St Mary's Catholic High School in Astley is celebrating today after Ofsted rated the school ‘Good’, recognising that the ‘school has been transformed since the last inspection as a result of intelligent and determined leadership’.
The inspectors described how ‘leaders, including governors, have secured evident and significant improvement throughout all aspects of the school, most particularly in the behavior of pupils, their attendance, the quality of teaching and the achievement of disadvantaged pupils’.
The glowing report, which followed a two day inspection carried out in April noted that the school’s leaders ‘have skillfully and precisely identified what individual teachers and subject leaders need to do to perform to a higher level. Leaders have provided high quality support and guidance to enable the whole teaching body to improve’.
The team of five Ofsted inspectors commented in their report that pupils behave well and said pupils and students ‘have positive attitudes to learning’. ‘The ethos and culture permeating the whole school means that decisions are based solely on what is best for pupils’.
Inspectors also highlighted ‘the welfare of pupils is taken very seriously by all staff’ and ‘ pupils say there are many adults who they could and would turn to for guidance when experiencing anxieties or have a concern for others’.
The report praises the school’s careers advice, information and guidance – ‘a well-planned programme, which includes generous support from local employers, begins in Year 7 and meets the changing needs of pupils as they move through the school and sixth form’.
Leadership of the school’s sixth form was also commended and study programmes for 16-19 year olds are ‘well-designed so that they closely match the needs and aspirations of students. There is a good range of opportunities through academic and vocational courses’. Students in the sixth form are highly complimentary about the care and support they receive. A comment in the report says ‘If it wasn’t for my teachers, I wouldn’t be where I am now’.
The inspecting team also commented on the much stronger governing body. Collectively governors have an excellent set of skills, are passionate about the school and effective in promoting a strong Catholic ethos. They have played an important role in the school’s improvements.
Chair of Governors Jack Farrimond responded to the report: ‘Congratulations to everyone at and involved with St. Mary’s Catholic High School. The Ofsted report is very pleasing and is reflective of the aims of our mission statement. It confirms the continuous quality progress that is being made at St. Mary’s. The hard work of all staff can be evidenced everywhere and every day in school. Equal congratulations should go to our students for their considerable achievements and to their parents/carers for their continued support.’
Andrew Dawson, the school’s headteacher, expressed his delight with the inspection outcome and praised staff, students and governors for all their hard work and dedication. ‘St. Mary’s is a community and we will continue to work and grow together to improve even further.’
The report highlights a number of other key areas:
- Parents recognise the improvements that the school has made and cite the quality of communication systems as a particular strength.
- The school has effective safeguarding arrangements in place and pupils feel safe.
- Pupils’ attitudes to learning are positive.
- The progress made by pupils with special educational needs or a disability is strong and is improving.
You can read the full report below or by visiting https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/