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  • Balcarras School
    East End Road
    Charlton Kings
    GL53 8QF
  • Head: Mr Dominic Burke
  • T 01242 515881
  • F 01242 250620
  • E
  • W
  • A state school for boys and girls aged from 11 to 18.
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Gloucestershire
  • Pupils: 1,400; sixth formers: 400
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Open days: First week in October
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Outstanding 1
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Outstanding 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 1
    • 1 Full inspection 21st May 2014
  • Previous Ofsted grade: Outstanding on 25th February 2009
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Parents describe the music and drama provision as ‘very impressive’. The school is well represented at the local Cheltenham Music Festival and the chamber choir recently won a national Music for Youth award. Cheery, bright and modern, the school has made the most of its functional appearance. Big classrooms are flooded with natural light and large open views create a healthy sense of space. Primary colours abound (even floors and furniture are painted red) and walls are crammed with examples of work...

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What the school says...

We are proud of the enjoyment and excitement pupils feel about their learning and their life in school. The sixth form continues to be supremely successful.

What the parents say...

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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Boys taking Russian at an English Comprehensive School (GCE A level)
  • Best performance by Girls taking Russian at an English Comprehensive School (GCE A level)
  • Best performance by Boys taking Russian at an English Comprehensive School (GCSE)
  • Excellent performance by Boys taking Additional Science at an English Comprehensive School (GCSE)
  • Excellent performance by Boys taking Business Studies: Single at an English Comprehensive School (GCSE)
  • Excellent performance by Girls taking Home Economics: Food at an English Comprehensive School (GCSE)

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2016, Dominic Burke, previously deputy head. Degree from York, masters from Sheffield and teacher training qualification from Leeds. First teaching post in Evesham; joined Balcarras in 2007 as head of history. Two young sons; enjoys golf and running and supports Leeds United.

Academic matters

The school’s strategy is to set high expectations for its pupils and then give them the support they need to achieve those expectations. It’s one that is clearly working. Best ever A level results in 2017 with 33 per cent A*/A and 67 per cent A*-B grades. Over 30 subjects on offer - maths is the most popular (further maths also available) and the psychology department has had to expand to accommodate demand. The sixth form is bearing the brunt of recent funding cuts (with a £300k smaller pot than...

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Special Education Needs

Balcarras welcomes students with a wide range of abilities and learning needs. Pupils with SEND are admitted on the same basis as all other children and are encouraged to take part in the full range of activities on offer. We do our best to ensure support is given to children whose learning and progress might be a cause for concern. Physically disabled pupils have easy access around school. Close liaison with our feeder schools enables us to respond to SEND right from the start. The Individual Learning Department (ILD) co-ordinates provision, maintaining a register of pupils who have learning/physical/emotional/sensory/medical needs that impact on learning. Subject staff are provided with a ‘Pupil Passport’ with each child’s particular needs and recommended support strategies. There is a rigorous process for exam access arrangements. The department is housed in a smart building which provides flexible accommodation and excellent resources. Pupils may be withdrawn from some lessons for work in small groups. Individual tailored support is provided by the ILD which comprises two specialist teachers, three HLTAs and a large team of TAs. There is a strong focus on inclusive practice through collaboration with the pastoral team and external agencies. Young people and their parents/carers are involved in decisions about their support and, with high aspirations, prepare effectively for continuing education and a successful adult life.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dysgraphia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health Y
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty Y
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability Y
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability Y
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment Y

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