Inspection of St Cuthbert’s RC High School (to view the full report click here)
Letter from the Headteacher
Dear Parent / Carer
As you will know we have recently had our second Ofsted Inspection since September. The vast majority of the Ofsted Report is identical to the school’s own self-evaluation which we have to complete and share with the inspection team when they arrive. Consequently we have been effectively addressing all areas in need of improvement as is highlighted throughout the report - Ofsted February 2019:
‘’Since taking up his post in 2018, the new headteacher has made significant changes. The positive impact of these changes can already be seen in most aspects of the school.’’
‘’Some teaching in the school is inspirational. The monitoring of teaching is now frequent and rigorous. The strongest teachers act as models for those who need to improve.’’
‘’The leadership of special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is very strong’’’
‘’The school’s vision and values are prominently promoted in displays, policies and curriculum statements. The Equality policy firmly declares that St Cuthbert’s will not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation in relation to race or sexual orientation. Most pupils are strong advocates of this unequivocal statement.’’
‘’Governors bring a wide range of educational, managerial and financial skills to their roles. They have dedicated considerable time to their own training and development and to supporting the school.’’
‘‘’Inspectors’ scrutiny of pupils’ work and of the school’s assessment information indicates that teachers’ assessments are accurate and that expectations of what pupils should achieve by the end of each school year are beginning to rise.’’
‘’This year, improved teaching and better assessment and tracking, as well as earlier support for those who are falling behind, have ensured that pupils currently in the school are making better progress than has previously been the case’’ (Ofsted 2019).
It is important to note that while the school agrees with the Ofsted judgement it does not agree with all comments in the report. We are very proud of all of our students and their conduct and attitudes have been commended on many occasions including the November 2018 Ofsted Inspection
‘’There is a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the school. Staff and pupils smile at those they meet. Pupils are polite and friendly, and they are respectful to each other and to adults in the school. Corridors are busy and purposeful. Pupils move quickly from one lesson to another and they arrive at their lessons promptly and ready to learn.’’(Ofsted November 2018)
‘’Pupils are happy and confident. They appreciate the help they receive from their teachers. Pupils report that behaviour is much better than it was last year and say that this is because teachers ‘are everywhere’’’ (Ofsted November 2018)
Over the past 2 years we have conducted many stakeholder voice exercises. We have over 800 parental questionnaires with 95% positive responses for good behaviour, dealing with bullying, keeping children safe and good teaching and learning. In January we conducted a student voice which had nearly 600 responses and again we had 93% positive response for behaviour in school, how we deal with bullying and enjoying lessons. We are very proud that the people who experience life at St Cuthbert’s every day are so positive about their time here.
Over the next two years, we are extremely confident that all judgements will move to good and even outstanding. Ofsted have acknowledged that everything has now been put in place to make significant improvements over time. Since September we have made huge strides, we are establishing a culture of success and high expectation across all staff and students and many strategic developments have also been put in place.
The school is now completely rigorous in checking and improving everything that we do. Senior Leaders will not accept anything less than being the best that we can be in everything that we do. We welcome parents and carers to come and visit us any time by booking a tour of the school with the Headteacher to see us in action.
We also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a few important developments to you which may be of interest and again show how we are looking to further improve our school and the experiences of all our students.
We are delighted to announce that St Cuthbert’s has gone into partnership with Manchester United Foundation! We are now a Manchester United Foundation Partner School. There will be a major launch event soon although the work has already started and many students have been involved in activities, including visits to Old Trafford, and we have a Manchester United Foundation Partner Schools Officer working full time at the school.
Our first annual ‘Equalities & Diversity Day’ will be taking place on April 5th. As mentioned in the Ofsted Report this event has been planned for some time. It will be a celebration of all cultures and diverse backgrounds which we are proud are represented at St Cuthbert’s. It will involve all students and be our non-uniform day.
Study Club is underway. All students are welcome to attend after school each day where staff give their time voluntarily to assist in preparation for exams. These sessions are extremely well attended but there is always room for more. The sessions last until 4pm each day.
Standards and Expectations. I thank parents and carers for supporting their children in coming to school every day on time, in correct uniform and equipped for learning. This ensures they get off to the best possible start each day and can focus on learning and making progress.
We thank you for your continued support and will continue to communicate about life at St Cuthbert’s via our website, email, Facebook and Twitter. A paper copy of the report is available on request.
Mr D Shields