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|Name||Abu Bakr Boys School|
|Mr Mohammed Ramzan|
|Address||72 Queen Mary Street, Walsall, WS1 4AB|
|Type||Other independent school|
|Number of Pupils||118 (100% boys)|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are polite and respectful. They behave well and are kind to one another. They feel safe and trust the adults who look after them. Pupils learn about and show tolerance to those who may have different beliefs from their own. They have detailed knowledge about other faiths and cultures. This means pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Pupils say bullying is rare, but it can happen. They trust adults to sort out issues if they happen. Relationships among pupils and between pupils and staff are positive.
Pupils receive a poor quality of education. Curriculum plans are muddled, and teachers are not sure what to teach and when. This results in pupils not retaining the knowledge that leaders want. Teachers have a limited understanding of how to check what pupils remember. Therefore, they do not ensure that learning is helping pupils to progress.
Leaders are passionate and committed to improving the school. However, leaders do not have the skills to be able to fulfil their roles and responsibilities effectively. Many leaders are new to post and have not had the necessary training to understand how to construct an effective curriculum or how to evaluate its impact.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have curriculum plans in place for all subjects. However, little thought has been given to the order of what pupils will learn. Leaders are not clear about how pupils build their knowledge over time. They have not thought about the small blocks of learning that pupils need to know in each unit of work. This means pupils do not build on prior knowledge or remember their learning well enough.
Leaders check what pupils can remember at the end of a unit of work. However, ongoing checks on learning are weak. Many teachers do not regularly check pupils’ understanding to identify errors and misconceptions. This means teachers do not accurately know what pupils know and understand. Some teachers do check pupils’ learning. However, this is not consistent.
Pupils who struggle to read do not get the support they need. Staff do not understand how pupils use phonics to learn to read. Pupils do not have access to a wide range of high-quality texts. Leaders are committed to developing reading and plans are in place to develop a school library. However, pupils do not read widely and often and there is no culture of reading across the school. Too many pupils who struggle to read do not get the help they need to read confidently and fluently.
The school has appointed a special educational needs coordinator (SENCo). However, the provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is inconsistent. Some support is appropriate, for example adapting the colour of paper and print size for specific pupils. But this support is inconsistent across the school. Targets are not reviewed regularly enough. This means the support pupils get is not always what they need.
Teaching practices are highly variable. Teachers lack the subject knowledge to be able to explain aspects of their subjects effectively. As a result, pupils struggle to understand what they should be learning.
All pupils follow a course in Islamic studies. These sessions are well planned and delivered. As a result, pupils remember their learning well. There is an appropriate balance between the faith and secular education curriculum.
In all subjects, there is a severe lack of resources. Pupils do not have the practical resources to be able to learn effectively. For example, they are not able to use the science laboratory as the gas has not been connected, and pupils do not have access to resources that would support their learning in mathematics.
Pupils behave well in lessons. They try hard and low-level disruption is rare. Leaders have implemented a new behaviour policy, which clearly maps out unacceptable behaviour and the subsequent sanctions. Pupils appreciate the clarity. They recognise that since the new policy has been put in place, behaviour has improved considerably.
Leaders have ensured that pupils’ personal development is at the heart of the school’s curriculum. Pupils learn in detail about the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010. They know about direct and indirect discrimination and how different groups in society are affected. As a result, pupils can talk confidently about tolerance, acceptance and respect. The work in pupils’ books clearly shows that fundamental British values are being actively promoted. Pupils’ learning is progressive and develops in complexity as they move from year to year. They learn about challenging topics. For example, pupils in Year 9 learn about female genital mutilation and why this is unacceptable. Pupils receive a well-planned relationships and sex education. They understand the concepts of consent and exploitation.
Pupils are encouraged to understand and respect differences. They are tolerant of views and beliefs that are different to their own. For example, one pupil said: ‘It’s about finding out what you have in common and finding the middle ground. We know people have different opinions, and we have to respect differences.’ This view was shared by all the pupils who spoke with inspectors. Pupils learn about life in modern Britain through a range of visiting speakers, including the police and faith leaders from other religions.
