Harris Academy Purley

Name Harris Academy Purley
Website http://www.harrispurley.org.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Address Kendra Hall Road, South Croydon, CR2 6DT
Phone Number 02086811141
Type Academy
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1209 (53.5% boys 46.5% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.6
Academy Sponsor Harris Federation
Local Authority Croydon
Percentage Free School Meals 27.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 33.6%
Persisitent Absence 12.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 10.2%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (07 December 2011)
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Information about the school

The academy opened in September 2009. White British students constitute around one quarter of the academy population and the remainder are from a diverse range of ethnic heritages. Around two fifths of the students are girls. Around one in three students speaks English as an additional language, but most of these speak English fluently. The overall proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is more than twice the national average. More students have special educational needs and/or disabilities than is typical for a school of this size, constituting predominantly moderate learning difficulties or behavioural, emotional, and social difficulties. The proportion of students who have a statement of special educational needs is also well above average. The academy has a relatively stable student population and is oversubscribed. The recently-established sixth form operates as part of a collaborative arrangement with other academies in the Harris Federation. The academy was initially housed in the buildings of the predecessor school. A building programme is underway to replace some of the buildings with purpose-built accommodation. Consequently, a majority of classes are currently housed in temporary accommodation. The academy’s specialisms are in enterprise and sports.

Main findings

This is an outstanding academy. Most students enjoy learning and quickly develop the skills and abilities that they need to move on to the next step in their education. Students’ attitudes to learning and their attendance improve significantly while they are at the academy and attendance is high. Students are polite and welcoming and their outstanding behaviour supports their learning. Teaching is excellent and well-planned lessons ensure that students’ needs are met. A strong focus on enterprise, numeracy and literacy ensures that students develop the skills they need to learn effectively. The use of assessment to identify what students need to learn next and keep them informed about their progress is outstanding. An exceptional, relevant curriculum provides excellent opportunities to challenge students and promotes their learning and personal development extremely well. Students’ welfare and well-being are fundamental to the work of the academy and students are looked after extremely well and kept safe. The very positive relationships between staff and students make a major contribution to students feeling safe and making excellent progress in their learning and development. The academy is led extremely well and teachers and other adults who work with students share a common sense of purpose and high expectations of what students can achieve. High-quality productive links with other schools and a range of external agencies support students very well. The academy’s self-evaluation is accurate and any evident weaknesses have been tackled relentlessly and effectively. The improvements made since the academy was monitored by Ofsted last year, and the general rapid pace of improvement in all areas, demonstrate there is excellent capacity for further improvement. Students have a strong say in decisions about their own education they have excellent opportunities to take responsibility and contribute to the academy community and beyond. Parents and carers are kept very well informed about their children’s progress and they value the contribution that the academy makes to their children’s learning and development. All aspects of the small sixth form are outstanding, but it is small and has not developed a distinctive identity or ethos of its own.