Ark Kings Academy

Name Ark Kings Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Address Shannon Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B38 9DE
Phone Number 01214594451
Type Academy
Age Range 4-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 914 (52.3% boys 47.7% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 12.5
Academy Sponsor Ark Schools
Local Authority Birmingham
Percentage Free School Meals 69%
Percentage English is Not First Language 20.2%
Persistent Absence 14.6%
Pupils with SEN Support 20.8%%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils in the primary phase enjoy coming to school. They are confident, curious and eager to learn. They feel safe and are well cared for.

Teachers and leaders expect all pupils to achieve well and to behave well. Pupils meet these expectations. Pupils and adults get on well and they work together in a culture of respect and kindness.

Pupils in the secondary phase say that they do not feel safe. Bullying, derogatory language and homophobic behaviours are commonplace. They have no confidence that staff will support them when they raise concerns.

Leaders say they have high expectations of every pupil. However, pupils with special educational needs and/or disabi...lities (SEND) do not receive the support they need and so they do not achieve well. They are more likely to receive sanctions than their peers.

The number of suspensions for pupils with SEND is high and increasing.

Leaders in the secondary phase do not make adequate checks when pupils are absent from school. This means that they do not know whether pupils are safe.

Too many pupils are truant from lessons, and leaders have not taken effective action to address this.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The curriculum across the whole school is well sequenced. Leaders have thought carefully about what pupils need to learn and how this knowledge is developed over time.

In the early years, the curriculum is implemented well. Children get off to a good start and demonstrate positive attitudes to learning. They enjoy creating and telling their own stories.

They learn to make choices about their learning, and this helps develop their independence.

In the secondary phase, teachers do not consistently choose activities that help pupils to learn important information. Pupils' understanding is not checked often enough and so teachers do not spot gaps in their learning.

Leaders and teachers in the secondary phase do not support pupils with SEND well enough in lessons. As a result, they do not make the progress that they should.

Pupils at the early stages of reading in the primary phase are supported well.

Leaders' plans identify the letter sounds that children should learn and when they should learn them. Teachers monitor children's progress in reading closely, supporting them swiftly if they fall behind. The books that children read match the letter sounds that they are learning.

As a result, children read confidently. Leaders have not placed the same emphasis on pupils reading for pleasure, and this limits pupils' enjoyment of reading. Pupils in the secondary phase who are not yet fluent readers do not receive the help they need to learn to read.

This stops them from learning well across the curriculum.

Pupils in the primary phase behave well. There are clear routines in place, and pupils know what is expected of them.

Leaders act quickly to work with parents to resolve any issues that may arise. As a result, the primary part of the school is a calm, productive environment where pupils learn well.

In the secondary phase, pupils' learning is often disrupted by poor behaviour.

Many pupils receive repeated sanctions. Both detentions and suspensions are used very frequently, and leaders cannot demonstrate the impact of these strategies. Pupils report high levels of bullying and prejudiced behaviour.

These are not recorded. Leaders in the secondary phase make extensive use of alternative provision. They do not monitor routinely or systematically the attendance of pupils who are educated off site, so do not know if or when they are absent from the provision.

Leaders have not taken care to make sure that they mark pupils' attendance accurately. As a result, too many pupils are missing education, and leaders do not know this.

From the beginning of nursery, pupils in the primary phase are taught how to look after themselves and to understand their feelings and those of other people.

They support one another and are happy to embrace new challenges. They are responsible and respectful. Pupils in the secondary phase learn about relationships, sex and health education in 'Learning for Life' lessons.

However, pupils feel that they have to tolerate the frequent sexual harassment towards them. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils experience repeated discriminatory behaviour against them. Leaders have not recognised these issues, and so cannot take the right steps to stop them from happening.

Pupils receive an appropriate careers education.

Leadership across the school is too variable. Many leaders are new in post and new leaders in the secondary phase are not getting the help they need to improve the school.

Leadership in the early years is good, resulting in children receiving a good quality of education. However, there are key areas of the school, particularly in key stages 3 and 4, that need improving. Some aspects of the school's work, such as monitoring and recording secondary pupils' attendance and ensuring that all pupils feel safe, need urgent action.

The trust has recognised some of the failings of the school and taken steps to address these. However, this action has been too slow to address what needs to be done, and pupils in the secondary phase continue to be let down.


The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective.

There is not a culture of safeguarding in the secondary phase of the school. Teachers do not take responsibility for reporting safeguarding concerns. They are not aware of the extent of the issues that pupils face in or outside school.

Leaders have not been diligent in identifying risks and so do not keep pupils safe through regular attendance checks or by keeping them safe from bullying or harassment.

Safeguarding leaders are knowledgeable and experienced. They support individual pupils and families well and work with a range of agencies to ensure that pupils get the help that they need.

However, their skills have not been used well to support and train their colleagues in the secondary phase.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pupils with SEND, including those with social, emotional and mental health needs, do not have their needs met and do not experience a good enough education. They do not achieve well, and they receive frequent sanctions and suspensions from school.

Leaders should improve all aspects of the provision for pupils with SEND in the secondary phase of the school. ? Leaders use detentions, suspensions and alternative provision extensively to manage behaviour. There is a culture of sanctions, and good behaviour is not recognised.

Pupils who need help to improve their behaviour do not get the support that they need. Leaders should review their approach to behaviour management so that it leads to improvements in pupils' behaviour and reduces the number of suspensions and the use of alternative provision in the secondary phase. ? Pupils in the secondary phase of the school do not treat each other with respect.

Some pupils, particularly those who identify as LGBT, experience repeated name-calling and prejudiced behaviour. This means that pupils do not feel safe in the school. Leaders should support all staff to extend the positive culture established in the primary phase into the secondary phase so that pupils know how to behave and treat each other with respect.

• Leaders and those responsible for governance have not identified the failings in the secondary phase of the school quickly enough. As a result, pupils are not receiving a satisfactory standard of education and too many behave badly and are suspended. Those responsible for governance should provide targeted support for new leaders so that they can take decisive action to tackle the significant issues across the secondary phase of the school.