Barnfield praised by Ofsted for partnerships

Barnfield South Academy, Rotherham Avenue.
Barnfield South Academy, Rotherham Avenue.

Barnfield South Academy has been praised by Ofsted for its use of alternative providers for students.

The inspectors visited the Rotheram Avenue Academy in December to look specifically at the Academy’s partnerships with outside education bodies Ridgemond Training, Burnell Training for Life and the On Track Education Centre Silsoe.

Alternative providers can be used for a range of reasons to try and prevent students from being excluded or to re-engage students in their education.

A small number of Barnfield South students attend these centres on a weekly basis as a supplement to their studies in the Academy, which is currently rated as ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted.

In a letter to Principal Cathy Barr the inspection team said: “The academy’s staff are highly committed to the small proportion of students who access alternative provision, and the programmes are tailored to meet their individual needs and interests well.”

They also stated that most students who access these alternative provisions in Year 9 and 10 successfully reintegrate full time at the Academy for their Year 11 studies.

The letter reads: “Students are very positive about how their time with alternative providers helps them to

resume their studies successfully and confidently back at the academy.”

The inspectors said the reasons for placing students with alternative providers focus clearly on developing good learning behaviours quickly, alongside maintaining students’ academic development.

The Academy will now request more thorough progress reports from the alternative providers on each student and formally check on the quality of teaching and students’ learning at each centre in order to further improve the service for all.

Mrs Barr said: “Our students are of paramount importance to us and their wellbeing and success is our main priority. Sometimes it is necessary for us to use alternative providers in order to offer a more suitable education programme for a small number of students.

“I am delighted that Ofsted agree that this system is aiding these students to reach their full potential and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure each student has a positive and successful educational experience.”