Pupils have aspirations for their future. Some spoke confidently about their ambition to become cardiologists, surgeons, mechanics, electricians or lawyers. Pupils understand the different routes available to them after leaving school. They feel the careers advice, guidance and support they have been given are detailed and are preparing them well for the next stage of their education and employment.
The proprietor and school leaders have not ensured that the independent school standards are met. For example, the school was not clean and there was no hot water. Although these were rectified by the end of the inspection, leaders have not ensured that the standards are met consistently.
The proprietor, chair of the governing body and new headteacher are committed to improving the school. The staff team share this desire. They are beginning to bring about positive change, for example by developing a new behaviour policy. However, systems are not in place to hold leaders to account for the quality of education and the safety of pupils.
The school has an appropriate accessibility plan that complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010.
The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective.
Safeguarding processes and procedures are not rigorous enough. Leaders have not ensured that all the necessary checks are carried out on staff when they start at the school. The single central record is not completed accurately, and leaders have not been sufficiently trained in carrying out these checks.
Leaders have ensured that all staff are trained in identifying and reporting safeguarding concerns. Staff know who to go to if they have a worry about a pupil. However, staff do not always record low-level concerns or report them to the designated safeguarding lead. This makes it difficult for leaders to build up a broader safeguarding picture of the pupils in their care.
The school’s safeguarding policy is up to date on the school’s website and informed by the most recent statutory guidance.
Pupils are taught about potential risks that they may encounter. For example, pupils learn about personal safety and how to avoid unsafe situations, such as being around drugs and harmful substances. Pupils are aware of how to keep themselves safe on the internet.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and proprietor)
? Systems for completing and recording the safer recruitment checks on staff are weak. There are gaps and errors in the school’s single central record, which potentially places pupils at risk of harm. Leaders should urgently ensure that all pre-employment checks on staff have been made and that the school’s single central record is accurate and up to date. Leaders should make sure that the staff managing safer recruitment have the necessary knowledge, understanding and expertise to carry out their roles and responsibilities. Leaders do not ensure that staff report and record all safeguarding concerns. This means that leaders do not always have the information needed to identify where pupils may be at risk of harm or in need of support. Leaders should strengthen safeguarding procedures across the school so that there is a heightened culture of vigilance throughout. ? The curriculum is not well planned and sequenced. Not enough thought has been given to how the curriculum is structured or the crucial content that pupils must learn and remember. This means that pupils do not build knowledge over time in a way that helps them to remember it. Leaders need to ensure that the curriculum is well structured, with the precise knowledge that pupils should know clearly identified. ? Some teachers do not have the subject and teaching knowledge they need to be able to deliver the curriculum well enough. They do not know how to check what pupils remember. This means that pupils do not achieve as well as they could across subjects, including English and mathematics. Leaders should ensure that staff have the necessary subject knowledge and teaching skills to deliver the curriculum and to check pupils have remembered what leaders want them to. ? Teachers have limited resources to deliver the curriculum effectively, for example too few English reading books and a lack of science equipment. The proprietor needs to ensure that staff have the essential resources they need to deliver the intended curriculum and to help pupils learn effectively. ? Pupils who struggle to read, including those with SEND, are not getting the support they need to read confidently, fluently and with understanding. Leaders need to ensure they develop a culture of reading throughout the school and have systems in place to support the weakest readers. ? Many leaders are new to their role and do not have the necessary expertise to develop their subject effectively. This means that their subjects are not well managed. Senior leaders need to ensure that leaders at all levels have the necessary knowledge, understanding and expertise to carry out their roles and responsibilities effectively. ? The proprietor has not checked on the quality of education in the school, or on how well the school is meeting the independent school standards. Consequently, several of the independent school standards are not continually or consistently met. In addition, leaders are not getting the support they need to improve the school’s curriculum quickly enough. The proprietor should ensure that there are systems in place to challenge and support leaders to bring about improvements to the school’s provision so that the independent school standards are consistently met.