|Name||The Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||13 October 2011|
|Address||Brentwood Road, Romford, Essex, RM1 2RR|
|Number of Pupils||1300 (100% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||15.8|
|Academy Sponsor||Life Education Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||10.4%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||25.9%|
Information about the school
The Frances Bardsley School for Girls is a larger-than-average secondary school with an increasing sixth form. A large majority of students are of White British heritage. The percentage of students from minority ethnic groups is above average with students of Black African heritage forming a sixth of the student population. A few students speak English as an additional language. The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those with statements of special educational needs, is well below average. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is lower than the national average. The school has the Healthy Schools Award. A new headteacher was appointed in September 2011. Prior to his appointment there had been a significant change in the roles and responsibilities of the senior leadership team.
Students enjoy attending The Frances Bardsley School for Girls where they receive a good standard of education. Students enter the school with attainment that is above average and leave Year 11 with high performance in a large majority of subjects, including English and mathematics. Overall, students make good progress across all subjects. This is supported by above-average attendance. Students who enter Year 7 with special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress due to the good support they receive. Progress is satisfactory in the sixth form where attainment has fallen over the past three years mainly due to a rapidly increasing intake and an inclusive general studies policy. Key strengths are students’ spiritual awareness, the celebration of cultural diversity that is represented in the school and students’ contribution to the community. With regards to the latter, a wide range of activities is undertaken by students in all year groups and this is supported by a good curriculum. For example, girls benefit from the Sports Leader Award where they coach pupils from primary schools. Less extensive is the range of partnerships in the sixth form where joint collaboration with other post-16 providers is insufficient. The school’s aim is to instil a love of learning and this is achieved in most lessons where students are energised, challenged by difficult material and enthusiastic to take part in a range of activities. During the inspection the majority of lessons were judged to be good or better. Occasionally, students are set tasks that are not well matched to their ability, and criteria on how to achieve well are not shared. As a result, students can sometimes go off task and chatter, do not understand why they are learning or how they can improve. Most of the time students behave well although care for their communal areas is not as strong. Students appreciate the care, guidance and support they receive which is good. The new headteacher has a strong vision and his staff are excited about the future for the school. The changeover of roles in the senior team has not been thoroughly embedded and, as a result, there is some leadership in important areas that is not secure. The governing body’s picture of achievement and areas for improvement is satisfactory but limited. Some policies are not well embedded and some lack clear procedures for evaluation. As a result, the effectiveness of leadership at all levels in embedding ambition and driving improvement is currently satisfactory. Although the school has improved attainment and progress in the main school since the previous inspection, there has been a decline in sixth form attainment. A pattern of improvement in leadership and management is being established. However, target setting and strategies for monitoring and evaluation are not yet fully embedded and post-16 collaboration is limited. Therefore, the school currently demonstrates a satisfactory capacity to improve.