Portslade Aldridge Community Academy


Name Portslade Aldridge Community Academy
Website http://www.paca.uk.com/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 09 November 2016
Address Chalky Road, Portslade, Brighton, East Sussex, BN41 2WS
Phone Number 01273416300
Type Academy
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 737 (55% boys 45% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.4
Academy Sponsor Aldridge Education
Local Authority Brighton and Hove
Percentage Free School Meals 15.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 8.1%

Information about this school

The school is sponsored by the Aldridge Foundation, an educational charity founded by Sir Rod Aldridge OBE in 2006 that, principally through the sponsorship of entrepreneurial schools and colleges, helps young people reach their potential and improve their communities. The school is co-sponsored by the Brighton and Hove City Council. The Foundation sponsors eight entrepreneurial schools and academies in England and is also a lead partner in the University Technical Colleges, one – [email protected] – being close in Newhaven, East Sussex. The school is smaller than the average-sized secondary school with a small sixth form. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is average. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is average. About 20 pupils in Year 7 are eligible for catch-up funding (for those who did not attain level 4 in English or mathematics at the end of primary school). A very small number of pupils in Years 9 and 10 attend part-time, off-site educational provision at Brighton and Hove Pupil Referral Unit. In 2015, the school met the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress. About nine out of 10 pupils are of White British backgrounds and only a very few pupils speak English as an additional language. The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school does not comply with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish as greater detail is required to support its public sector equality duty.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Many parents, rightly, describe how the principal has given the school a new lease of life. One wrote that she has done ‘an amazing job at turning the school around with great leadership and strict rules’. The principal is very well supported by senior, faculty and pastoral leaders and other members of staff. Governors both oversee and contribute much to the school’s growth. A record number of primary school parents and their children have chosen the school for 2017. The good sixth form is also increasingly popular, with work-related courses and academies for football, cricket, dance and digital media. Sixth-form students are taught well and mature into young adults with strong career aspirations and confidence. A recently introduced personal health and education (PSHE) programme has many strong features but has not been in place long enough to fully develop pupils’ already good, spiritual, moral, social, cultural and personal development. Although differences have diminished, disadvantaged pupils as a group do not do as well as other pupils nationally. The most able pupils do not all achieve as well as they could. With more specialist teachers, teaching, learning and assessment have all improved. Pupils are well motivated to learn and achieve as well as they can. They work hard in lessons and collaborate well. Particularly effective elements of teaching include probing questioning, a focus on subject-specific vocabulary, work that matches pupils’ abilities and helpful feedback on the quality of pupils’ work. The next challenge for school leaders is to spread the excellent teaching practice that exists to build on the improved GCSE and sixth-form results in 2016. Thorough safeguarding procedures and high-quality care and guidance for pupils mean that they feel safe, are happy and make good progress. Practically every member of staff who completed a questionnaire feels that the school’s culture encourages calm and orderly conduct and high aspirations. Pupils’ behaviour is extremely good, both in and out of lessons. Leaders have tackled the issue of poor attendance but have still to reduce the small number of pupils and students who do not attend regularly.