School etc

The Rural Enterprise Academy

The Rural Enterprise Academy
Rodbaston Campus

phone: 01785 333360

principal: Mrs Lorraine Makin


school holidays: via Staffordshire council

84 pupils aged 14—16y mixed gender
300 pupils capacity: 28% full

30 boys 36%


55 girls 65%


Last updated: June 24, 2014

Secondary — Free Schools

Education phase
Establishment type
Free Schools
Establishment #
Open date
Aug. 17, 2012
Reason open
New Provision
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 392176, Northing: 311645
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.702, Longitude: -2.1172
Accepting pupils
14—19 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
March 12, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Stafford › Penkridge South East
Village - less sparse
Admissions policy
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Free school meals %
Trust school
Is supported by a Trust
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Stafford

Schools nearby

  1. Rodbaston College ST195PH
  2. 0.8 miles Watling House ST195PR
  3. 0.8 miles Peak Education ST195PR (16 pupils)
  4. 1.4 mile Princefield First School ST195EP (239 pupils)
  5. 1.6 mile St Michael's CofE (A) First School ST195DJ (126 pupils)
  6. 1.6 mile Wolgarston High School ST195RX (758 pupils)
  7. 1.7 mile Marshbrook First School ST195BA (122 pupils)
  8. 1.9 mile Penkridge Middle School ST195BW (382 pupils)
  9. 2.3 miles Vernon Lodge Preparatory School ST199LJ (58 pupils)
  10. 2.9 miles St Paul's CofE (C) First School WV95AD (169 pupils)
  11. 3 miles St Mary and St Chad CofE (C) First School ST199BT (133 pupils)
  12. 3 miles St Dominic's High School for Girls ST199BA (220 pupils)
  13. 3.1 miles St Mary's Catholic Primary School ST199BG (92 pupils)
  14. 3.1 miles Brewood CofE (C) Middle School ST199DS (346 pupils)
  15. 3.2 miles Walhouse CofE (C) Junior School WS111HN
  16. 3.3 miles Littleton Green Community School WS124UD (367 pupils)
  17. 3.3 miles St Lukes CofE Primary School WS111HN (466 pupils)
  18. 3.4 miles Longford Primary School WS111PD (372 pupils)
  19. 3.4 miles Havergal CofE (C) Primary School WV107LE (195 pupils)
  20. 3.4 miles Cardinal Griffin Catholic High School WS114AW (906 pupils)
  21. 3.4 miles Longford Junior School WS111PD
  22. 3.4 miles Havergal CofE (C) Primary School WV107LE
  23. 3.7 miles John Wood CofE (A) Infants School WS111AP
  24. 3.7 miles Sherbrook Primary School WS115SA (84 pupils)

List of schools in Stafford

School report

The Rural Enterprise Academy

Rodbaston Campus, Penkridge, ST19 5PH

Inspection dates 12–13 March 2014
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous inspection: Not previously inspected
Achievement of pupils Good 2
Quality of teaching Good 2
Behaviour and safety of pupils Good 2
Leadership and management Good 2

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

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

Most students have made good progress in
The curriculum is well suited to students’
Teaching in English and business studies is
their learning from their low starting points
when they joined in Year 10, especially in
English where their progress is outstanding.
interests and intended career paths,
particularly for those wanting to work with
outstanding and most of it is good in other
Students behave well in lessons and they are
Senior leaders and governors provide effective
Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the
kept safe in the academy.
leadership and ensure improvement in
teaching and achievement. They are highly
committed to the academy and share a strong
vision for students to succeed academically and
in life.
high level of personal care and support their
children receive. Vulnerable students are well
supported. Guidance for students’ next steps in
their education is good.
Students do not make as much progress in
A small proportion of teaching requires
mathematics as they do in English.
improvement. Teaching does not always
stretch the most-able students.
There has been limited external verification of
Leadership responsibilities have not been
the quality of the academy’s work.
extended to subject coordinators.
Inspection report: The Rural Enterprise Academy, 12–13 March 2014 2 of 10

