Foundry College

Name Foundry College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 13 February 2013
Address Budges Gardens, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1PX
Phone Number 01183341510
Type Pupil Referral Unit
Age Range 4-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 23 (91% boys 9% girls)
Local Authority Wokingham
Percentage Free School Meals 21.7%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Since its previous inspection, Foundry College has changed considerably. Five different services have now been combined into one provision catering for pupils aged from five to 16 and operating from two sites. Primary-aged pupils who have been permanently excluded from mainstream provision, or who are likely to be excluded, are educated at Foundry College - Brambles Centre. This centre also provides for older pupils who have been unable to access mainstream education predominantly for medical and mental health issues. Most of these pupils are in Key Stage 4. Foxwood Centre provides education for secondary-aged pupils who have behavioural and/or emotional difficulties and who have been permanently excluded from at least one mainstream school. This facility also provides short-stay programmes for secondary pupils who are at risk of being excluded. The service also provides home-tuition for pupils whose medical conditions prevent them attending school. This aspect did not form part of the inspection. The number on roll can vary over time, but there are usually more boys than girls. Most pupils are of a White British heritage. It is rare for a pupil to have a first language other than English. All pupils are disabled or have special educational needs usually relating to behaviour, emotional and social difficulties. All are supported at school action plus or have statements of special educational needs. Very few are known to be entitled to free school meals. A below-average proportion of pupils are entitled to be supported by the pupil premium (additional funding provided by the government). At present, such funding is not devolved to the school. For dual-registered pupils, the funding is retained by the home school. For full-time eligible pupils, the funding is currently held centrally by the local authority. This arrangement is under review. Since the reorganisation of this service in 2011, there have been a number of managerial changes. Most members of the current senior management team are relatively new in post. The headteacher has been in post for just half a term, having commenced her role in January 2013.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. The determined leadership of the headteacher has brought about changes and benefits for the pupils. Her vision for further improvements is fully supported by staff and the management committee. The achievements of most pupils are good. Many arrive with skills that are well below average for their age, often reflecting poor attendance records and negative attitudes towards school. Attitudes often change quickly and the college is successfully encouraging pupils, in both the primary and secondary sectors, to re-engage with education. Teaching in most lessons is at least good and occasionally outstanding. Good planning engages the pupils and enables many to make rapid progress in their reading, communication skills and mathematics. Pupils enjoy their learning and feel happy, safe and secure. Behaviour is good and for many, their attendance rates have improved considerably. Many now enjoy school because : they see the work as more relevant and they appreciate the help and encouragement offered by staff. Leadership is good and staff morale is high. The determination to improve the pupils’ education is strong. The college is well supported in this intention by a highly committed and knowledgeable management committee and by the local authority. It is not yet an outstanding school because: Achievement is not yet outstanding because : in some lessons pupils are not offered sufficient opportunities to hone their writing skills. On some occasions, the requirement to write in detail, or for different audiences, is reduced and the set activities offer insufficient challenge. Much work has been undertaken to improve assessment techniques and to ensure all pupils are given realistic and challenging targets to meet in terms of their work, attendance and behaviour. Key Stage 4 pupils, however, are not always aware of their target grades or what they need to do to improve.