Buckler’s Mead School

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About Buckler’s Mead School

Name Buckler’s Mead School
Website http://bucklersmead.com
Ofsted Inspections
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Mark Lawrence
Address 1 St. Johns Road, Yeovil, BA21 4NH
Phone Number 01935424454
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 734
Local Authority Somerset
Highlights from Latest Inspection
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils do not achieve well. There has been a marked decline in standards. The school's curriculum does not provide pupils with the knowledge they need to be successful.

As a result, pupils are often unable to recall what they have learned.

Pupils' behaviour can be rowdy around the school site and disrupts the learning of others in lessons.

The school has seen much change this term, with a new headteacher and a number of new staff.

Pupils welcome some of the changes which new leaders have made to keep them safe. For example, they say that split lunchtimes have made the playground and dining hall less crowded and safer. In addition, pupils like the ban... on mobile phones, which they say has reduced cyber bullying.

However, pupils continue to have some worries about bullying. They do not have confidence in their teachers to stop it.

Pupils enjoy participating in the wide range of clubs which the school provides, for example Greenpower and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Pupils proudly represent the school in sporting events.

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

Leaders do not manage the school well. The curriculum lacks structure in many subject areas.

Leaders' expectations for what should be taught and when in each year group is not clear. They do not provide enough guidance for teachers. In addition, the curriculum for Year 9 pupils is too narrow.

Trustees have not done enough to stop the school's decline. They do not understand their roles well enough. Trustees have not had the training and development they need to make close checks on the headteacher's work and that of the rest of the school.

The education which the school provides is weak. Pupils do not achieve well. They are not well prepared for when then leave the school.

The school's careers advice and guidance are weak.

The education for pupils' personal development is weak. The teaching of the risks of radicalisation and extremism is not good enough.

Leaders recognise this but have been slow to put it right. Pupils have a very limited understanding of how to keep themselves safe in these respects.

Leaders do not ensure equity of what is offered at the school.

There are school trips to broaden pupils' cultural understanding, for example a history trip to the First World War battlefields and a school trip to Germany. However, few pupils benefit from these trips as they are not offered to everyone. Leaders do not make sure that all pupils have equal access to the curriculum subjects.

For example, some Year 7 pupils do not take part in modern foreign languages as they receive extra English and mathematics learning. Therefore, these pupils are denied an opportunity to learn a foreign language from the start.

The school has chosen books for its Read to Succeed scheme to enhance pupils' moral and cultural understanding.

However, leaders do not ensure that these activities make a difference.

Some pupils say that bullying is common at the school. They do not feel able to report it.

They say that bullying of pupils, including homophobic bullying, is not challenged by staff.

Leaders have not done enough to tackle pupils' poor attendance. Too many pupils are regularly absent from school.

Leaders have taken steps to improve pupils' behaviour and their attitudes to learning. However, behaviour at social times, and when pupils move around the school, is often too disorderly. Pupils push and jostle each other.

Disruption is evident in a range of lessons across the school. Pupils take little pride in their work.

The school has effective systems to identify and plan for the needs of both its disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) but these are in the early stages of implementation.

They have not made a difference yet. The school's thrive centre is well regarded by pupils who feel safe and included when they are not in the main school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The recently appointed leader for safeguarding has enhanced the school's safeguarding systems and processes. As a result, staff are well trained to spot signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm. They follow the school's policies and procedures for reporting concerns they may have about pupils' welfare.

Leaders have plans in place to ensure that staff receive further training so that they know the possible risks associated with radicalisation.

The safeguarding leader has successfully formed links with key organisations and to understand the local issues. Pupils who need early help are referred to external agencies promptly.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leadership does not have the capacity to make the necessary changes. While some subject leaders are developing their roles, others have not started, or their work is being implemented too slowly. Senior leaders do not provide staff with the training and support they need to lead their areas of responsibility well.

Trustees must ensure that leaders at all levels receive the professional development they need to bring about school-wide improvement. . The school's curriculum is not well organised.

Nor is it equitable. The curriculum is narrow. It does not help pupils to build on what they already know and can do.

As a result, pupils do not achieve well. Leaders need to make sure that the curriculum is carefully thought out so that pupils know and understand more. .

Leaders have not made sure that teachers' subject knowledge is sufficiently strong. Teachers do not make good use of what they know pupils can or cannot do to plan what they do next. The work which teachers set does not help pupils to build on their understanding of what they have learned before.

Leaders must ensure that teachers have enough subject knowledge to help them to use their assessment well so that pupils can know, do and understand more. . Leaders have not done enough to make sure that pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain.

Pupils leave the school ill-prepared for their next steps academically and socially. Leaders need to make sure that pupils can develop into good citizens. Leaders must urgently act to create a more tolerant culture, so pupils have better attitudes toward each other.

Leaders must ensure that bullying, including homophobic bullying, is dealt with effectively. . The school's policies and procedures are not fit for purpose.

The board does not get the information it needs from leaders to evaluate the effectiveness of the school's work. There has been a decline in standards and pupils' achievement. The board must ensure that school policies, procedures and guidance are understood and implemented by all staff, so that the school's overall effectiveness improves rapidly.

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Bucklers Mead Active Camp

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