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed 16 lessons, of which five were jointly observed with either the Principal or
    the Assistant Principal. In addition, inspectors made a number of other short visits to lessons.
  • Meetings were held with groups of students, three parents, members of staff including senior
    leaders, the Chair of the Governing Body and other governors, and representatives of the main
    sponsor, South Staffordshire College.
  • There were insufficient responses for inspectors to take account of the online questionnaire,
    Parent View. However, inspectors took note of an academy questionnaire completed by 40
    parents at a parents’ meeting the night before the inspection started and two emails received
    from parents.
  • Inspectors took account of surveys completed by 11 members of staff.
  • A visit was made by an inspector to see the animal-care provision delivered by South
    Staffordshire College on the same site as the academy.
  • Inspectors observed the academy’s work and scrutinised a number of documents, including the
    academy’s own self-evaluation, data on students’ recent attainment and progress, behaviour and
    attendance logs, policies including safeguarding, external reviews including reports from the
    Department for Education.

Inspection team

Mark Sims, Lead inspector Her Majesty’s Inspector
Colin Lower Additional Inspector
Glen Goddard Additional Inspector
Inspection report: The Rural Enterprise Academy, 12–13 March 2014 3 of 10

Full report

Information about this school

  • The academy is smaller than the average-sized secondary school and is sponsored by South
    Staffordshire College, Veolia and the National Farmers Union.
  • The large majority of students come from White British backgrounds. The proportion of students
    from minority ethnic backgrounds is low as is that of those known to speak English as an
    additional language.
  • The proportion of students supported through the pupil premium (pupils for whom the academy
    receives additional funding, including those known to be eligible for free school meals) is below
    the national average.
  • The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs supported
    through school action plus, school action or with a statement of special educational needs is
    broadly average.
  • The academy opened as a free school in September 2012. Consequently, no students have yet
    taken GCSE examinations so there is no data to compare with the government’s current floor
    standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress.
  • The academy currently has students in Years 10 and 11 only. There are plans for a sixth form to
    open in September 2014.
  • The academy offers up to 9 GCSEs and 5 BTEC qualifications.
  • The academy is currently under subscribed.
  • No students receive off-site alternative provision.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Increase students’ progress in mathematics to be in line with that in English by making sure
    teaching in mathematics is as good as it is in most subjects
    more-able students are consistently challenged to do as well as they can in all of their lessons
    additional support and intervention are effective for all students involved.
  • Strengthen leadership and management by:
    extending leadership responsibilities to include subject leaders
    ensuring greater external validation of the work of the academy.
Inspection report: The Rural Enterprise Academy, 12–13 March 2014 4 of 10

