The Workplace

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About The Workplace

Name The Workplace
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Principal - Matt Jacobs
Address Down Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN39 4HS
Phone Number 01323691000
Phase Academy
Type Free schools alternative provision
Age Range 11-16
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils speak positively about their time at The Workplace. They feel that staff take the time to understand their needs.

Many pupils arrive needing help to manage their behaviour and to communicate positively. Staff model how to form respectful relationships while maintaining high expectations of behaviour. Pupils quickly learn how to treat others with respect and take responsibility for their actions.

They are well supported by staff to put things right. Pupils feel safe to ask for help. Staff also seek additional expert support for pupils when they need it.

Pupils keenly study different vocational subjects, including courses in hair and beauty and in constr...uction. On-site resources, such as a fully functional motor mechanic garage and a hair salon, give pupils valuable opportunities to show what they have learned. Pupils take great pride in this work, and many are supported to extend their learning in post-16 education.

However, the 'core' curriculum of science, information and communication technology (ICT), English and mathematics is still in development. Pupils do not consistently develop the knowledge and skills they need in these areas. Pupils who find reading difficult do not get the precise teaching they need to read confidently and fluently.

This hinders pupils' ability to learn confidently across the rest of curriculum.

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

The school is in the process of reviewing the curriculum to ensure pupils leave school with the essential knowledge and skills they need. In science, ICT, English and mathematics, the curriculum does not clearly identify what important knowledge pupils must learn.

This is particularly unclear in the key stage 3 curriculum. This lack of clarity means that lessons are not always designed to help pupils practise using and applying important skills and knowledge. This hinders how well pupils can remember and connect ideas together.

Pupils therefore do not develop a secure foundation of knowledge in these subjects.

There is a wide and ambitious range of vocational courses on offer at the school. The curriculum here is well designed and focused on the interests of pupils.

An example of this is teaching pupils to change tyres and strip the engines from cars in the on-site garage. Leaders have recruited specialist teachers to ensure pupils learn from professionals in these fields. Pupils told inspectors that these courses have inspired them to consider careers in these industries.

Those responsible for governance ensure they have an accurate view of the school's areas of development. They hold leaders accountable for taking robust action to improve the curriculum. Non-specialist staff receive support to develop their own subject expertise.

A comprehensive training programme helps staff to understand appropriate ways in which they can adapt teaching to meet the needs of all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).When pupils join The Workplace, staff communicate effectively with parents and the mainstream school so that they understand the needs of pupils. This includes identifying the help that pupils with SEND need to learn through the creation of detailed support plans.

However, not all staff use these plans consistently. This means some pupils with SEND struggle to engage well with learning.

The school's personal development curriculum successfully promotes an ethos of tolerance and kindness.

Pupils talk respectfully about differences and report that discrimination is 'simply not acceptable'. Pupils try new activities through forest school and outdoor education. This improves their self-confidence as well as developing different talents.

Within the vocational curriculum, pupils develop business and enterprise skills. This includes building and selling garden planters or valeting cars in the garage. The careers programme provides pupils with impartial guidance about a range of ambitious options when they leave school.

An effective approach to managing behaviour encourages pupils to engage positively in education. Staff develop behaviour support plans with pupils and parents. This process is helping pupils learn to take responsibility for their own conduct.

Local representatives from the police and youth groups help pupils understand how to stay safe in the community. The relationships and sex education provision ensures pupils develop an age-appropriate understanding of consent.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In the school's 'core' curriculum, the important knowledge and skills that pupils need to know are not yet clearly identified and ordered. As a result, the curriculum is not always implemented in a way that helps pupils connect key ideas or secure their knowledge. The school must continue to review and embed the curriculum in these subjects so that all pupils acquire important knowledge and skills.

• There is not yet a systematic approach to supporting pupils with reading. This means that weaker readers are not supported sufficiently to learn to read confidently and fluently. The school must continue to develop and embed reading support across the curriculum so that pupils get the regular and effective help they need.

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