Brighton Aldridge Community Academy


Name Brighton Aldridge Community Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 30 November 2016
Address Lewes Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 9PW
Phone Number 01273691191
Type Academy
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 937 (54% boys 46% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.9
Academy Sponsor Aldridge Education
Percentage Free School Meals 30.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 13.2%

Information about this school

The academy is sponsored by the Aldridge Foundation, an educational charity founded by Sir Rod Aldridge OBE in 2006. The foundation, principally through the sponsorship of entrepreneurial schools and colleges, helps young people reach their potential and improve their communities. The foundation sponsors eight entrepreneurial schools and academies in England and is also a lead partner in two university technical colleges. One of these, [email protected], is fairly close to the school in Newhaven, East Sussex. Aldridge Education also has a close relationship with ADA, the National College for Digital Skills. In early 2017, the academy will join Aldridge’s new multi-academy trust, Aldridge Education. This will support even closer working with Portslade Aldridge Community Academy. The school is much smaller than the average-sized secondary school with a small sixth form known as BACA College. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is also well above average. The school has a specialist facility, the Swan Centre, for children who have speech and language disorders and children who have autism spectrum disorder. This facility is managed by the local authority. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is over 60%, well above the percentage seen nationally. Over 40 pupils in Year 7 are eligible for catch-up funding (for those who did not attain level 4 in English or mathematics at the end of primary school). In 2015, the school met the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress. Over eight out of 10 pupils are of White British backgrounds. A below-average proportion of pupils speak English as an additional language. Occasionally, but not at present, a few pupils attend alternative education off site, usually part time. The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The principal, fully supported by governors and staff, has overseen many improvements in the last two years. He continues to develop the school’s work wisely and thoughtfully. Senior leaders are competent and efficient. Together with the principal, they identify areas for development and tackle them energetically. The vast majority of pupils and students enjoy school life and the rich extra-curricular activities on offer. Their behaviour is considerate and they work hard and learn well. The governing body is proud of the recent improvements. Members continue to ask searching questions and to visit the school regularly so they can be sure that the culture of ambition is maintained. The care, guidance and support for pupils’ well-being and safety are outstanding. Vulnerable pupils are nurtured and receive sensible and constructive advice. The provision for pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is of a high standard. Pupils’ learning and personal needs are addressed sensitively in the main school and the Swan Centre. Disadvantaged pupils now make similar or better progress than non-disadvantaged pupils nationally in English, mathematics and several other subjects. Teaching is skilful and planned well. Assessment is increasingly sharp. The most able pupils respond well to the challenging teaching they receive. Numbers are increasing in the sixth form. Sports, digital media and other specialist ‘academies’ provide students with excellent routes into further study or employment. Results in most work-related, sixth-form subjects are very strong with a high proportion of double distinctions. Outcomes in academic and a few work-related courses are lower. Pupils’ notes are not always helpful for reference and revision. This is because some pupils do not present their work neatly or legibly. Middle leadership of humanities and modern foreign languages, as well as the progress pupils make, are not as strong as in the majority of other subjects. Despite the school’s determined work to reduce absence, attendance is not good. Since September 2016, expectations for even better behaviour have led to a rise in exclusions.