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is good
  • Students are on track to achieve broadly average standards of five or more GCSE grades A* to C
    including English and mathematics. On entry to Year 10, students’ attainment was below that
    usually found at the end of Year 9. There are no examination results available for past cohorts
    but the current Year 11 have been tracked closely at regular intervals under examination
    conditions. Students’ work in their books and regular checking by senior leaders indicate that
    assessment information is accurate.
  • The proportion of students making expected or more-than-expected progress in English and
    mathematics since the start of Year 10 is higher than the latest equivalent national results of
    expected or more-than-expected progress from Key Stage 2 to 4.
  • Students are doing better in English, where they are making exceptional progress, than in
    mathematics. There was a dip in the progress students made in mathematics at the beginning of
    this academic year due to weak teaching which has been swiftly rectified. As a result of recent
    interventions and staff changes, students are now making more rapid progress.
  • Progress is good in all other subjects. The progress of different groups of students, including
    those receiving additional support in literacy or numeracy, is checked rigorously by senior
  • The gap in attainment in English and mathematics, between students eligible for the pupil
    premium and that of other students, is narrowing for the small numbers of students involved in
    Year 11. There is no attainment gap at all between the larger proportion of students eligible for
    free school meals and others in Year 10.
  • Disabled students and those who have special educational needs make similar progress to their
    peers, as do the very small number of minority ethnic students who do not have English as their
    first language.
  • In lessons seen during the inspection, students made more rapid progress in those lessons
    where tasks were challenging for all groups of learners. For example, in a Year 11 English lesson
    students assessed each other’s essays using the GCSE grade criteria. This enabled them to
    understand better what they had to do to reach their own target grade.
  • More-able students are not always stretched in every lesson to do as well as they can, although
    they are set challenging targets to achieve the highest possible grades. The school has not
    considered early entry to GCSE examinations for some students.
  • Most parents who responded to the academy survey felt that, overall, their children had made
    good progress. A small minority acknowledged there had been some disruption to their children’s
    learning in mathematics.
The quality of teaching is good
  • The majority of teaching is good and some, particularly in English and business studies, is
Inspection report: Error! No text of specified style in document., 12–13 March 2014 5 of 10
  • Teachers mostly set high expectations for all students to achieve as well as they can. Tasks are
    challenging but engaging for students, who enjoy their learning. Students’ interests and future
    ambitions are well supported and there is a high level of emphasis on practical activities.
    Students are inspired to learn through working with animals in a real farm environment.
  • Most teachers are very successful at setting work that is appropriate for more-able students and
    those who find learning difficult. They deploy additional adults well to provide effective support
    and are successful at getting students to help each other.
  • Students know how well they are doing and what they need to do to improve. The very best
    marking contains clear written guidance on how to reach their target grade. In English and
    business studies, students are involved in assessing their own and others’ assignments which, in
    turn, helps them with their own work.
  • Teachers help students to develop their literacy, numeracy and information and communication
    technology skills – for example, identifying key vocabulary that will be required across all their
    subjects. There is effective extra help to support those who have fallen behind in literacy and
  • In a small number of lessons and intervention sessions where teaching requires improvement,
    students all do similar tasks which do not sufficiently stretch the most-able.
  • No inadequate teaching was seen during the inspection. However, leaders’ records indicate that
    for a brief time at the start of the year some teaching in mathematics was inadequate having
    previously been good. This has been quickly addressed, although some teaching still requires
  • A small minority of parents who responded to the academy survey or emailed inspectors had
    well-founded concerns about the previous provision in mathematics.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
  • The behaviour of students is good. They behave well in lessons and around the academy. They
    are polite and courteous and considerate towards others. They work well together in lessons and
    have good relationships with the adults who work with them. They enjoy their learning and have
    high expectations of themselves.
  • The number of exclusions has fallen rapidly since the first year the academy opened. Where
    there are reported incidents, swift and effective action is taken by senior leaders. Repeat
    offences are exceptionally rare. Students feel confident that if they report an incident it will be
    dealt with well by senior leaders.
  • Students have a very strong sense of right and wrong. They have a wide understanding of
    diversity within the United Kingdom and, through a wide range of trips and meeting visitors to
    the academy, a good understanding of the wider world. They have numerous opportunities to
    take responsibilities, such as looking after the animals.
  • The large majority of parents who responded to the academy survey agreed that behaviour is
    managed well in the academy.
Inspection report: Error! No text of specified style in document., 12–13 March 2014 6 of 10
  • In almost all lessons, including those few that require improvement, students remain engaged
    and enthusiastic about their learning although at times a few allow their minds to wander and
    they become inattentive. Occasionally, they are slow to respond to teachers’ prompts and
    questions. No disruptive behaviour was seen during the inspection.
  • Attendance is improving and is currently above the national average. Attendance clinics are held
    where there are concerns, including for those supported by the pupil premium.
