The North School

Name The North School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Essella Road, Ashford, TN24 8AL
Phone Number 01233614600
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1141 (57.9% boys 42.1% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.3
Local Authority Kent
Percentage Free School Meals 25.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 11.3%
Persistent Absence 15.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 5.6%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (26 September 2017)
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Information about this school

Since February 2014, at the request of the local authority, the Swale Academies Trust has assumed responsibility for improving the school. The trust has provided leadership and training at all levels. The local authority, the trust and the school are working together so that the school can become an academy and part of the trust. The head of school was appointed to post at the start of this academic year, following two years as deputy head of school. She is supported by an executive headteacher from the trust. The school is a larger-than-average-sized secondary school and has a sixth form. The school has a specialist resource base provision, The Laurel Centre. This is attended by 24 pupils with autistic spectrum disorder. It also has on-site alternative provision for a small number of pupils who are at risk of exclusion. A small number of pupils attend alternative provision at Aspire Academy and Goldwyn Plus. The majority of the pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of pupils who are eligible for pupil premium funding is higher than in other schools nationally. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is higher than average. The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school meets the government?s floor standards, which set the minimum standards for pupils? attainment and progress.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Leaders have established an ethos of high ambition throughout the school. They have improved the quality of teaching and secured good overall progress for current pupils. The Swale Academies Trust provides high-quality support and challenge for leaders and teachers. This has helped the school to improve. Governors are highly active and know the school well, making good use of visits. They provide thoughtful support and are increasing their level of challenge to school leaders. Staff are committed to the vision of improving the achievement and well-being of every pupil. They work very hard to plan and provide for the different groups of pupils so that they make good progress. Leaders have created a broad and balanced curriculum that meets pupils? needs. The wide range of extra-curricular opportunities promote pupils? spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well. Leaders have improved pupils? attendance to be in line with national averages. However, attendance for some pupils who attend the student support centre is below average and this hinders their progress. In the past, pupils have not made enough progress. However, improvements in teaching over the last two years mean that current pupils make good progress. Pupils in key stage 3 typically join the school with attainment below the national average but are catching up. Older pupils make strong progress but standards remain lower than expected in some areas due to previously weak teaching. Students in the sixth form achieve highly in both academic and vocational pathways. Leaders have ensured that the great majority complete their courses. Those who need to improve their English and mathematics are very successful in doing so. Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those who attend The Laurel Centre, make good progress. Pupils and parents are overwhelmingly positive about this provision and support. Pupils are proud of their school, the differences they can see and of their good behaviour. They value the pastoral support and feel safe. However, not all have a deep enough understanding of some aspects of safety. A minority of pupils lack the confidence to make decisions for themselves when learning and this holds them back.