Durham Community Business College for Technology and Enterprise

About Durham Community Business College for Technology and Enterprise Browse Features

Durham Community Business College for Technology and Enterprise

Name Durham Community Business College for Technology and Enterprise
Website http://durhamfederation.net/
Ofsted Inspections
Address Bracken Court, Ushaw Moor, Durham, DH7 7NG
Phone Number 01913730336
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 299 (49.2% boys 50.8% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 8.1
Local Authority County Durham
Percentage Free School Meals 46.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 1.7%
Persistent Absence 15.7%
Pupils with SEN Support 25.4%%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Information about this school

Durham Community Business College for Technology and Enterprise is part of the Durham Federation.

The federation is responsible for two secondary schools. Since the last inspection, there have been considerable changes to staffing and leadership. The current headteacher was appointed in her substantive role in May 2017, following a period of supporting the school as a local authority consultant and acting headteacher.

The local authority replaced the governing body with an interim executive board in January 2015 and the previous headteacher left the same year. Leaders appointed a new permanent deputy headteacher in January 2016, and new assistant headteacher in September 2017. A second new assistant headteacher and a leader for English were appointed in May 2018.

A leader for mathematics and computing was appointed in September 2018. In September 2018, leaders brought pupils from both schools in the federation together, onto one site. The majority of lessons are taught on the Durham Community Business College for Technology and Enterprise site; the learning and inclusion centre, along with the teaching of vocational subjects, are based on the Sacriston site.

The school’s interim executive board is currently working with the Department for Education towards the amalgamation of both of the federation’s schools. The local authority provides a range of support to continuously develop school leadership and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. For example, the school improvement partner and specialist consultant teachers provide targeted support.

The proportion of disadvantaged pupils supported by the pupil premium is above the national average. The proportion of pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities is above the national average. The school uses The Bridge and Delta Independent School for alternative provision.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement Pupils have not made the rapid progress needed to overcome previous considerable underachievement and weak teaching, especially in mathematics. Staffing turbulence and difficulties in recruiting teachers, most notably in mathematics, have hampered leaders’ efforts to bring rapid improvements to the quality of teaching and outcomes of pupils. Teaching, learning and assessment, although improving, remain inconsistent in their effect on pupils’ outcomes.

Teachers do not all consistently use questioning and pupils’ prior assessment information to ensure that learning meets all pupils’ needs and keeps them engaged. From their below-average starting points, pupils do not make good progress over time. Standards by the end of Year 11, while improving, are still below average.

Expectations of what pupils can achieve are sometimes too low. Consequently, the level of challenge limits the progress pupils make in some lessons. Strategies to improve pupils’ literacy skills are not embedded across the school.

Consequently, pupils do not have sufficient opportunities to improve their progress by developing extended writing skills. Pupils’ persistent absence and the number of fixed-term exclusions increased in 2018. The school has the following strengths The headteacher has a clear and focused vision for the school.

She has taken effective action to tackle weak teaching and is well supported by her competent senior leadership team. The curriculum and teaching, as well as pupils’ outcomes, are improving. Senior leadership has strengthened.

Leaders have an accurate picture of what is needed to improve the school. As a result, the pace of improvement is starting to gather momentum. Governors have supported the school well through a period of challenge and change.

They use their wide range of relevant experience to support school leaders in every aspect of school life. Pupils in Years 7 and 8 are making increasingly strong progress, having only experienced the school under its new good leadership. Progress overall is improving from a very low base.