Beacon Academy

Name Beacon Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 21 March 2017
Address North Beeches Road, Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 2AS
Phone Number 01892603000
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1297 (52% boys 48% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.8
Academy Sponsor Beacon Community College Academy Trust
Local Authority East Sussex
Percentage Free School Meals 6.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2.1%
Persisitent Absence 16.6%
Pupils with SEN Support 6.6%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school is larger than the average-sized secondary school. It converted to become an academy in 2012. 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. Since the previous inspection, a new headteacher has been appointed (in September 2015), and a new deputy headteacher was appointed in September 2014. There have also been substantial changes to the leadership team. The proportion of pupils eligible for pupil premium funding is well below average. Just over one in 10 pupils are eligible for the pupil premium, which is additional funding provided for children in local authority care and those who are known to be eligible for free school meals. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress. The school shares its site with a local special school, Grove Park School, some of whose students attend lessons at the school. The sixth-form site is separate from the school’s main site. A very small number of students follow courses provided by a local college of further education. Relatively few pupils are from minority ethnic groups. English is the first language for the majority of pupils. The proportion of pupils receiving support because they have special educational needs and/or disabilities is below average, as is the proportion supported through education, health and care plans.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The headteacher’s drive, ambition and resilience are successfully harnessing the potential for excellence within the school. The headteacher enjoys strong support from parents, pupils and staff alike. Staff are dedicated to doing their very best for the pupils in their care. Expertly guided by the headteacher, senior leaders make an outstanding contribution to moving the school forward. Across the school, leaders and teachers contribute to, and benefit from, high levels of accountability. Leaders and teachers are extremely self-critical and constantly seek to develop their practice. Pupils’ progress towards appropriately challenging targets is very closely tracked. Teachers provide timely and well-focused support for the small number whose progress is slower. Leaders carefully monitor the impact of this support. Leaders at all levels ensure that guidance and training for teachers are effective. As a consequence, teaching is mostly strong, and some practice is highly effective. Most pockets of weaker practice are improving. However, some improvements are working better than others. Pupils make strong progress from their starting points. Differences between the progress of disadvantaged pupils and others nationally are generally diminishing. Pupils make significantly above-average progress in mathematics and achieve highly in a range of practical and academic subjects. Pupils behave exceptionally well in class and around the school. They relish the opportunities the school provides. Safeguarding is strong and effective. Pupils are acutely aware of the impact of their language and actions on others’ sense of well-being. Governors (trustees) robustly check that improvements benefit all pupils, both academically and pastorally, and that the school performs well compared to others nationally. Students’ progress on 16 to 19 study programmes is improving, following effective changes to leadership, the content of study programmes and developments in teaching. The school has many strengths but it is not outstanding. Some well-focused, newer initiatives are not yet having a consistent impact across all groups of pupils and subjects, including in the sixth form. In a small number of classes, expectations of disadvantaged pupils, especially most-able disadvantaged pupils, are not yet high enough.