Batchwood School

What is this page?

We are, a schools information website. This page is one of our school directory pages. This is not the website of Batchwood School.

What is Locrating?

Locrating is the UK's most popular and trusted school guide; it allows you to view inspection reports, admissions data, exam results, catchment areas, league tables, school reviews, neighbourhood information, carry out school comparisons and much more. Below is some useful summary information regarding Batchwood School.

To see all our data you need to click the blue button at the bottom of this page to view Batchwood School on our interactive map.

About Batchwood School

Name Batchwood School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Mr Ross Whitaker
Address Townsend Drive, St Albans, AL3 5RP
Phone Number 01727868021
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 101
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Most Batchwood pupils settle in quickly when they join. Those who find it more difficult to cope with changes are supported well to gain confidence over time.

Pupils form positive working relationships with school staff. They know their teachers want the best for them. Consequently, they are typically respectful and responsive to the high expectations promoted across all aspects of school life.

On occasions, when a few pupils' behaviour falls short of expectations, they are helped to improve, including those who do not attend school as often as they should.

Pupils enjoy learning in a wide range of subjects, including outdoors in 'bushcraft'. They often speak ...about art, design and technology, physical education and music as their 'favourites'.

The importance of keeping safe, maintaining healthy lifestyles and having respectful relationships are regularly reinforced in different situations. Pupils feel safe in school. They know that bullying and any other type of abuse will not be tolerated.

They are clear about whom to speak to if they are worried and trusting of staff to sort things out. Most pupils raise their aspirations for the future from their different starting points. They are well prepared to take their next steps in education, employment and/or training when they leave school.

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

Leaders are as equally ambitious for pupils' academic achievement as they are for their social, emotional and mental health. Consequently, they ensure that Batchwood pupils access a broad and interesting curriculum. Personal, social and health education (PSHE) is threaded through all aspects of the school's work.

The range of subjects on offer has increased since the previous inspection. Expectations are high. Pupils are guided to appropriate awards and qualifications, including GCSEs.

Typically, they achieve well from their different starting points, often after significant periods away from formal education.

Leaders have thought carefully about the content taught at different stages in each subject. Learning is planned to build on what pupils already know, with regular opportunities to revisit important knowledge and skills so that pupils remember more of the things they have learned over time.

Securing pupils' reading fluency is a high priority. A focus on subject-specific vocabulary and reading together is encouraged in lessons. Year 8 pupils spoke enthusiastically about the characters from their class text of choice, 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'.

Staff make regular checks on pupils' learning throughout their time in school. Interventions help individuals who need extra support. There is ongoing staff training to ensure that they are confident to support reading catch-up, including in the use of phonics.

The school's 'nurture' provision offers bespoke support for younger pupils who need more help to settle in.Pupils generally behave well. Bullying and other forms of abuse are not tolerated.

Relationships are positive. Staff are skilful in spotting signs of anxiety which might lead to challenging behaviour. Effective action diffuses situations quickly in lessons and around the school.

While most pupils make significant improvements in their attendance, some do not attend as regularly as they should. This is an ongoing improvement priority for school leaders.

The PSHE curriculum is well planned, with close links to other subjects, including the carefully considered careers education programme.

Pupils gain confidence and improve their self-esteem. They are taught how to keep safe, both physically and mentally, and to form healthy relationships. Tolerance and respect for individual differences are routinely promoted.

Pupils are prepared effectively to take the next steps beyond school. Most gain places in education, employment and/or training when they leave.

Leaders, including governors, have acted decisively to continue to improve the school since the previous inspection.

Staff are well supported. Subject leadership has been strengthened. A few subject leads are new to the role.

As part of their ongoing monitoring and review process, they are working to check that subject content is well defined and consistently taught in the most logical order over time. Governors are a skilled team in holding leaders to account for the quality of education the school offers.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff are appropriately trained so they know what to do if a pupil may be at risk of harm. Leaders ensure that training covers a wide range of important local and national safeguarding concerns, including sexual harassment and gang-related crime. The PSHE curriculum is closely linked to the safeguarding agenda, including in how pupils are taught how to stay safe and to form healthy relationships.

Concerns are followed up quickly. The safeguarding team works closely with external agencies to support vulnerable pupils. Leaders ensure that wider support is available, including from the school's on-site psychologists.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• While the planned curriculum is implemented effectively overall, a few subject leads are new to the role. This means that they are still checking that subject content is consistently well defined and routinely taught in the most logical order. Leaders should ensure that new teams have access to any further training needed to continue to secure their quality assurance role over time.

• Although most pupils make significant improvements in their attendance over their time in the school, often from very low starting points, some do not attend as regularly as they should. This means that they do not achieve as well as they could when they are not in school. Leaders should continue to work closely with pupils and families to minimise the time spent away from lessons so that all pupils are supported to achieve their very best by the time they leave at the end of Year 11.

  Compare to
nearby schools