Continu Plus Academy

Name Continu Plus Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Finepoint, Kidderminster, DY11 7FB
Phone Number 01562822463
Type Academy
Age Range 11-17
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 40 (70% boys 30% girls)
Local Authority Worcestershire
Percentage Free School Meals 36.4%
Catchment Area Indicator Available No
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (29 April 2015)
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Information about this school

Continu Plus Academy (CPA) opened as a Free School for Alternative Provision in September 2013. The academy moved into its current purpose-built premises in May 2014. CPA is part of the Continu Trust and works in partnership with seven secondary schools in the Wyre Forest and Hagley area, Kidderminster College, Universities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, Barnardo’s and Worcestershire County Council. CPA provides for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students who have been, or are at risk of being, permanently excluded from mainstream schools. Students in Key Stage 3 spend an average of six weeks at the academy before returning to their mainstream school. Students in Key Stage 4 remain at the academy and do not return to their mainstream school. The academy provides a breakfast club for students. Students are taught in mixed-ability classes. The number of students in each class is limited to eight. The proportion of disadvantaged students eligible for the pupil premium (government funding to support students known to be eligible for free school meals and those who are looked after by the local authority) is well above average. The majority of students are dual registered and part of the pupil premium grant funding remains with the mainstream school. All students are disabled or have special educational needs and generally have a background of social, emotional and mental health difficulties. A small number of students have an Education Health Care Plan. A small number of students are looked after by the local authority. Students are predominantly from a White British background. None have English as a second language. The academy normally has more boys than girls. CPA uses a range of alternative providers for the vast majority of the 51 Key Stage 4 students, mainly for vocational courses. These include Gloverspiece farm animal care, Crowsmill construction skills, Country Treks Equestrian Centre, Step-Out survival skills, Watts Klever Kloggs hair and beauty studies, Archway arts and design and Abberley Care Farm. The academy has not received any Year 7 catch-up funding.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. The headteacher, governors and academy leaders have established a strong and cohesive academy community in which students, staff and parents strive to meet the shared vision and learn together. Governors are skilled in supporting the academy in meeting its aims. They provide effective challenge and support in equal measure. The staff are very supportive of the academy leaders and work together to develop and improve the academy. Teaching is good because of the good relationships the teachers have with students. Teachers plan lessons which interest students and help them to make good progress. The curriculum is well matched to students’ needs and aspirations, particularly in the range of vocational courses offered by alternative providers. Students are well-prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment. In 2014, all Year 11 students leaving the academy moved on to a college course, an apprenticeship or into work. Students’ progress in English and mathematics improves significantly when they join the academy. Disadvantaged students are catching up well with their peers. Students’ behaviour in and around the academy is good. There is a strong community spirit. Students get on well with each other and with staff. Students are positive about the academy and say they feel safe as a result of the care and support they receive from staff. Leaders provide support and training for staff which enables them to improve their teaching and management of students’ needs. This contributes successfully to making this an improving academy. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Students do not have enough opportunities to use and improve their reading skills other than in English. Teachers do not consistently give clear feedback or guidance that will help students improve their work. They do not always check that students act upon the advice they are given through marking. Teachers do not consistently plan work that matches students’ needs, particularly in mathematics. Some students’ attendance is too low, meaning they miss too many lessons. Leaders do not make enough use of their evaluation of the academy’s performance to identify key priorities for academy improvement.