RB-Cambridge – Registered charity number 1175826
At Red Balloon, our programme has been designed to re-integrate students into a learning environment, with an emphasis on reducing social isolation, building self-esteem, and reigniting academic ambitions.
We support a diverse group of young people, many of whom have been out of education for months, or even years. Having missed extensive periods of schooling, many of our students understandably have levels of attainment that are well below the national average of their peers. Additionally, a high proportion of our students have special educational needs, and it is for these reasons we believe academic attainment should not be the sole indicator of their performance.
- monitor students’ personal development through readiness to learn;
- record student progress in core subjects in KS3;
- record student progress in external examinations;
- record percentage of students moving from RB into appropriate next placements;
… and ongoingly seek soft data in terms of feedback from students, parents and other involved agencies in terms of our performance.
Our aims for our students
The aims of the Red Balloon Learner Centre Cambridge are to:
- make appropriate provision (usually full time, but possibly part time in the early part of a student’s time at the Centre) for vulnerable students unable to attend school, either as a result of severe bullying or other trauma;
- raise the self-esteem of our students;
- build confidence of our students;
- improve student attendance;
- enable students to make academic progress;
- help students identify and prepare for the next stage of their educational career;
- provide opportunities for students to engage with the community.
“It's a place where I feel comfortable and where I can go at my own pace, I can focus on socialising and on my education comfortably.”
From the Red Balloon Cambridge Centre
Figures at RB-Cambridge
Number of students supported (June 2023, excluding One Step Beyond): 33
Percentage of students with EHC plans (June 2023): 84%
Progress at KS3 (studying at or above expected rate of progression) Summer 2023:
Number of Year 11/11+ leavers: 10
GCSE exams Summer 2022
Number of students who sat GCSE/iGCSE exams: 9
Percentage of 9-4 Grades in core subjects as follows:
Science (iGCSE): 100%
Exam performance against predicted grades: 76% students achieved their expected grades
Transition (Summer 2023)
Successful return to mainstream pre-KS5 (where return was aimed for): N/A
Successful transition to further education, training or work post-16: 90%
NEET: 10% (compared to 40% Alternative Provision average)
Parents may have access to academic performance outcomes on request to the Centre, including results from any public examinations.
RB-Cambridge was last inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in March 2023. The inspectors found RB-Cambridge to be excellent in every category.
You can see the 2023 report here.
The most recent Quality and Compliance inspection was in 2015. Inspectors found RB-Cambridge to be fully compliant and excellent in every category. Pupils’ achievement was judged to be excellent and teaching highly effective, pupils’ personal development and behaviour was judged to be excellent as well as leadership and management.
You can see the 2015 report here.
Until 2020, Annual Reports for the Centre were produced by Red Balloon Educational Trust (at the time called Red Balloon Learner Centre Group) who produced an annual report for the work undertaken across the Red Balloon federation of charities. These reports are available below.
Safeguarding and Child Protection Statement
Under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 (as amended), *the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015, and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (as amended) to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued.
The school will therefore be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Partnership Board’s procedures to ensure that children receive appropriate and effective support and protection.
Parents/carers should know that the law requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a child’s welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Parents/carers should know that records of safeguarding concerns may be kept about their child. They should be informed that school staff will seek, in general, to discuss any concerns with them including referrals to other agencies.
Local procedures state that “Consent should always be sought from an adult with parental responsibility for the child/young person before passing information about them to Children’s Social Care, unless seeking consent would place the child at risk of significant harm or may lead to the loss of evidence for example destroying evidence of a crime or influencing a child about a disclosure made.” This includes allowing them to share information without consent, if it is not possible to gain consent, if it cannot be reasonably expected that a professional gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk.
Where there is a need to share special category personal data, the Data Protection Act 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows professionals to share information.
In accordance with legislation and local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively. Information will only be shared with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that children and young people are safe and receive the right service. In all circumstances, the safety of the child will be the paramount concern.
Schools will contact Children’s Social Care when they have reasonable cause to suspect a child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Occasionally, concerns are passed on which are later shown to be unfounded. Parents/carers will appreciate that the member of staff in the school with responsibility for child protection (known as the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) was carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with the law and acting in the best interests of all children.
Under Section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989, any person who has care of a child “may….do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding promoting the child’s welfare”. This means that on rare occasions, a school may need to “hold” a child in school whilst Social Care and the Police investigate any concerns further.
* The word ‘school’ is used throughout but this would include all educational settings e.g. Academies, Pupil Referral Units, Further Education establishments and Independent schools.
Policies are reviewed annually by the Centre trustees. The Chair of Trustees signs a policy list (held in the Centre office) to indicate that this has been carried out. Names of ‘responsible staff’ (eg Examinations Officer) as required within policies are also available from the Centre office.
Number of official complaints received: 0