James Calvert Spence College

Name James Calvert Spence College
Website http://www.jcsc.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 16 October 2018
Address Acklington Road, Amble, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 0NG
Phone Number 01665710636
Type Secondary
Age Range 9-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 734 (48% boys 52% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.3
Local Authority Northumberland
Percentage Free School Meals 21.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2.7%
Persisitent Absence 13.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 10.2%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

James Calvert Spence College is a smaller-than-average, all through school. It was previously a 13-18 high school which began admitting pupils into Years 5, 6, 7 and 8 in the academic year 2015/16. The school’s sixth form is also smaller than average. The executive headteacher and the head of school took up post in January 2016. The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium funding is above average. The proportion of pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities is average. Most pupils are White British. .A small number of pupils attend alternative provision full-time. The school works with the following providers: Engage, Skills 4 U, Choyzes, the local authority’s virtual school for children who are looked after and Northumberland’s pupil referral unit.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement Until recently, leaders did not tackle weaknesses in teaching and pupils’ outcomes effectively. Governors did not challenge leaders as robustly as they should have done. In the past, pupils’ outcomes in key stage 2 have not been good enough. Weak teaching meant that pupils were not well prepared for key stage 3. Although improving considerably, pupils in key stage 4, including disadvantaged pupils, do not make consistently strong progress across all subjects. Not all subject leaders are skilled in bringing about rapid improvement in pupils’ progress. Despite recent improvements, teaching across the school and within subjects is variable. Some teachers do not provide pupils with work which challenges them to achieve highly. Leaders have exciting plans to improve the quality of the school’s curriculum. However, it is too early to judge the impact of these changes. Leaders have not ensured that pupils’ reading skills are developed well across the curriculum. Students in the sixth form do not make good progress, particularly those following work-related courses. The school has the following strengths The executive headteacher is leading the school in the right direction. He is building a strong team of senior leaders who share his vision to improve the school. Despite the significant turbulence in staffing, staff morale is high. Most staff support the changes which have been made for the better. Leaders and governors have an accurate view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. They are ambitious to improve the school further. Staff work very hard to ensure the welfare of pupils, particularly the most vulnerable. The school’s work to support pupils’ personal development is strong. Relationships between staff and pupils are very positive. Leaders have been successful in ensuring that pupils behave well. There has been a marked reduction in the number of fixed-term exclusions. Pupils’ attendance has improved, including the attendance of disadvantaged pupils. It is now in line with the national average.