Baxter College


Name Baxter College
Website http://www.baxtercollege.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Habberley Road, Kidderminster, DY11 5PQ
Phone Number 01562741524
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 857 (50.2% boys 49.8% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.4
Academy Sponsor Severn Academies Educational Trust
Local Authority Worcestershire
Percentage Free School Meals 26.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4.4%
Persisitent Absence 16%
Pupils with SEN Support 11.9%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (14 January 2020)
There may have been more recent inspections such as monitoring visits or short inspections. For details of all inspections, please view this provider on our map here.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Baxter College are looked after well. The pastoral support given to them is highly effective. Every pupil matters. Pupils say that they feel safe. If bullying happens, pupils say that they have someone they can talk to. They trust them to sort it out.

Behaviour in the vast majority of lessons is good. Very little learning time is lost. Pupils enjoy their lessons and want to do well. Positive relationships between staff and pupils support pupils’ learning well.

The school offers a full range of activities and trips for pupils. These include trips to Venice, Iceland, the theatre and local places of worship. Activities include music, drama, sport and science. Pupils value these activities.

Students in the sixth form are well prepared for the next stage in their education. All students go on work experience. They all take part in enrichment activities, including gardening and care for the elderly. As a result, the vast majority go on to higher education, employment or training.

All staff have high expectations for what pupils can achieve. This means getting good qualifications and preparing them to be good, active citizens. For example, pupils raise money for charities, including Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

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

Leaders have thought carefully about the curriculum that pupils follow. They have high expectations for what pupils can achieve. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Last year, a full review of the curriculum was carried out. Consequently, pupils in key stage 3 are now well prepared for the choices they make at key stage 4. The school offers a full range of subjects at key stage 4. These subjects and the curriculum are well matched to pupils’ interests and ability. While the number of pupils studying the English Baccalaureate (a specific set of subjects at GCSE level) is increasing, it remains low. Leaders are taking effective action to address this.

Pupils achieve well in most subjects. They are well prepared for the next stage in their education. The vast majority of pupils in Year 11 last year went on to education, employment and training.

Teachers have good subject knowledge. They plan and deliver lessons in a logical order. This helps pupils to build on what they knew before and to develop their knowledge and skills well. The use of assessment is effective. For example, pupils and sixth-form students speak positively about learning forward forms and the use of bridging questions. They say that these approaches are helping them to remember more of the work and to challenge their thinking. The work in pupils’ books supports this.The school provides good support and care for pupils with SEND. They can study all subjects and access the whole curriculum. Pupils value this, but they could achieve better. Staff receive training and information on how to meet pupils’ needs in the classroom. However, leaders do not check to see if staff are using the guidance and information well. As a result, some teachers do not make sure that learning tasks are appropriate to the pupils’ ability and needs.

Pupils receive high-quality pastoral care and support. Staff in the inclusion team are highly effective in helping pupils manage their emotions. Sometimes a small number of pupils find it difficult to manage their behaviour. Staff in the inclusion team are highly skilled in helping pupils with this. As a result, the number of repeat fixed-term exclusions is falling.

Leaders monitor the attendance of pupils in school and in alternative provision well. Consequently, some pupils have improved their attendance from low starting points. However, attendance overall remains low. This is particularly so for pupils with SEND and disadvantaged pupils. Persistent absence is high. This is hindering pupils’ progress.

Students in the sixth form speak positively about the school. They say that teachers are ambitious for what they can achieve. Students are highly motivated to do well and take responsibility for their learning. As a result, most achieve well. For example, in art, students talk confidently about their work and how they are going to improve it. In sociology, students take part in healthy debate about current affairs and show a good level of understanding.

Leaders take care of their staff. All staff say that they are proud to work at the school. They say that they are well supported by leaders.

The trust supports the school well. For example, it has added capacity to the leadership team with the secondment of a deputy headteacher from the trust central team. The setting up of the project board has provided additional support to governors. For instance, the project board has provided training for governors on the school’s priorities. As a result, governors’ minutes show governors challenging leaders on issues such as the impact of inclusion on the progress of disadvantaged pupils.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Safeguarding is a strength of the school. The designated safeguarding lead is highly effective. The risks pupils face in the local area are identified well as a result of effective links the school has with the police. Staff receive specific training on this. Pupils learn about this in assemblies and in lessons. As a result, pupils say that they feel safe.

Staff know pupils well and take their concerns seriously. They quickly report any concerns, confident in the knowledge that leaders will deal with them effectively.Records are detailed and well organised. Adults who work at or visit the school are appropriately checked.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The school provides effective care and support for pupils with SEND. However, their learning and academic outcomes could be better. Although leaders ensure that staff receive appropriate information about individual pupils’ needs and training in some aspects of SEND provision, they do not routinely check and review how well this information or training is being used. Leaders need to regularly monitor and evaluate how well the needs of pupils with SEND are being met, so that they achieve their full potential.Leaders monitor pupils’ attendance well in school and in alternative provision. They use a range of strategies to improve attendance. For some individual pupils with particularly low starting points, this is beginning to have an impact. However, attendance overall is low and persistent absence remains high. This negatively affects the learning of those pupils who are frequently absent. Leaders need to work with parents and carers to improve the attendance of pupils who are regularly absent from school so that they are in school, learning well and making better progress.