bullying. They say that the school is like a family. 'Everyone gets
    on well and helps each other. There is no bullying because there is no need to bully. It is a small enough
    school for us to get along together,’ commented members of the school council.
  • Safety is not outstanding because some students told inspectors that the behaviour of a few students is
    sometimes scary, despite being well managed.
The quality of teaching is good
  • Students achieve well in English, mathematics and science. They also make good progress in many other
    subjects because the impact of teaching over time is good.
  • Tasks are well planned to meet individual students' abilities, ensuring that most can complete their work.
    Regular monitoring of lessons by leaders together with high quality training for all staff means that
    teaching is effective and has a positive impact on students' successes.
  • Students achieve well in a wide range of subjects such as the humanities, art and food technology, to
    name a few. Expectations of students’ achievements are always high.
  • Links across subjects are effective due to very detailed planning by staff. For example, the use of literacy
    and numeracy across subjects such as history, geography and science ensures that students make at least
    good and sometimes better progress in their literacy and numeracy.
  • The teaching of reading, with regular, effective, daily sessions, means that students’ reading skills improve
    rapidly once they start at the school. The range of books provided for students meets their interests well.
    Students have opportunities to take books home.
  • Writing and mathematics are taught well. Teaching assistants play a vital role in supporting students who
    need extra help. They ensure that students with additional needs and disadvantaged students achieve as
    well as, and sometimes better than, others in the class.
  • Staff manage students' behaviour well and provide tasks that engage most students to do well and enjoy
    learning. The appointment of reward points at the end of each lesson is carefully discussed so that
    students are very clear about what they did well and what still needs improving.
  • Students' work is marked well with helpful ideas about how to improve further. This is always evident in
    comments on students’ writing, which help them to improve over time.
  • Teachers challenge the most able students well with additional tasks. Sometimes these students work
    independently on the work that teachers set for them.
  • Teaching for students with autistic spectrum conditions is good, so that these students make good
    progress and achieve as well as their classmates.
The achievement of pupils is good
  • Students' attainment is almost always below or well below expected levels for their age when they start at
    the school. This is due to them missing schooling in the past because of their social, emotional and/or
    mental health needs. Once at the school they start to catch up, making at least good progress from their
    original starting points.
  • Students eligible for additional premium funding achieve similar GCSE results to others in the school,
    although their grades are below others nationally in mainstream schools.
  • The school’s own data show that students make good progress in English and mathematics. Records since
    the previous inspection show that achievement is improving rapidly. For example, the proportion of
    students who attained five A* to G grades in GCSE examinations in 2014 was well above other similar
    schools and all students achieved at least one qualification.
  • Tracking of achievement by leaders is rigorous and is helping standards to improve rapidly. All groups of
    students, including disadvantaged students, those who are eligible for additional funding and those with
    additional special educational needs, achieve equally well. This is because of high quality support by all
    staff and the very effective reward system that encourages students to achieve well.
  • Students make good progress in reading because of regular practice and the very good quality of
    resources provided for them. Some Year 8 students read fluently to inspectors.
  • Most students improve their writing skills during their time at the school because of effective marking and
    support. Good examples are provided to help students improve further.
  • Some students find writing difficult and at times opt out of these lessons. They are provided with
    alternative places to work where they are well supported by staff. However, some regularly miss out on
    working with their peers, improving their personal skills and learning to work together with others to
    prepare them well for their futures.
  • A high focus is placed on students’ literacy and numeracy skills through many subjects. The wide range of
    external visits provides students with ideas and information to support their writing. High expectations of
    what students can achieve help students to make good progress.
  • Some outstanding learning was evident in English where Year 8 students were receiving additional support
    for their reading and writing. Individual tuition and innovative use of resources helped students to write
    with different sized pens and pencils and improve their dexterity and pen control. Individual plans for each
    student contributed to their high levels of success.
  • Sometimes the pace of students' learning dips. At these times some younger students, particularly
    younger ones, walk out of class, exhibit some poor behaviour and language and do not complete their
    tasks alongside their classmates. As a result, overall achievement is not yet outstanding. The school
    provides appropriate provision for these students in quiet areas where they work individually with staff.
  • The most able students make very good progress in English and mathematics, working independently and
    extending their skills.
  • Students have many opportunities to take part in sports activities and physical challenges through the
    additional sports funding. Breakfast and after-school clubs are popular and support students’ personal
    skills well.
The sixth form provision is good
  • Only one sixth form student was present during the inspection because most were out on work experience
    or attending college. However evidence from past work and from students' outcomes shows that they
    make at least good and sometimes better progress during their time there.
  • Most sixth form students have been in the main school although a few come from other schools. They
    benefit from a good curriculum and tasks that engage them and prepare them well for college.
  • Students’ achievement is good because teaching is consistently good for all students, including those with
    additional special needs and the most able.
  • Study programmes match students’ needs and abilities well and prepare them effectively for the next
    stage of their education. Courses are well matched to students’ abilities and aspirations. For example,
    students can take GCSE examinations, BTEC qualifications and/or functional skills qualifications. Most
    students achieve a good range of accreditation by the time they leave. One student has already achieved
    13 GCSE passes.
  • Links with Milton Keynes College are good and mean that students can extend their vocational
    qualifications and their personal development.
  • The school provides good, impartial careers advice and information so that students are well aware of the
    choices that will help them best in their futures.
  • Students behave well. They fully understand potential risks to their health and well-being and how to
    manage these.
  • Leaders of the sixth form are rigorous about maintaining good levels of achievement and personal
    development of students. Leadership and management of the sixth form are good.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
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
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.

School details

Unique reference number 138253
Local authority Milton Keynes
Inspection number 462390

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Academy sponsor-led
School category Community Special
Age range of pupils 13–19
Gender of pupils Mixed
Gender of pupils in the sixth form Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 64
Of which, number on roll in sixth form 6
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Sandra Clark
Executive Principal Dr. Neil Barrett
Date of previous school inspection 2–3 July 2013
Telephone number 01908 313 903
Fax number 01908 221 195
Email address reveal email: rece…

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