Redborne Upper School and Community College

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About Redborne Upper School and Community College

Name Redborne Upper School and Community College
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Olly Button
Address Flitwick Road, Ampthill, Bedford, MK45 2NU
Phone Number 01525404462
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 13-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1615
Local Authority Central Bedfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of good as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now.

Inspectors are recommending the next inspection to be a graded inspection.

What is it like to attend this school?

While many pupils enjoy their time at school and learn well, some pupils do not. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do not always get the help they need to succeed.

Pupils generally behave well. They listen to teachers and to each other. They are polite and courteous, and... they demonstrate respect for the individuality of other people.

Most pupils can be themselves in safety and with confidence.

Many pupils feel there is someone in school they can talk to about any worries they might have. However, some pupils feel they cannot approach the pastoral 'hub' because they feel they will not be listened to, or that the action taken will not help.

Bullying is not a significant problem, but some pupils are not confident that it will always be dealt with well if it is reported.

Too many pupils are frequently absent from school. This impacts negatively on how much they learn, particularly for disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND.

Leaders aim high in working to develop pupils' wider experiences. Trips and visits are well on the way to returning to pre-pandemic levels. A wide range of extra-curricular activities enrich pupils' education.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders and governors recognised that there was some drift from the standards evident at the time of the previous inspection. With the full backing of governors, leaders have worked strategically to make improvements.Leaders' first target was to improve behaviour, and they have done so.

Pupils and staff report improvements, reflecting the positive behaviours inspectors saw first hand. There have, at times, been areas that were made unpleasant by the inappropriate behaviours of some pupils. Leaders' considered management of the school site and the effective deployment of staff have done much to resolve this.

One aspect of leaders' approach to supporting pupils' well-being and behaviour has been the creation of a central pastoral 'hub'. Sitting at the heart of the school site, this 'one stop shop' is where key safeguarding and pastoral staff are available to pupils. While there are notable benefits to this, the hub is visible and staffed all day, it is also very busy.

Some pupils feel that staff in the hub do not have time for them and that their concerns are not taken seriously or followed up well. They are reluctant to approach the hub with their worries.

Leaders' work to develop the curriculum was slowed by the pandemic but has still been largely successful.

Pupils typically learn well from knowledgeable staff. Leaders give teachers clarity over what to teach and when. Teachers adhere to this, reinforcing knowledge at different times to make sure it 'sticks' in pupils' memories.

They check that pupils have learned what they need to and address pupils' knowledge gaps and misunderstandings.

There are some parts of pupils' education that are not as well catered for as most. In some subjects, teachers do not ensure that pupils understand the basics of a subject before asking them to undertake complex tasks.

While leaders want to support pupils to read well, they have not put in place a systematic approach to help pupils who struggle to read accurately or fluently. Pupils' learning in these areas is not as strong as in most.

Pupils with SEND do not achieve as well as they should.

Leaders' system to provide teachers with information to support pupils' needs is new. It contains pertinent and helpful information but has not had time to have sufficient impact. Leaders have worked to improve the attendance of pupils with SEND, as well as of disadvantaged pupils.

This has not, at this stage, led to a sufficient increase in the amount of time some of these pupils spend in school. It further limits the achievement of these pupils.

Leaders promote pupils' wider development well.

Trips to the theatre and overseas visits support pupils' understanding of the wider world. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a prominent feature, giving many pupils the chance to learn about what they are capable of. Leaders have expanded the programme of careers education to further enhance pupils' understanding of their future choices.

Teachers enjoy working at the school. Leaders are considerate of staff's workload and try to ensure that staff are only asked to do something if there is a good reason.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders are vigilant in following up concerns about pupils' welfare. They are mindful of specific issues that might affect the pupils in their care, such as the mental well-being of pupils since the pandemic. Leaders are alert to the risks this poses and conscientious in seeking support.

Leaders have ensured that appropriate pre-employment checks have been carried out on adults who work in the school. Staff have been trained to keep pupils safe. Leaders encourage pupils to pass on worries to staff.

Pupils know that they could pass concerns on. However, because they do not feel this will always be helpful, some are reluctant to do so.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils perceive that the pastoral care team will not respond helpfully to concerns they raise.

As a result, some pupils are reluctant to share their worries with staff. Leaders should ensure that all pupils know that they should and can report things that worry them, and that these reports will be dealt with well. ? The system for sharing important information with staff about pupils with SEND has recently been overhauled.

It has not, at this stage, ensured that pupils get all the support they need. Leaders need to ensure that staff know and use the information they have to support all pupils to succeed. ? The attendance of pupils with SEND and of disadvantaged pupils is lower than it should be.

This is having a negative impact on their educational achievement. Leaders need to make sure that all groups of pupils attend school well. ? Some aspects of pupils' education, including in learning to read, are weaker than most.

Consequently, pupils learn less well in these areas. Leaders should put in place systems that ensure pupils learn well across the curriculum, including through the use of an approach to identify and support pupils who struggle to read accurately or fluently.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually, this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good on 7 and 8 November 2017.

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