Folkestone Academy

Name Folkestone Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school, converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Inspection Date 20 October 2015
Address Academy Lane, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 5FP
Phone Number 01303842400
Type Academy
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1940 (52% boys 48% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.1
Academy Sponsor Turner Schools
Local Authority Kent
Percentage Free School Meals 26.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 10.8%
Persisitent Absence 26.7%
Pupils with SEN Support 15.8%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

This is a very large and oversubscribed sponsored academy, which opened in 2007. It delivers primary and secondary education in new buildings on the same site. This is a non-selective school, within an area which has selective education from age 11. About half of the Year 6 pupils gain grammar school places and do not enter Year 7 at this academy. The academy offers early years and post-16 provision. Its large sixth form is on a separate site, known as ‘The Glassworks’. The primary and secondary parts of the academy are each led by a headteacher. There is also an executive principal in the primary phase, who is a national leader of education. She also works in other schools. Most pupils are White British. Few speak English as an additional language. The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is about average in the primary phase. It is above average in the secondary phase. Similarly, there is about an average proportion of disadvantaged pupils, entitled to additional pupil premium funding, in the primary phase. In the secondary phase, the proportion is notably higher. The academy did not meet the government’s minimum expectation (the floor standard) for secondary pupils’ results and progress in 2014. It did meet the primary floor standard in 2014. Unvalidated results indicate improvement. The academy is likely to meet the floor standards in both phases in 2015. The academy uses alternative provision for some of its pupils in Key Stage 4 at the Birchwood Pupil Referral Unit.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Children make a very strong start in the vibrant Kindergarten and Reception classes. The primary academy is led and managed very well. In the secondary phase, improving leadership is leading to improving outcomes. Pupils in the Glassworks sixth form centre achieve highly. Pupils are looked after well and they mainly feel safe and secure in the academy. Teaching is of a consistently high quality in the primary academy and in the sixth form. It is improving well in Years 7 to 11. Pupils behave well. They are friendly, polite and ready to learn. At all ages, there is an interesting, broad and enticing curriculum which engages pupils. The primary academy and the sixth form evaluate themselves very accurately This supports further improvement. The board of trustees has a clear and ambitious vision for the academy which it has steadily brought to fruition. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Despite the clear improvement, teaching is not consistently good in Years 7 to 11. GCSE results improved in 2015 but are not yet good enough. The academy’s self-evaluation of provision and outcomes in Years 7 to 11 is broadly accurate but lacks sharpness and precision. This leads to slower improvement in this part of the academy. The school misses some valuable opportunities for the primary and secondary academies to work together more closely. Attendance is below average in the secondary phase and needs some improvement in the primary phase. Parents are not universally supportive of the academy. Some parents find the academy difficult to approach. The homework policy in the secondary phase is unsustainable.