|Name||Tendring Technology College|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||26 November 2019|
|Address||Rochford Way, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, CO13 0AZ|
|Number of Pupils||1789 (51% boys 49% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||16.7|
|Academy Sponsor||Academies Enterprise Trust (Aet)|
|Percentage Free School Meals||12.3%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||3.5%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||9.1%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||Yes|
Tendring Technology College continues to be a good school.However, inspectors have some concerns that standards may be declining, as set out below.
What is it like to attend this school?
Over the past couple of years, there have been considerable changes in staffing. In some subjects, pupils have had lots of different teachers. Pupils have not gained a secure grasp of the basic principles in some subjects. They then struggle with more difficult work. This contributed to the fall in pupils’ progress.
Pupils behave well for the most part. Where teaching is strongest, pupils listen, debate, concentrate and achieve. Where pupils find it hard to access the work, their behaviour can disrupt others. This is more common on the Thorpe site.
Pupils feel safe, because staff are attentive and approachable. Staff help pupils to overcome anxieties particularly well. Banter or play fighting is not tolerated. As explained to us, pupils ‘do not judge others because they are different to you’. Leaders log behaviour and bullying incidents comprehensively. Pupils and staff say that bullying is dealt with well. A small number of parents disagree.
Most pupils are happy and proud of their school. To them, it is a supportive and accepting community. They appreciate the wide range of opportunities to see ‘life beyond school’: from Iceland to Auschwitz, volleyball to para swimming, and community to diversity week.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders provide a broad, ambitious curriculum. More pupils now study history or geography alongside a foreign language. Staff are clear about what pupils need to learn and how it links to what comes before and after. Leaders and the trust are working to support departments, such as humanities, where there have been issues.
Leaders know which departments are stronger, for example physical education and the arts. Pupils’ progress in English, mathematics and science has been about average. Lastyear it dropped. There were significant staffing issues last year, and pupils did not get the continuity in teaching that they need.
Some pupils are not fluent with their knowledge and skills, and have gaps in their learning. Staff do not always plan work to help pupils overcome these misconceptions. Where teachers sequence activities well, there is a calm atmosphere in which pupils can learn. Pupils behave, because teachers plan work linked to what pupils know and can do. Some teachers do not do this well. Pupils lose out, leading to low-level disruption.
Most staff use a calm but assertive approach to manage pupils’ behaviour. Leaders look to address the root causes of presented behaviours, rather than merely punishing pupils. The ‘restore and rebuild’ approach is paying dividends. Incidents of poor behaviour and fixed-term exclusions have reduced. Leaders know the next step is to make sure that all staff and pupils buy in to the new system, especially on the Thorpe site.
Leaders are keen to raise aspirations. They want pupils to be part of the school’s ‘shining stars’. Pupils gain valuable experiences from the different clubs, activities and sporting opportunities on offer. These opportunities help to raise pupils’ aspirations, while helping them to build resilience and become more independent. The ‘perfect week’ is celebrating pupils who attend every day and push themselves to achieve more. Staff work with parents and carers well. They want more pupils to attend every day. Some key groups, including disadvantaged pupils, do not attend well enough and they underachieve. The pupil premium funding is not always used effectively.
Students in the sixth form receive useful advice that helps them to choose the right course. They have a broad offer of academic, vocational and access courses from which to choose. These courses provide useful routes to higher education, employment or training. Students gain extra skills through completing the core maths and extended project qualifications. Work experience placements add weight to students’ university applications and enhance employment prospects. Students use private study time constructively, such as working collaboratively on assignments, or developing their designs in the textiles room. Students’ progress on applied courses is in line with national figures; it is below average for academic qualifications.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities have their needs well catered for. Pupil passports give teachers useful information on how best to meet the needs. Effective leadership and good relationships with parents are key features. Pupils in the specialist provision are helped back into main school classes at their own pace. Those with a history of disrupted education now attend more often and progress well.
Leaders act with integrity. They know about the school’s weaknesses and have clear plans in place to secure long-term improvements. Leaders want pupils to do well and act in pupils’ best interests. Their aim is for pupils to act respectfully, honestly and responsibly and to ‘find their remarkable’.
The trust has a broadly accurate view of the school’s effectiveness. Its view is that the school remains good. The trust acknowledges that standards have dipped in a number of subjects. Where pupils’ achievements are less than good, the trust is providing support tomove the school forward.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Safeguarding processes are very well thought through. Vigilant staff and detailed records give leaders a clear picture on emerging issues, to which they respond accordingly. This helps mitigate potential dangers to pupils’ safety. The ‘assertive social tracking’ is a good example and has led to fewer self-harm disclosures. Staff enact their ‘Prevent’ duties and refer cases accordingly.
Work with other agencies is of a very high standard. Comprehensive chronologies and tenacious follow-up ensure that pupils receive the help and support they need to stay safe. The school’s records of statutory pre-employment checks are meticulous.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
In some subjects, pupils have not been taught well enough. Pupils have gaps in their learning and keep making the same mistakes. Teachers need to plan activities that highlight and address these gaps, so that pupils can tackle more complex work. . Leaders do not provide enough support to pupils, including the disadvantaged pupils who struggle. These pupils lack fluency in some of the basic subject skills. Leaders need to use additional funding more effectively so that the pupils can achieve highly. . Some pupils do not attend well enough. This limits the progress they make. Leaders need to work with parents, highlighting the link between attendance and achievement so that pupils attend well, particularly those in Year 9 and Year 11. . Some pupils do not behave well enough. They disrupt the learning of others. Teachers need to plan activities to make sure all pupils complete work that is appropriately challenging, and all pupils’ behaviour is at least good.Background
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 a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged Tendring Technology College to be good on 2–3 March 2016.