School etc

The Forest School

The Forest School
Comptons Lane
West Sussex

phone: 01403 261086

headteacher: Ms Siobhan Denning


school holidays: via West Sussex council

1045 pupils aged 11—15y boys gender
1169 pupils capacity: 89% full

1045 boys 100%


Last updated: June 20, 2014

Secondary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 518761, Northing: 130270
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.059, Longitude: -0.30672
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Nov. 14, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Horsham › Forest
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Engineering (Operational)
and Business and Enterprise (Operational)
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Horsham

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School, Horsham RH135NW (84 pupils)
  2. 0.3 miles Heron Way Primary School RH136DJ (338 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Millais School RH135HR (1504 pupils)
  4. 0.3 miles Littlehaven Educational Trust RH136EW
  5. 0.3 miles Littlehaven Education Trust RH136EW
  6. 0.5 miles St Leonard's Community Infant School, Horsham RH135EH
  7. 0.6 miles Horsham Nursery School Children and Family Centre RH135UT (110 pupils)
  8. 0.7 miles Chesworth Junior School RH135PS
  9. 0.7 miles Kingslea Primary School RH135PS (413 pupils)
  10. 0.9 miles Leechpool Primary School RH136AG (403 pupils)
  11. 1 mile St Mary's CofE (Aided) Primary School RH121JL (210 pupils)
  12. 1.1 mile Northolmes Junior School, Horsham RH124ET (147 pupils)
  13. 1.1 mile The College of Richard Collyer In Horsham RH122EJ
  14. 1.2 mile Littlehaven Infant School RH124EH (132 pupils)
  15. 1.2 mile Springfield Park School RH122BQ
  16. 1.4 mile Trafalgar Community Infant School RH122JF (269 pupils)
  17. 1.4 mile North Heath Community Primary School RH125XL (415 pupils)
  18. 1.5 mile Arunside School, Horsham RH121RR (177 pupils)
  19. 1.5 mile St John's Catholic Primary School RH121RR (203 pupils)
  20. 1.5 mile St Robert Southwell Catholic Primary School, Horsham RH124LP (145 pupils)
  21. 1.5 mile Greenway School RH122JS
  22. 1.5 mile Greenway Academy RH122JS (367 pupils)
  23. 1.6 mile All Saints CofE Primary School, Horsham RH125JB (210 pupils)
  24. 1.8 mile Holbrook Primary School RH125PP (419 pupils)

List of schools in Horsham

7 May 2015

Ms Siobhan Denning
The Forest School
Comptons Lane
RH13 5NW
Dear Ms Denning

No formal designation monitoring inspection of The Forest School

Following my visit to your school on 6 May 2015, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s

Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to confirm the inspection


This monitoring inspection was conducted under section 8 of the Education Act 2005

and in accordance with Ofsted’s published procedures for inspecting schools with no
formal designation. The inspection was carried out because Her Majesty’s Chief
Inspector was concerned about the achievement of disadvantaged pupils. The
inspection also focused on relevant aspects of the quality of leadership and
management (including governance) at the school.


I met with you, other senior staff, the Chair of the Governing Body, a local authority
representative and two groups of students. I was shown around the school by
students. I visited some lessons and groups of students at work, including the Year 7
nurture group. I evaluated documentation; this included data about the progress
and attendance of students entitled to pupil premium funding, the school’s self-
evaluations and the school improvement plan.


This is a secondary school, of just above average size, for boys. There are 139
students entitled to pupil premium funding out of a total student population of 1057.
This proportion is below average but the number of students concerned is

Kings Orchard,
One Queen Street,
T 0300 123 1231
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
reveal email: enqu…
Direct T 01173115246
Direct F 01173150430

The school’s head of history was appointed as pupil premium leader in January

2015. Just before this, you established a pupil premium strategic group, principally
comprised of senior leaders. This group considers approaches and holds the pupil
premium leader to account for his work. These changes followed a local authority
conference about the pupil premium in the autumn of 2014.
You have a clear, strong philosophy about the way the school supports
disadvantaged students. This is closely shared by staff and governors. You focus on
meeting individual needs in a very compassionate way, whilst seeking to ensure that
students entitled to pupil premium funding are not isolated or unhelpfully identified.
You see this as particularly important as the school serves an area of relative

