The Spires College

The Spires College

Name The Spires College
Ofsted Inspections
Address Westlands Lane, Torquay, TQ1 3PE
Phone Number 01803400660
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1131 (48.9% boys 51.1% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.9
Local Authority Torbay
Percentage Free School Meals 25.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 7.9%
Persistent Absence 15.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 13.4%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The principal is ambitious for all pupils and determined to see them succeed. Her relentless focus on raising the quality of teaching has improved the school substantially. As a result, pupils' achievement is rising rapidly.

Pupils' progress in 2016 was in line with the national average. Pupils' progress has improved and is now above average across a range of subjects. The proportion of pupils attaining grade C or better in both English and mathematics GCSE rose in 2015 and again in 2016 so that it was close to the national average.

Current pupils' attainment continues this strong upward trend. Teachers' subject knowledge is strong and co...nsequently they are able to develop pupils' understanding well in their specialist areas. Teachers are adept at assessing pupils' understanding and base future learning on an accurate picture of pupils' needs.

In a small number of cases, however, assessment is not used as effectively and teaching is not well targeted. Sixth form students develop strong employability skills. Virtually all students secure places in education, employment or training when they leave.

Pupils show pride in their school. They wear their uniform smartly. This is an inclusive school.

Relationships between teachers and pupils are characterised by care and commitment. Consequently, pupils of all backgrounds feel welcomed and respected. At most times, pupils' behaviour is good, they enjoy lessons and strive to succeed.

On occasion, when teaching does not capture pupils' interest, some pupils become inattentive and give up. Governors have an accurate view of the school's performance. They work effectively with leaders to ensure the school continues to improve.

Senior leaders have dealt with previous weaknesses in teaching. They understand teachers' development needs well and provide high-quality training. Teaching has improved most rapidly in mathematics and humanities.

Middle leaders are taking more responsibility for developing teaching in their areas. Improvements have not been as fast in languages and science as in other areas; therefore, pupils' progress has not risen as sharply in these subjects.

Information about this school

The governing body has changed substantially since the previous inspection.

The principal was appointed in September 2014. The senior leadership team has changed significantly since then. Three vice-principals have been appointed.

The school was renamed The Spires College in September 2015, having been previously known as Westlands School. A new uniform was introduced at that point. This school is an average-sized secondary school.

It is a bilateral school; a small number of pupils are admitted each year on the basis of selection in addition to a majority comprehensive intake. It has a sixth form and hosts the local authority's resource base for hearing impaired pupils. The large majority of pupils are of White British heritage.

The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is well above average. The proportion of pupils who are supported through pupil premium funding is above average. The school meets the government's current floor standards, which are the minimum expectations for pupils' attainment and progress by the end of Year 11.

A small number of pupils with emotional or health needs attend off-site provision at the Medical Tuition Service in Torbay, the Burton Academy or South Devon College. Some post-16 students attend vocational courses at Paignton Secretarial College, Combe Pafford and E-Hair academy. The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website.