The Linden Academy

Name The Linden Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 30 January 2018
Address Osborne Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3HJ
Phone Number 01582211441
Type Academy
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 429 (49% boys 51% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.9
Academy Sponsor The Shared Learning Trust
Local Authority Luton
Percentage Free School Meals 17.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 42.4%
Persisitent Absence 13.7%
Pupils with SEN Support 8.4%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The Linden Academy is a larger-than-average primary school. It has grown considerably over the last two years from a two-form to a three-form entry school. The school’s status has changed over time. Initially, it was an independent-converter until 2011, when it became a free school under the name of Barnfield Moorlands Free School. In 2012, the school joined the Barnfield Federation and then became a part of the Shared Learning Trust. The school changed its name to The Linden Academy and moved to its current new building and location in September 2016. The current executive principal and head of school took up their posts in September 2017. The proportion of pupils whose first language is not, or believed not to be, English is higher than the national average. Both the proportion of pupils who are supported for SEN, and the number of pupils who have a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan, are below average. The proportion of pupils who are eligible for support through the pupil premium is below the national average. In 2017, the school met the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment in English and mathematics.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement There has been significant instability at the school since the previous inspection. This has resulted in a decline in the impact of leaders’ work and, consequently, in standards. Children and pupils do not make the good progress of which they are capable, including in early years. Staffing changes and an inconsistency in teachers’ expectations of pupils mean that pupils’ progress is too slow. Governors are not yet sufficiently skilled to assure themselves that leaders’ actions are moving the school forward rapidly enough. Leaders, including a number who are new, do not yet know the difference that they are making to the provision in the school. For example, their evaluation of the impact of the additional funding that they receive is imprecise, and their use of assessment to pinpoint where pupils need more help is not fully embedded. Teachers’ expectations of what pupils can do are too low. Teachers do not use the information about how well pupils are doing with sufficient precision to plan learning that helps them to make rapid progress. This is particularly the case for the most able pupils. Pupils do not yet receive sufficient opportunities in the wider curriculum to be able to develop subject-specific knowledge and skills confidently, or apply their literacy and numeracy skills. Some pupils have not yet developed effective learning behaviours. At times, most notably when teaching is less engaging or not well suited to pupils’ needs, these pupils lose interest and disrupt learning. A significant minority of parents and carers do not have complete faith in the school’s ability to resolve their concerns. The school has the following strengths Committed leaders and governors have a good understanding of the areas of priority in the school. The school’s provision for physical education (PE) is well considered and ensures that pupils are taught well in this subject. The teaching of reading in the early years and key stage 1 is effective. Pupils enjoy reading and demonstrate good phonics skills. Over time, attendance has improved so that it is now in line with the national average. Persistent absence is also rapidly reducing.