Bideford College

Name Bideford College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Address Abbotsham Road, Bideford, EX39 3AR
Phone Number 01237477611
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1251 (51.4% boys 48.6% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.5
Academy Sponsor Launceston College
Local Authority Devon
Percentage Free School Meals 20.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 1.1%
Persisitent Absence 18%
Pupils with SEN Support 16%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (16 October 2018)
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Information about this school

Bideford College opened on 1 March 2016 following the conversion of the predecessor school, of the same name, to academy status. The school is a member of the Launceston College Multi Academy Trust. The chief executive officer of the trust provides support for the principal and senior leaders. He is based at the school approximately two days each week. Several other senior leaders are employed directly by the trust and work across all of its schools. The work of the school is overseen by a local governing body. The chair of governors sits on the trust board. The school is much larger than the average-sized secondary school. The proportion of pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities is above average. The proportion of pupils who are supported through pupil premium funding is around the national average. Almost all pupils are of White British heritage. There are very few from minority ethnic groups and very few speak English as an additional language. The school runs an off-site centre based in a local hospital close to the school. This provides short-term support for a small number of pupils who have additional emotional or behavioural needs. The school does not use any other alternative provision.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement Year 11 pupils’ attainment and progress in 2018 were well below the national average. The progress of current pupils is significantly better. Year 11 disadvantaged pupils’ progress was particularly weak last year. Better attendance is leading to improved progress for disadvantaged pupils currently in the school. Historically, the most able pupils have not made the progress of which they are capable. Teaching is now more challenging and so these pupils are beginning to make better progress. Although it is improving, teaching is not yet consistently good. Some teachers’ expectations of the quality of pupils’ work are not yet high enough. Teachers do not help key stage 4 pupils develop their literacy skills effectively and so too many pupils’ English skills remain weak. Pupils’ conduct in lessons is compliant and so classrooms are well ordered, but behaviour around the school is sometimes too boisterous. Pupils are not confident learners. A residue of low aspiration remains among some. Senior leaders have improved the rate of pupils’ attendance. However, it is still too low. Senior leaders’ strategy for improving disadvantaged pupils’ progress is not yet consistently applied across the school. The leadership of provision for pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities is not effective enough. The progress of these pupils is not consistently good. Teaching in the sixth form does not enable the most able students to deepen their knowledge and so attain the highest grades at A level. The school has the following strengths This is an improving school. The trust has provided significant support to enable this. The principal demonstrates tenacious leadership. She has successfully steered the school through a period of turbulence in staffing and financial difficulty. Senior leaders use Year 7 catch-up funding well. The curriculum helps key stage 3 pupils to develop basic skills quickly. The local governing body is clear and resolute in its expectations of senior leaders to improve pupils’ progress.