The school’s approach has clear and important benefits. Many students entitled to

the support of pupil premium funding can point to caring work by staff which has
helped them immensely. This includes, for example, successful and very sensitive
work with them and their families to improve attendance, wellbeing, achievement or
behaviour. One student summed this up when he said that the school had enabled

him to ‘feel safe in the hardest of times’.
The school’s pupil premium funding is appropriately spent on items including staffing

for nurture groups and specific interventions, purchase of items of uniform and
equipment, provision of homework facilities and funding of activities outside of
lessons designed to raise aspiration. However, the school’s summary financial
reports do not yet show the pupil premium expenditure under each budget heading.
This makes it harder to evaluate precisely the success of the spending.
The monitoring of pupil premium spending has had a low profile. It is only in the
past few months that this has begun to be raised, following the local authority
conference. This means that although pupil premium funding is properly used, its
impact on outcomes for students is not yet robustly checked and evaluated. The
school cannot fully identify the value or impact of pupil premium funded
interventions. The targets in the school improvement plan related to the expected
impact of pupil premium expenditure are insufficiently precise and are not readily
The school nevertheless has some very positive information. For example, no
students left the school last year without having future education, employment or

training arranged. The students’ destinations are diverse, indicating that the school

provides a suitable curriculum and guidance catering for a wide range of needs.
The gap between the achievement of disadvantaged students and that of their
classmates is wide. For example, the progress of students in 2014 from Key Stages 2
to 4 was significantly below the national average for students entitled to free school
meals but about average for other students. A much lower than average proportion
of students entitled to free school meals attained five good GCSEs including English
and mathematics. However, students entitled to pupil premium funding made sound
progress in English, mathematics and science. Your expectation, based on current
tracking data, is that the gaps identified should reduce this year in an improving
overall picture.
The fixed-term exclusion rate for students entitled to the pupil premium finding is
higher than average. Their attendance rate is below average over time. Senior staff
and governors need to ask increasingly robust questions about these matters. The
school’s self-evaluation of pupil premium expenditure does not adequately reflect
these key points.
The new pupil premium leader is beginning to do useful work. After completing an
audit of provision, he now provides useful individualised records for all relevant
students, which are helpful to staff. Governors are committed to the wellbeing of
disadvantaged students, with the Chair now taking the lead. These are positive
developments but it is too early to say what their impact is, or how effective specific
current provision or interventions are.

External support

The local authority facilitated the 2014 conference which has led to the school
beginning to improve its procedures relating to pupil premium. As the school was
judged to be good at its last inspection in November 2012, it does not receive a very
high level of support. As part of its general monitoring, however, the local authority
asks questions of the school about the outcomes for disadvantaged students. The
local authority has agreed that its officer leading on the pupil premium will contact
the school to consider any future support.

The strengths in the school’s approaches to supporting its disadvantaged

pupils effectively to achieve their potential are:

 the clear leadership aimed at ensuring that, in an area of relative

advantage, many needs of disadvantaged students are sensitively met

 the academic and social needs of students are well known to staff
 the expectations of students entitled to pupil premium support are

suitably high

 within subject departments, and the school’s four pastoral communities,

pupil premium funding is used to meet known individual needs

 no students left the school in 2014 without going on to further education,

training or employment.

The weaknesses in the school’s approaches to supporting its
disadvantaged pupils effectively to achieve their potential are:

 the school does not meet the requirement to publish information on its

website information about the impact of pupil premium expenditure

 the school improvement plan targets related to students entitled to pupil

premium lack precision and are therefore hard to measure

 the school does not yet analyse robustly enough how well students

entitled to pupil premium funding fare academically, or how their social
needs are met.

 although this figure is reducing, a much higher proportion of students

entitled to pupil premium funding have received temporary exclusions
than the national average. Disadvantaged students also attend less well
than their counterparts nationally.

Priorities for further improvement

 Ensure the school improvement plan contains ambitious, precise and

measurable targets, whether based on soft or hard data, for students
entitled to pupil premium funding.

 Use the monitoring and evaluation of these parts of the school

improvement plan to make sharper, more coherent self-evaluations of the
impact of pupil premium funding.

 Consider whether and how pupil premium funding might be used to

reduce further the rate of exclusion or to raise attendance.

 Clearly show pupil premium expenditure in summary financial reports, so

its uses are clearer to governors and staff.

 Publish the required information about the use of the pupil premium on

the school’s website.

I am copying this letter to the Director of Children’s Services for West Sussex, to the
Secretary of State for Education and the Chair of the Governing Body. This letter will
be published on the Ofsted website.
Yours sincerely
Robin Hammerton

Her Majesty’s Inspector

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