Chichester Free School


Name Chichester Free School
Website http://www.chichesterfreeschool.org.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 06 February 2019
Address Hunston Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 1NP
Phone Number 01243792690
Type Academy
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 995 (51% boys 49% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.4
Academy Sponsor Sussex Education Trust Ltd
Local Authority West Sussex
Percentage Free School Meals 5.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3.8%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE

Information about this school

Chichester Free School opened in September 2013 and is an all-through school for pupils aged four to 19. It has two classes in each year group in the primary phase and capacity for four tutor groups in each year group in the secondary phase, although Year 11 currently only has three. The school incorporates a sixth form, which opened in September 2018. It currently has a small number of students in Year 12 and none in Year 13. Sussex Education Trust sponsors the school. The governing body is formed of trustees. The chair of governors was not in his current post at the time of the last inspection. The composition of the governing body has also changed notably during this time. The school moved to its current and permanent premises in September 2018, after five years in temporary accommodation. For the past academic year, the primary and secondary phases of the school were based on different sites. The school is in an area of relatively low social deprivation. A below-average proportion of pupils are eligible for free school meals. Most pupils are of White British origin. A very small number of children speak English as an additional language. Above-average proportions of pupils have SEND. However, fewer pupils have an education, health and care plan than is the case nationally. The previous principal left the school in December 2017. The current principal joined the school in January 2018 and is interim in her post. A small number of pupils attend alternative provision, either at another local school or at the West Sussex Alternative Provision College. Wrap-around before- and after-school care is available for pupils in the primary phase. This is run by an independent company and is inspected separately from the rest of the school.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Leaders have sustained their high aspirations and moral intent as the school has grown. They have not allowed the challenge of moving to a new site to detract from their core purpose. Consequently, standards in the school remain high and are improving over time. Overall, pupils make good progress because : they experience suitably strong teaching. Where pockets of less effective practice exist, leaders take suitable action that is leading to improvement. Teaching and learning are most successful in core subjects, specifically English and mathematics. High expectations and careful planning support pupils in striving for success and in learning well over time. The quality of provision in the primary and secondary phases is more variable across foundation subjects. Pupils experience a suitably broad curriculum. An extensive programme of activities, clubs and visits complements pupils’ in-class learning positively. As a result, they enjoy learning that prepares them well for the future. Pupils’ welfare needs are met by the school’s clearly established culture. Vulnerable pupils are looked after well, particularly in the primary phase of the school. A small number of secondary-aged pupils need careful support to help them to manage their own behaviour. Governors fulfil their role successfully. Their work is more strategic than in the past. They now challenge leaders effectively about the impact of the school’s work on the quality of pupils’ learning across the curriculum. Children in early years are settled and happy. They play well together, which helps them to learn well. Leaders have clear plans to develop aspects of provision that are currently less well established, such as precise use of inside and outside learning spaces. The new sixth-form is evolving well. Students are successful because teaching challenges them to deepen their thinking. Leaders view strengths and improvement priorities accurately. Work experience and activities to support students’ attitudes and confidence are in the early stages of being introduced.