Alec Hunter Academy

Name Alec Hunter Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 13 July 2017
Address Stubbs Lane, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3NR
Phone Number 01376321813
Type Academy
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 775 (53% boys 47% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.8
Academy Sponsor Saffron Academy Trust
Percentage Free School Meals 10.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 5.3%

Information about this school

The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish. Alec Hunter Academy is a smaller than average-sized secondary school. It is part of the Saffron Academy Trust. The very large majority of pupils are from White British backgrounds. The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds is small. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities or who have an education, health and care plan is broadly average. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils who attend the school is broadly average. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils attending the school is higher in key stage 3 than in key stage 4. The school makes use of the Heybridge Alternative Provision School and The New Approach Programme from Colchester Institute to provide education for a small number of pupils. The school receives support from the academy trust, which also brokers some support from the local authority. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ progress.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school School leaders have established a culture where expectations of pupils and teachers are high and improvement is rapid. Significantly stronger leadership and management have resulted in improved teaching, learning and assessment. Middle leaders are keen and enthusiastic. They contribute effectively to improving the school by ensuring that their actions address whole-school priorities. Governors provide a good balance of support and challenge to school leaders. They ensure that leaders have identified the right areas for improvement. Pupils’ behaviour is good. There are strong relationships between pupils and with adults in the school. These are contributing to improved rates of progress in many subjects. Pastoral leaders know the pupils well. Pupils and parents are positive about the support that the school provides, including the support for pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. Leaders have effectively designed a curriculum that helps pupils succeed academically and personally. It prepares pupils well for the next stage of their education, training or employment, and for life in modern Britain. The school’s work to keep pupils safe is effective. Most teachers plan activities that suitably challenge and interest pupils, enabling them to make good progress. In a small number of classes, where this is not the case, pupils lose focus and make less progress. Attendance has improved and is above the most recent national average. However, rates of absence for some disadvantaged pupils are too high and this hinders their progress. Weak teaching in the past means that pupils have not achieved as well as they should have done. Too few of the most able pupils have achieved the highest examination grades. Current pupils are making more rapid progress and are catching up with similar pupils nationally, particularly in Year 10. In classes where teachers do not meet leaders’ expectations for providing feedback to pupils, errors in pupils’ writing are not followed up. Pupils make less rapid progress as a result. Disadvantaged pupils are making improved progress from their starting points. However, leaders do not incisively analyse the impact of actions taken to further accelerate their progress so that they can make progress in line with other pupils nationally. Greater challenge from most teachers is accelerating the progress made by pupils in key stage 3. However, this degree of challenge and pace of change is not yet sufficient to ensure that these pupils can reach higher standards in their work by the end of key stage 4.