The Brunel Academy

The Brunel Academy

Name The Brunel Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Address 170b Torquay Road, Paignton, TQ3 2AL
Phone Number 01803665522
Type Academy (special)
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 50 (86% boys 14% girls)
Academy Sponsor Catch22 Multi Academies Trust Limited
Local Authority Torbay
Percentage Free School Meals 72%
Persistent Absence 86.7%
Pupils with SEN Support 2.0%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Staff and pupils have good relationships. Pupils say that they feel safe in the school, and there are adults they can talk to. Bullying happens sometimes, but pupils say staff deal with it effectively.

Pupils can get frustrated. When this occurs, staff help pupils to calm down. Staff spend time helping pupils understand and manage their frustrations.

Events outside the school cause tensions between pupils. Again, staff help sort out any issues. However, too often, poor behaviour results in fixed-term exclusions.

This prevents pupils from engaging with their education.

Reading is not developed well enough in the school. Pupils have too few to read outside of English lessons.

This inhibits pupils' motivation to read.

Pupils enjoy the wide range of activities on offer, for example taking part in the Ten Tors challenge. These activities give pupils experiences that they would not otherwise have.

This helps pupils build self-confidence and resilience.

Leaders use a range of strategies to encourage pupils to attend the school. These work for some pupils.

However, not all pupils attend the school regularly enough. This hampers their progress.

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

The headteacher and staff share a commitment to provide pupils with an opportunity to be successful.

Most pupils arrive at the school with negative experiences of education. Many pupils have complex needs. As a result, they exhibit challenging behaviour.

Staff take time to get to know each pupil. Building strong relationships with pupils and gaining their trust are paramount.

High rates of absence for many pupils limits their engagement with the curriculum.

Leaders use an extensive range of strategies to address poor attendance. Despite this, absence is too high for too many pupils. Disruptive behaviour is also a barrier for some pupils.

It prevents pupils from reaching their full potential. Where staff have strong relationships with pupils and a clear understanding of their needs, engagement in lessons is high.

Some pupils come to the school with poor reading skills.

For these pupils there is a well-organised literacy intervention programme in place. This helps pupils to improve their reading and build confidence. However, for other pupils, there are not enough opportunities to read outside of English lessons.

Reading is not promoted effectively.

Leaders are aware of the need to improve some staff's understanding of pupils' needs and their response to challenging behaviour. To address this, leaders have introduced a new approach to assessing pupils' emotional health and well-being.

All staff are now trained in using this approach. Staff are now assessing pupils' emotional needs using the new system. It is too early to measure the impact of this work.

However, figures for attendance and behaviour have recently started to show signs of improvement.

Leaders have successfully established a well-planned curriculum. It is carefully designed to meet the needs of pupils.

Key learning goals are identified in each subject. Curriculum plans allow for these to be revisited to help pupils remember what they have learned. Leaders have recently extended the curriculum.

The Arts Award and a wider range of GCSE qualifications are now available to pupils.

Pupils' personal development is a strength of the school. There is a wide range of enrichment activities to support pupils' development.

Pupils are aware of the importance of respecting different groups of people. The school provides a comprehensive careers programme. Pupils visit different workplaces and meet potential training providers and employers.

There are also many opportunities to take part in work experience activities.

Staff enjoy working at the school. They feel valued by leaders and are proud to be part of the school.

Governors have a clear understanding of the school's strengths and what needs to improve. School leaders work closely with local authority officers to ensure that the school can meet the needs of pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of safeguarding at the school. Leaders have established effective safeguarding procedures. Leaders diligently carry out the required pre-employment checks.

Staff understand their responsibilities. They use the school's system for recording concerns. Close liaison with families and other agencies helps keep pupils safe.

Pupils learn about potential risks and how to manage them as part of the school's curriculum. Pupils feel safe and they know that they can speak to any of the staff if they have concerns. Governors maintain close oversight of safeguarding.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Too many pupils do not attend the school regularly enough. These pupils miss too many lessons and do not reach their full potential. Leaders should continue to work with pupils and parents and carers to improve attendance further.

There are times when events outside of the school create tensions in the school. This can result in conflict between pupils in the school, which disrupts learning. Leaders need to ensure that there is a consistent approach to support pupils to improve their behaviour.

. The work to support pupils who require help with reading is effective. However, the work to encourage all pupils to read is not.

This limits pupils' motivation to read. Leaders should take action to introduce opportunities for pupils to read for pleasure. This will increase pupils' confidence in reading and enable pupils to access the curriculum.