Aston University Engineering Academy

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About Aston University Engineering Academy

Name Aston University Engineering Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mr Daniel Locke-Wheaton
Address 1 Lister Street, Birmingham, B7 4AG
Phone Number 01213800570
Phase Academy
Type University technical college
Age Range 13-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 743
Local Authority Birmingham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Students in this school enjoy a strong practical, technical and academic education.

An exceptional enrichment programme also develops excellent employability skills. As a result, students are very well prepared for the world of work and to be citizens of modern Britain.

Expectations of all are high in the school.

Students rise to these high expectations in their studies and their conduct. They have positive attitudes to learning and are keen to succeed. Many take on positions of responsibility and develop leadership skills in the school.

Students are mature and well behaved. Disruption to learning is rare, as are other issues such as bullying. Studen...ts know that staff will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour.

They have faith in staff to tackle any that does happen. Consequently, students feel safe in school. They appreciate the care that staff show them.

Students and their parents are glad they joined the school. Students enjoy their education, and almost all attend regularly.

The school has strong links with employers and Aston University.

Students receive high-quality careers guidance from the moment they join the school. Many students go on to university when they leave. Others move on to high-quality apprenticeships and further study.

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

The school is well led. The principal, senior leaders and governors share a compelling vision to provide high-quality academic and technical education. This vision is being realised.

The school's staff are committed to the school's mission. They form a united and hard-working team. They appreciate the leadership and support that senior leaders provide.

Morale is strong.

The school's curriculum focuses on specialist subjects and developing key employability skills. The curriculum comprises traditional academic subjects, vocational areas and enrichment.

Leaders have woven these elements together skilfully. Students have positive attitudes to the curriculum, and are prepared well for life beyond school.

Leaders plan learning well in most subjects.

Students' knowledge builds logically from Year 9 to Year 13. Engineering is a strength of the school. Its teaching emphasises practical and technical skills from the start of Year 9.

This means that students are well prepared to study engineering in the sixth form and beyond. The school's many links with industry and local employers enrich the curriculum. For example, students build a working aeroplane in partnership with the Air League and the Royal Air Force.

The curriculum in science is less well planned than in other subjects. At times, topics are not taught in a logical order. Students sometimes encounter new learning without having been taught necessary concepts beforehand.

Teachers have strong subject knowledge. They explain new concepts clearly. Many teachers use assessment well.

They know whether students have understood important concepts. They revisit learning when students have not mastered key knowledge. This practice is not consistent throughout the school.

At times, teachers do not identify and address misconceptions or gaps in students' understanding.

Students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) make good progress. Teachers take their needs into account when planning learning.

The school's SEND team intervenes when students need extra support. For example, staff provide extra help for students who find reading difficult. These students catch up with their peers and succeed in their studies.

The school has a high proportion of disadvantaged students. They make the same strong progress as their peers.

The school's work to promote students' personal development is exemplary.

It develops strong employability skills in students. All students take part in an excellent enrichment programme. Many students join the Combined Cadet Force.

Others complete employer-led projects. All students take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.

Careers education is a strength of the school.

A comprehensive programme runs in all years. Students move to positive and appropriate destinations when they leave the school.

Leaders provide a well-planned programme of personal, social, health and economic education.

Students learn to value of the importance of democracy. They learn to respect others, especially those who are different from themselves. The school is an inclusive community where difference is valued.

The governing body has considerable expertise. The governors provide strong support for leaders. In many areas they also provide effective challenge.

However, governors are not aware of the detail contained in some statutory guidance. They are unable to hold leaders to account in these areas. For example, inspectors found omissions in the school's SEND information report.

Leaders have not provided governors with a suitable report about children looked after. Inspectors found no evidence that these omissions had adversely affected students. Students with SEND and children looked after are supported well in the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of keeping students safe throughout the school. Pastoral care is strong.

Students and parents value the support that staff provide. Students know where to turn if they need support.

Leaders ensure that all staff are alert to the signs that students might need extra help.

Staff use the school's systems well to pass on any concerns they have. Leaders deal with concerns quickly. They involve outside agencies appropriately to ensure that students receive appropriate and timely support when they need it.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum in science is not as well sequenced as it is in other subjects. Learning is not always organised in a logical order. Consequently, students sometimes meet new concepts without having necessary prior knowledge in place.

Leaders should ensure that the science curriculum is as well sequenced as the curriculum in other subjects. ? Teachers' use of assessment is not consistently effective throughout the school. Teachers do not consistently identify gaps in students' knowledge or their misconceptions.

When this is the case, teaching does not address these gaps or misconceptions. Leader should ensure that teachers use assessment well to identify and address misconceptions and gaps in students' knowledge. ? Governors are unaware of the detail contained in some statutory guidance for schools, for example in relation to students with SEND and children looked after.

Consequently, the school does not pay sufficient regard to some statutory guidance, and governors do not hold leaders to account for these gaps. Leaders and governors should ensure that they understand all statutory guidance that applies to the school. Governors should hold leaders properly to account in all areas of school life.

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