UTC Portsmouth


Name UTC Portsmouth
Website http://www.utcportsmouth.org
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Address London Road, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9DU
Phone Number 02393120200
Type Academy
Age Range 14-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 404 (73.8% boys 26.2% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 13.9
Local Authority Portsmouth
Percentage Free School Meals 8.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3.8%
Persistent Absence 13.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 19.4%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (29 June 2021)
There may have been more recent inspections such as monitoring visits or short inspections. For details of all inspections, please view this provider on our map here.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils and staff are overwhelmingly proud to be part of this learning community. Their shared high aspirations drive the school’s daily work. Consequently, pupils flourish. They develop strong subject knowledge that equips them very well for high-quality careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Equally, they learn to be active, responsible and thoughtful citizens.

Pupils conduct themselves impeccably. They are intrinsically motivated to do their best. They consistently demonstrate the school’s STEM values, such as resilience, responsibility, communication and curiosity. The curriculum helps pupils to develop these attributes deliberately over time. Prospective employers and apprenticeship providers note how well these values prepare pupils for the workplace. These characteristics also help large numbers of pupils meet their aspirations to go to university.

UTC Portsmouth is a very supportive and inclusive place to be. Reports of bullying, racism or sexually harmful behaviours are extremely rare. As one pupil noted, ‘We’re non-judgemental about anyone – no-one is excluded here’. Parents reflect how their child’s attitude to school has been transformed since coming to UTC Portsmouth. They rightly note the effective education and careful support that their children receive. Respectful relationships with adults enable pupils to thrive and become enthusiastic and highly motivated learners.

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

Senior leaders are highly reflective and effective. They have swiftly addressed the specific significant weakness identified at the last inspection. At the same time, they have improved other aspects of the school that were already good. Their ambition to provide the best possible education for pupils shines through all of their work.

The curriculum supports the school’s STEM focus precisely. It stretches well beyond the examination subjects that pupils learn. Staff are experts in their fields, their knowledge often enhanced by experience of working in industry. Consequently, pupils understand the context of what they are learning, as well as the content. They gain secure and relevant knowledge across the subjects that they study. This leads them successfully towards high-quality destinations when they leave the school. High proportions of pupils secure places at university or on level 4 apprenticeships at the end of Year 13. No pupil leaves the school without further education, employment or training to go to.

Pupils’ learning needs are clearly understood. Established routines help pupils and teachers to check how well subject content has been learned. Prompt and specific feedback enables knowledge gaps to be filled quickly. Support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is precise and appropriate.

A focus on the school’s STEM values permeates through the rest of the school’s work. Everything happens for a reason. Pupils engage routinely with employer partners from STEM-related businesses as part of their planned learning. During the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, these interactions have been sustained and enhanced, not reduced or restricted. Leaders have seen remote learning as an opportunity for doing this work more efficiently. Pupils, therefore, develop a deep understanding both of the STEM careers and the attributes that prospective employers seek.

Pupils’ learning extends well beyond the school’s STEM focus. A compulsory enrichment programme ensures that all pupils experience activities that develop their wider cultural understanding. All of these experiences link back to the school’s core values. This enables pupils to make deliberate choices about which activities will help them to develop their STEM values equally well. Well-planned personal, social, health education ensures that pupils learn about relevant and sensitive issues, including personal safety, relationships, sexual health and consent. Careers information, advice and guidance is impartial. This ensures that those pupils who decide that a STEM career is not for them are guided towards an appropriate and equally ambitious goal.

At the time of this inspection, pupils in Year 11 and 13 were not in school. Pupils made smooth transitions between on-site and remote learning during periods of local COVID-19 restrictions. This meant that little learning time was lost, and courses were completed as planned. Leaders remain in touch with pupils to check on their well-being during the extended post-assessment break.

Senior and middle leaders are astutely aware of their areas of responsibility. They approach improvement work intelligently. For instance, when considering how to develop the school’s approach to literacy, they looked systematically at the needs of pupils, staff and parents. This led to specific staff training to help support pupils in interpreting the complex literature they might encounter when working with employer partners.

Trustees’ work is similarly well focused and established. They are fully invested in the school’s ethos and purpose. Strengthened routines ensure that they hold leaders successfully to account for the impact of their work.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders and trustees have robustly addressed historic weaknesses in safeguarding. Beyond the systems and processes, they have successfully strengthened the school’s safeguarding culture. Consequently, staff are vigilant and act quickly to keep pupils safe.

A focus on safeguarding is evident in every layer of the school’s work. Leaders routinely check that staff knowledge is secure and that reporting systems are working properly. They act swiftly and rigorously if concerns arise about a pupil, seeking specialist support when needed. Leaders sensibly work with safeguarding experts from beyond the school to further develop their knowledge and check the quality of their work.