School Context

The Commonweal School is a genuinely comprehensive 11 -19 mixed secondary school in the Old Town community of Swindon. Currently there are 1230 students on roll who come from a diverse range of backgrounds, both socio-economically and linguistically: over 40 nationalities are represented.

The school has been oversubscribed for a number of years and has increased the PAN to 230 in the Main School to accommodate some of the extra demand for places.

The school was granted specialist Performing Arts College status in 2004 and was re-designated in 2008. We have also held the Artsmark Gold Award since 2003, hold the Geography Quality mark, have Healthy Schools Status, and have recently achieved both Fair Trade status and Dyslexia Friendly status. We are currently working towards full Anti-Bullying School accreditation. In September 2014 we opened our Sixth Form and currently deliver 31 A Levels to 100 Year 12 students.

We became an Academy in August 2011, shortly after an Ofsted inspection in which we were judged Outstanding overall, and in 16 out of 22 categories. In February 2014 we were again inspected : this time we were adjudged Good in all areas under an infinitely more rigorous inspection regime.

Students come from 4 principal wards although the demography of the cohort is further complicated by two Special Resource Provisions (SRPs) which draw from further afield (and do impact on exam results).

As of September 2014:

  • Physically Impaired SRP -19 students
  • SpLD SRP – 30 students

Our inclusivity is also reflected in the fact that we have 1 Visually Impaired student, 15 MLD students and a number of students on the Autistic Spectrum on roll.  As of September 2014 there are 320 students receiving some form of additional intervention and thus on School Action or School Action plus.

Students are drawn principally from 4 feeder schools within the designated catchment area: Lethbridge, Robert Le Kyng, King William Street & Even Junior School smaller numbers of students are drawn from a further 36 schools. The school reserves up to 15 places per cohort for student able to demonstrate genuine ability in the Performing Arts.

From 2014 data we can see that:

  • the student population is reasonably stable, although since 2008 54 students have left whilst 72 have been admitted within the school year
  • Minority Ethnic students account for approx 19% intake; 81% are classified as White British
  • EAL students account for 10.5 % of the cohort
  • % of students with SEN statement is 5% (well above national averages)
  • we have an above average number of Looked After Children (11)

ACORN Profile data for 2013 reveals a balanced socio-economic grouping (which is reflected in 2011 RAISEOnline data) :

  • Wealthy Achievers:16%
  • Urban Prosperity: 8%
  • Comfortably Off: 38%
  • Modest Means: 29%
  • Hard Pressed: 9%

The Gender pattern over recent years has been for a majority of Boys; currently the overall Girl/Boy ratio is 46 : 54.

Free School Meal uptake is 19%

Attendance figures for 2014 confirm performance well above national averages at 95.0%

Attainment on entry is marginally above national averages according to FFT data and 2013 RAISEOnline, although standards over the last 3 years have been judged either Good or outstanding. Standards in Performing Arts subjects have been consistently good and well above national averages.