Acorn Free School

Name Acorn Free School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 30 June 2015
Address 248 Calder Road, Brant Road, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN5 9TL
Phone Number 01522822428
Type Academy
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils unknown

Information about this school

The Acorn Free School was opened in September 2013. It is a free school and an alternative provision for students aged 11–16. The school is designed to support students who are at risk of being excluded from their mainstream school or academy. The purpose of the school is to return students to mainstream education where possible. The length of time students stay at the school is determined by their progress. The school offers a behaviour outreach service to primary and secondary schools and academies. The school caters for children who have social, emotional or mental health difficulties. All students are defined by the school as requiring support for their special educational needs. Currently 2 students have statements of special educational need or an education, health and care plan. Since the school opened the number of students attending has increased. At the time of inspection there were 22 students on roll. One hundred and eleven students have attended the school since September 2014. Most students are White British boys. All students have experienced disruption to their education due to their behaviour at other schools and academies. The teaching staff are a mixture of qualified teachers and instructors. The school does not receive Year 7 catch-up funding or pupil premium funding. The school currently uses one alternative provider; Whisby Education Centre.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. School leaders have created a culture where students’ behaviour and attitudes to their learning are greatly improved. School leaders ensure that most students return back to their mainstream academies and have every chance to be successful in the next stage of their education. Students achieve well. Most make good progress in English and mathematics and are making up ground they have lost in the past due to good teaching. Students say they feel safe at The Acorn Free School. Students appreciate the interest that staff take in their well-being. All staff have high expectations of students’ behaviour. Students enjoy coming to school and their attendance is usually good. Governors hold school leaders to account for their work. New members of the governing body already demonstrate a clear understanding about the strengths of the school and the areas in which it needs to improve. Parents are delighted with the work of the school. They are grateful of the support they receive and the improvements to the children’s behaviour both in school and at home. The academies which place students at The Acorn Free School are overwhelmingly positive about the strong impact the school has had on the students’ behaviour. School leaders ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of the students and supports their understanding of spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning including the promotion of British values. It is not yet an outstanding school because : The feedback the staff give to students does not always provide enough information for them to quickly take the next step in their learning. Not all time in lessons is used as effectively as it could be to promote learning. Not enough priority is given to the leadership of curriculum areas, particularly English and mathematics. Performance management is not always used well enough to improve students’ achievement.