Torquay Academy

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About Torquay Academy

Name Torquay Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mr Steve Margetts
Address Cricketfield Road, Torquay, TQ2 7NU
Phone Number 01803329351
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1422
Local Authority Torbay
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Torquay Academy continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud to attend Torquay Academy. The school has high ambitions for pupils, who say they feel inspired to do their best.

Pupils and staff say that every second counts. Pupils are prompt to lessons and waste no time before starting their learning. Behaviour is good, and learning is rarely disrupted.

Leaders have developed a whole-school approach to teaching that is helping pupils to learn more. Pupils talk confidently about their work and how they can apply the knowledge they have learned.

Pupils are tolerant and respectful of each other and their differences.

B...ullying is rare. If it occurs, it is dealt with effectively. Pupils trust staff and say they know they will help them to resolve problems.

One pupil reflected the views of many when he said: 'the school is strict but kind'.

Pupils have many opportunities to develop their interests and talents. Pupils attend the school's sports academies and many other activities.

Pupils have had national success as young engineers. The school is proud of those who designed and constructed an electric car. Staff regularly acknowledge pupils' efforts, and pupils wear their award badges with pride.

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

The principal has an ambitious vision for the school. Leaders share his high expectations. This is reflected in staff comments to inspectors that 'there is a high floor and no ceiling' for pupils' achievements.

Leaders have thought carefully about what pupils need to know. The curriculum is well planned, so that pupils build and review their knowledge through quarterly learning cycles. Students in the sixth form follow a similarly well-structured curriculum.

Pupils systematically revisit previous learning. This is helping them to know and remember more.

Teaching in the subject areas such as English, music and science helps pupils to make connections between what they already know and can do, and what comes next.

Pupils can confidently tackle more complex work. However, in some foundation subjects, such as geography and languages, the curriculum is not as coherent. Curriculum leaders have not considered well enough what pupils need to know and learn.

Pupils have a less secure foundation to take next steps in their learning.

Teachers expect pupils to produce high-quality work. Pupils use complex vocabulary in their writing and do this well in subjects such as English and science.

Pupils take pride in their work. Students' work in the sixth form shows high levels of engagement in their studies. Sixth-form students are confident and articulate when explaining their work.

Staff have high expectations for all pupils, including those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The co-ordinator for SEND provides appropriate guidance for teachers to support pupils in their learning. Teachers know their pupils well and adapt the curriculum appropriately.

Although many pupils continue with a humanities subject after key stage 3, a much lower proportion study a language. To address this, leaders have restructured the curriculum, offering a new language that more pupils are keen to study for longer.

Leaders have created a culture where treating one another respectfully is the norm.

Pupils look after the school environment. They understand and appreciate the reasons behind the school's rules. They listen to one another in lessons and follow instructions carefully.

The school develops pupils beyond their academic studies. It provides an array of opportunities, including a strong range of performing arts, sports clubs and academies, outdoor adventure and leadership roles. Pupils learn about positive physical and mental well-being.

Topics such as healthy relationships, road and water safety, along with learning about different values and beliefs in society are developing well-rounded young people.

Students in the sixth form value the guidance their teachers and tutors give them, especially when making plans for life after school. However, younger pupils would welcome more information about careers from an earlier age.

An overwhelmingly majority of staff are proud to work at the school. Leaders have done much to ensure that staff workload is manageable. Staff appreciate this.

Teachers said the way the curriculum is planned centrally has helped them to use their time well to focus on their teaching. Governors meet and visit the school regularly and they support and challenge leaders effectively.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The school teaches pupils about risks. Pupils know they can talk about concerns with staff. Pupils know how to keep themselves safe.

Staff know how to identify a pupil who may be at risk. They make good use of the school's safeguarding systems.

Safeguarding leaders are vigilant and act in a timely manner.

They help pupils and their families to get extra help when they need it. The safeguarding team is well aware of local risks. They work well with external organisations and the local community to keep pupils safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

In some foundation subjects, curriculum leaders have a weaker grasp of what makes a strong curriculum. They have not considered the content of their curriculum well enough. Pupils do not always learn content that will help them make progress to the curriculum goals.

Leaders should consider carefully how and when pupils will acquire the important knowledge that they need. This will help leaders to construct a subject curriculum that is fully in line with the school's ambitions.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called a section 8 inspection of a good or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in June 2016.

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