Mark Rutherford School

Name Mark Rutherford School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 14 November 2012
Address Wentworth Drive, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK41 8PX
Phone Number 01234290200
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1296 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.1
Academy Sponsor Mark Rutherford School Trust
Local Authority Bedford
Percentage Free School Meals 14.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 15%
Persisitent Absence 12.5%
Pupils with SEN Support 12.2%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Mark Rutherford School is a larger-than-average secondary school. It was previously an upper school but changed to secondary in 2010. The school now takes in students at Year 7 from a single feeder primary school and students at Year 9 from a number of feeder middle schools. Students from these schools have a choice of upper schools to attend. The school recently converted to foundation status as part of a non-governing trust, with a number of other schools. The school has approval to convert to an academy in January 2013. The school has specially resourced provision for students with special educational needs. This is in the form of a specialist unit for 11 students with ASD. The large majority of students are White British. The school does not use alternative provision. About 13% of students are known to be eligible for the pupil premium (additional government funding), which is below average. The proportion of students supported through school action is well below the national average. The proportions of students supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs are below the national averages. The school meets the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Students’ progress in English and mathematics is higher than nationally. Attainment in GCSEs continues to rise and is above average. The work of the specialist unit for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is outstanding. Students’ behaviour is good in lessons and consistently good at break times. They are keen learners and quickly develop skills to help them work on their own and in small groups. Teaching and learning are good and continue to improve because of the support and guidance that teachers receive. Teachers plan and manage lessons well; this has improved since the previous inspection. As a result, students make good progress. Teachers use discussion, questioning and a variety of activities well, to help students develop their understanding of subjects. Strong leadership and management have led to continuous improvement at a steady rate. Staff manage very well the mixed arrangements for transition. As a result, students enter the school, at either Year 7 or Year 9, well prepared for their studies. School leaders successfully managed the change from upper school to secondary school. During this period achievements continued to improve. Leaders have worked well to improve the sixth form since the previous inspection. Teaching has improved as has progress monitoring and the sixth form is now good overall. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Attainment in the sixth form, although improving, is not yet good enough. Some aspects are at the national average. Some teaching still requires improvement. Teachers do not always engage students sufficiently well. Teachers do not always give students sufficiently good feedback about marked work. Although behaviour is good, on a few occasions students’ behaviour in lessons requires improvement.