First Rung Independent School

Name First Rung Independent School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 16 October 2018
Address 197-205 High Street, Ponders End, London, EN3 4DZ
Phone Number 02088034764
Type Independent
Age Range 14-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 20 (55% boys 45% girls)
Local Authority Enfield
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Pupils with SEN Support 60%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

First Rung Independent School offers an alternative education programme for pupils in Years 10 and 11. First Rung Limited, a registered charity established in 1983 and a provider of 16 to 19 study programmes, traineeships and apprenticeships, runs this school. The post-16 provision was not part of this inspection. Pupils are referred to the school because they are unable to access mainstream secondary schools. This includes pupils who have been permanently excluded or are at risk of this. Often, pupils have spent a considerable time out of education by the time they join the school. All pupils who attend this school are dual registered with a mainstream school or a pupil referral unit. The majority of pupils have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. A very small number on the roll have an education, health and care plan. The Department for Education registered this school on 27 June 2018, and this is the school’s first standard inspection. The school is located on two sites, approximately 19 miles apart. One site is based at 333 Edgware Road, London NW9 6TD, in the London Borough of Brent. The second, located in the London Borough of Enfield, is at 197.205 High Street, Ponders End, London EN3 4DZ. The school uses no alternative providers. Breakfast is provided for pupils on both sites, each morning. The school’s ethos is reflected in the provision of bespoke learning and pastoral support that meets the identified needs of individual pupils.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Leaders are unwavering in their quest for pupils to have access to effective learning and subsequent employment. They make sure that pupils’ needs are supported well. The positive and nurturing relationships between staff and pupils is key to the school’s success. Effective leadership has ensured that the independent school standards are met. The board of trustees provides effective governance. Members share school leaders’ ambition for pupils to improve their life chances and work opportunities. The curriculum is well planned to meet the needs and interests of pupils. Its vocational dimension, together with English and mathematics, prepares pupils well for the next stage of their employment, training or education. A strong commitment to pupils’ personal development and welfare exists at this school. This enables pupils to regain their self-esteem and improve their attitudes to learning. Pupils learn effectively. Assessment of pupils’ needs and prior learning is particularly strong, and underpins good teaching. Sometimes a few pupils are not challenged enough to reach high standards. Pupils’ outcomes are good. Pupils make good progress from their starting points, and they achieve more than might have been expected before they joined the school. Some pupils’ development in science is not as strong compared with their other subjects. The behaviour of pupils is good. This is because : everyday routines are in place, and pupils are aware of the school’s high expectations for behaviour. The newly introduced system for checking pupils’ behaviour is not fully implemented across both of the school’s sites. Attendance is low. Despite this, pupils’ individual attendance improves over time because leaders encourage all pupils to be punctual and attend school regularly. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.