  • The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is good. The extent to which students feel
    safe is also good. This is confirmed in the formal and informal discussions with students. The site
    is secure and the only criticism students had was that, if anything, it was too confining.
  • Students know how to keep themselves safe in a range of situations and are acutely aware of
    the dangers of cyber bullying as well as other types of bullying linked to racism and
    homophobia. There are few such incidents reported.
  • All parents who responded to the academy survey agreed that the academy keeps their children
The leadership and management are good
  • The Principal and Assistant Principal lead the academy by example, setting out a clear vision for
    its future success. They are determined that standards should be as high as possible while, at
    the same time, providing their students with a well-rounded education. Targets set for students
    are challenging. Responses from the staff survey indicate that staff fully support senior leaders
    in the direction they are leading the academy.
  • Leaders’ judgements of the strengths and weaknesses of the academy are accurate. Where
    weaknesses have been identified. For example, previously in mathematics, they have taken firm
    and swift action to bring about improvements in teaching. Elsewhere through regular checking,
    training and support there have also been improvements in teaching, leading to examples of
    teaching becoming outstanding.
  • Senior leaders track students’ progress regularly and thoroughly and analyse trends by groups as
    well as by individual student. Support is introduced quickly if a student is identified as falling
    behind. The achievement of students eligible for free school meals is also closely checked.The
    pupil premium is used effectively to provide additional support, for example, through Easter
    revision courses and additional resources, in order to close the gap in achievement, especially in
    Year 10.
  • Arrangements for performance management of teachers are rigorous to ensure there is a close
    match between pay and teachers’ performance. In joint lesson observations with senior leaders
    and inspectors, there was a close match in judgements. Teachers are held to account through
    regular checking of students’ work and achievement.
  • Students are highly positive about the guidance they receive through dedicated weekly careers
    sessions. Students receive a programme of trips and visitors that include local businesses and
    universities. Most are clear about their next steps in education.
Inspection report: Error! No text of specified style in document., 12–13 March 2014 7 of 10
  • The curriculum matches the aspirations of students well and reflects the large farming
    community in the area. It has good balance of academic and land-based vocational routes.
    There is a wide range of rural-based extra-curricular activities involving working with animals
    and enrichment activities, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Additional
    interventions are not always accurately matched to the needs of all the learners in the group.
    Although the time allocated for formal physical education lessons is limited, this is compensated
    for through physical land-based activities and the provision of sports clubs.
  • Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted well through thematic assemblies,
    where there are opportunities to reflect and show concern for humans and animals. The rural
    setting and range of livestock enable students to appreciate the beauty of nature.
  • The academy regularly surveys the views of parents and takes account of any concerns they
    raise. All parents who responded to the academy survey agreed that the academy is led well.
    Parents are particularly positive about the quality of care and support their children receive,
    particularly for disabled students and those who have special educational needs.
  • All safeguarding arrangements are met and checks are carried out thoroughly. All policies and
    required procedures are in place to ensure students’ health and safety.
  • Due to the small size of the academy, almost all of the leadership responsibility falls on the
    shoulders on the academy’s senior leaders. There are no subject leaders or other middle leaders.
    However senior leaders are planning to build capacity to improve further by extending leadership
    opportunities, for example, in English and in the sixth form due to open in September 2014.
  • There has been some external verification of the work of the academy but, to date, this has
    been limited.
  • The governance of the school:
    The governing body provides a good balance of support and challenge to the academy’s senior
    leaders. Governors are highly aspirational in seeking to achieve standards in line with the
    national average in the academy’s first set of GCSE examination results.
    Achievement of students is checked closely through the work of the performance committee
    and through regular governor visits to the academy.
    Governors know strengths and weaknesses in the academy well, including teaching, and have
    robust performance management procedures in place.
    Governors make sure that safeguarding procedures are as rigorous as they can be and check
    the academy is meeting all its statutory responsibilities.
    They ensure that the academy is making good use of its resources and in partnership with its
    main sponsor, South Staffordshire College, which has supported the academy financially as it
    is undersubscribed.
    They are aware how the pupil premium is spent and are asking searching questions about
    how eligible students achieve, but recognise there is further to do in assessing its impact.
    There are no literacy or numeracy link governors in place at present.
Inspection report: The Rural Enterprise Academy, 12–13 March 2014 8 of 10

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 employment.
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.

Inspection report: The Rural Enterprise Academy, 12–13 March 2014 9 of 10

School details

Unique reference number 138351
Local authority Staffordshire
Inspection number 426894

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

Type of school Academy free school
School category Non-maintained
Age range of pupils 14–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 83
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Graham Morley
Principal Lorraine Makin
Date of previous school inspection N/A
Telephone number 01785 333360
Email address reveal email: Lorr…


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