Burfield Academy

Name Burfield Academy
Website http://burfieldacademy.org
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 09 May 2018
Address Oaklands Way, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 3NW
Phone Number 01323819309
Type Academy
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 97 (56% boys 44% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 31.5
Academy Sponsor Step Academy Trust
Percentage Free School Meals 16.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%

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. Burfield Academy is smaller than the average-sized primary school. There are currently four classes: Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. It is intended that the school will grow by one class each year until the oldest pupils are in Year 6. The school does not include provision for two-year olds. Burfield Academy, formerly Hailsham Academy, joined STEP Academy Trust in January 2017. The board members set the strategic direction of the trust, and the trust’s senior leadership team oversees the strategic operational work of the trust. The trust appoints strategic governing body members to work with single- or multiple-trust schools. Strategic governing bodies hold academy leadership teams to account for the performance of the academy. The executive headteacher works across Burfield Academy and Hawkes Farm Academy, which is also a STEP Academy Trust school. Both the executive headteacher and the head of school joined Burfield Academy in June 2017. Burfield Academy experienced a high turnover of staff in the first year of the school’s operation under the new trust. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is higher than the national average. The proportion of pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities is significantly higher than the national average.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement Teaching across the school is not yet typically good, particularly in key stage 1. Teaching does not routinely probe pupils’ understanding well, and support from teaching assistants is not consistently effective. Changes to the leadership of the school and teaching staff have unsettled parents’ and carers’ confidence in leadership. Pupils do not consistently apply the skills they are learning in writing to other areas of the curriculum, limiting the quality of work they produce overall. Pupils’ phonics understanding across the school is variable. Last year’s outcomes in the Year 1 phonics screening check were lower than seen nationally. Improvement is evident but is not yet consistently established. Pupils lack sufficient opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding across a range of subjects and cultures. While improving, attendance overall, including that of disadvantaged pupils and those who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities, remains below national figures. The school has the following strengths Leaders have achieved significant improvement in a short time. They are conspicuously determined to achieve better outcomes for all pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and those who have SEN and/or disabilities. Effective support from the STEP Academy Trust is enabling rapid and sustainable improvement. The trust demonstrates strong moral purpose, and is committed to securing the positive future of the school. Leaders’ effective action is leading to rapid improvements in teaching and pupils’ progress. Teaching in the early years gives children a good start and enables them to make strong progress in their learning. Children are eager to come to school and are confident in exploring new experiences. Pupils are polite and considerate towards each other. Relationships between pupils and adults are positive. Pupils are safe and well cared for. Behaviour across the school is good. Pupils demonstrate increasingly positive attitudes towards their learning, ensuring that they are well placed to make good progress over time.