|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Requires improvement|
|Inspection Date||12 February 2019|
|Address||Icknield Way West, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, SG6 4BA|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||420 (51% boys 49% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||12|
|Percentage Free School Meals||19.7%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||12.9%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||9%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Information about this school
The school is a smaller-than-average-sized school, serving the town of Letchworth and its surrounding area. The large majority of pupils are White British. The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium is above average. The proportion of pupils with SEND is above average. The school collaborates with Highfield School for the provision of sixth-form courses. The school uses the alternative provider North Hertfordshire Educational Support Centre to provide alternative provision for a small number of pupils.
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a school that requires improvement Over time, standards at Fearnhill School have declined. Although leaders’ recent actions have stemmed this regression, pupils are not yet making good progress in all subjects. Leaders who are newer in post are starting to make a difference in their respective areas but have not had time to have an impact on improving teaching or outcomes. Leaders do not focus precisely on how all pupils can make good progress from their starting points. Teachers do not use pupils’ assessment information consistently well to plan learning that meets pupils’ needs. This is particularly the case for boys, disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teaching does not fully engage pupils in learning. When pupils are less interested in the work, there are some incidents of low-level disruption that distract others from learning. The behaviour of pupils around the school is not always good. Leaders are working hard to improve attendance overall. The attendance of disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND has not improved quickly enough. Outcomes in the sixth form vary between subjects. Students do not typically make as much progress as they should. The school has the following strengths Leaders are relentless about ensuring that pupils benefit from opportunities to develop well and become model ‘Fearnhill students’. Pupils’ understanding of fundamental British values is well developed by leaders. Being different in this school is fine. Pupils benefit from helpful careers information, advice and guidance and so are well informed about the next steps in their lives. Sixth-form students are complimentary about the support they receive from staff. They are well cared for and supported to make the right choices. The curriculum is enriched by a wide range of sporting, artistic and cultural activities, school trips and after-school clubs. Governors are increasingly effective in their roles.