Bristol Brunel Academy

Name Bristol Brunel Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Speedwell Road, Speedwell, Bristol, BS15 1NU
Phone Number 01173772700
Type Academy
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1136 (52.6% boys 47.4% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.3
Academy Sponsor Cabot Learning Federation
Local Authority Bristol, City of
Percentage Free School Meals 29.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 21%
Persisitent Absence 20.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 14.4%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (11 June 2013)
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Information about this school

This is larger than the average-sized secondary school. The academy is a member of the Cabot Learning Federation which is sponsored by Rolls Royce PLC and the University of the West of England. The federation has been the sponsor of Bristol Brunel Academy since September 2007 when the academy opened. The federation consists of a group of five local primary and six secondary academies who work together to share effective practice and leadership strategies to accelerate school improvement. This work is led and coordinated by an Executive Principal. There is a small sixth form, although many pupils may attend any one of the four sixth forms within the Cabot Learning Federation. The majority of students are of White British heritage although a significant number of students are of minority ethnic heritage, most frequently Black African, with a broad range of other ethnic and cultural backgrounds represented. The proportion of students who speak English as an additional language is above the national average. The proportion of students eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional government funding for pupils in local authority care, those known to be eligible for free school meals and children from service families, is well above that found nationally. The proportion of school action pupils (those who require extra help with their learning) is below average. The proportion of pupils supported by school action plus or who have a statement of special educational needs is below average. The academy shares alternative provision, called the Studio, with four of the other secondary academies within the Cabot Learning Federation. This provides support for a small number of students, who are at risk of permanent exclusion, to help them re-join their home academy.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. The Principal and his team provide clear direction and work relentlessly to drive improvement. They have energised staff in establishing a culture and ethos of high expectation and aspiration through striving for excellence. Students achieve well. Although below average, GCSE results are improving strongly and securely year-on-year. Students make good progress from their different starting points. Teaching is typically good and occasionally outstanding. Targeted professional development, an effective programme to improve literacy skills across the curriculum, and regular opportunities for staff to share and develop classroom practice are used well to drive further improvements in teaching. Students behave well and feel safe. They have a good understanding of the academy’s high expectations of behaviour and demonstrate positive attitudes to learning. Leaders analyse strengths and weaknesses in teaching precisely so that staff performance is managed effectively. The curriculum meets pupils’ needs well with a good balance of academic and work-related subjects. The academy council and Executive Principal play a key role in supporting and challenging academy leaders to raise standards. The depth and range of expertise that exists across the Cabot Learning Federation is used well to enhance the academy’s current trajectory of improvement. It is not yet an outstanding school because : There is not yet enough outstanding teaching to raise achievement higher. Teaching in some subjects is of mixed quality and does not enable every student to excel. The attendance of a small number of students is not good enough and this inhibits their progress and achievement. There is too much variation in pupils’ achievement across sixth form subjects and between AS and A level. Although appropriate systems are now in place to swiftly reduce this variation the sixth form requires improvement.