Bexhill High Academy

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About Bexhill High Academy

Name Bexhill High Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Headteacher Craig Neal
Address Gunters Lane, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN39 4BY
Phone Number 01424730722
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1519
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils study a broad and ambitious curriculum. Leaders have worked hard to design a curriculum that is engaging and suitably challenging for all pupils. Pupils also have opportunities to develop a richer interest in and understanding of curriculum subjects, for example through the scholarship programme.

However, some pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are not yet well supported to access the curriculum and achieve well. Where the teaching of the curriculum is stronger and behaviour is well managed, pupils are more engaged and learn more as a result.

Beyond lessons, pupils benefit from assemblies and tutor time activities... that focus on their wider development.

They discuss important age-appropriate themes that link closely to the school values. Pupils also benefit from the range of extra-curricular activities and clubs on offer.

Many pupils want to do well and enjoy attending school.

However, those who do not enjoy school express concerns about behaviour and bullying. Although most pupils feel that bullying is dealt with effectively, they are less confident that poor behaviour is managed fairly across the school. This means that there are a small group of pupils who do not always feel safe in school.

Furthermore, some pupils are concerned that derogatory language has become normalised within their peer groups. Leaders are taking action but there are yet to be sustained demonstrable impacts.

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

Staff are ambitious for their pupils and are clear that there is no ceiling on what they can achieve.

Curriculum leaders have thought carefully about what knowledge is taught and when it is best to teach it within each subject. However, many of the planned curriculums are in the early stages of implementation. This means that the learning activities in some lessons are not yet consistently supporting all pupils to know more and remember more.

In some subjects, this is because the activities set for pupils are not well matched to pupils' starting points. Therefore, some pupils who have gaps in their knowledge do not have enough time to practise and receive the feedback they need to improve before they are moved on to learn more complex content. In addition, pupils are not always provided with feedback that is helping them to improve.

Sometimes the feedback pupils receive is unnecessarily complex or too generic.

Although leaders have accurately identified pupils with SEND who might require additional support, the information about what works well for these pupils is sometimes not precise enough to match their needs. This means that in many cases pupils with SEND do not achieve as well as they could.

Additionally, leaders have identified pupils who are struggling to read accurately and fluently. However, the actions leaders are taking to support these pupils are in the early stages.

Pupils are interested in and enjoy their personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education lessons.

Within these lessons, pupils benefit from clearly planned opportunities to learn about how to prepare for their future lives. This includes careers-related guidance that is purposeful and linked closely to the community and local businesses.

Many parents and pupils share concerns about behaviour.

Leaders have had some success in supporting pupils whose behaviour is particularly challenging, for example through the use of their own on-site alternative provision. However, leaders know that there is more work to be done to cultivate a positive and respectful culture for all. Attendance is showing signs of improvement but remains low for specific groups of pupils, including those with SEND.

Trustees have a range of experience and expertise. They support and challenge leaders appropriately through regular external reviews. More recently there has been further direct engagement with staff to support the improvement of the school.

Where staff share workload concerns, leaders are trying to provide carefully considered support through, for example, a newly implemented feedback approach. There is more to be done by leaders at all levels to promote positive channels of communication between all stakeholders.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Trustees regularly monitor safeguarding practice. They ensure that appropriate checks are in place for adults who work with pupils.

Staff have received appropriate training.

They understand their role in how to keep pupils safe in school. They are also acutely aware of the risks that pupils might face within the community. They respond quickly and appropriately if a pupil is at risk.

Written records are made in a timely way and referrals are promptly made when appropriate.

Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe in a range of ways, including PSHE lessons, assemblies and visits from the school police officer. Pupils demonstrate a clear understanding of how to look after their physical, mental and social well-being.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils share concerns about poor behaviour interrupting their learning in lessons and pupils behaving antisocially during social times. This means that some pupils do not always feel safe in school. Leaders must ensure that their expectations for pupils' behaviour are clearly communicated and that all staff are supported to implement a fair and consistent behaviour policy across the school.

Some pupils accept derogatory language from their peers. This means that not all incidents of discrimination are reported. Leaders must evaluate the current approaches they use to communicate important messages to pupils that derogatory language is not tolerated.

• Leaders are taking action to improve attendance. However, too many pupils do not attend school often enough. Pupils are missing the education to which they are entitled.

Leaders must continue with their work to raise attendance by reviewing their approaches so that pupils are in school more consistently and benefiting from full-time education. ? The implementation of some curriculum plans is in the early stages. Therefore, there is variability within and between subjects.

This means that some teaching approaches are not yet well matched to build on pupils' prior knowledge. Leaders must ensure that all pupils are well supported to access the intended curriculum. ? Pupils with SEND are not yet provided with the clear and detailed support they require.

This means that not all pupils with SEND are accessing the curriculum and achieving well. Leaders must ensure that staff have the support they need to meet the needs of all pupils. Leaders must also ensure that they have robust systems in place to monitor the precise impacts of their actions and make modifications as required.

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