Hazel Grove Forum

A Suburb in Stockport

10 10 / 10 from 9 Reviews

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BlueGrover posted..

The Heads letter to parents.......

Dear Parent(s)
Please find enclosed a copy of our final Ofsted Report following our recent inspection. The inspection team looked at every aspect of school life in forensic detail; working with us to celebrate our successes while validating our areas for further improvement.
I would like to personally thank all of our students for their continued exceptional performance during inspection and all parents/carers who answered the Ofsted Parent View questionnaire. The vast majority of you said that you are extremely happy with our school and the quality of teaching, with 98% of you saying you would recommend our school to other prospective parents.
We have been extremely pleased with the key findings of the report. The inspection team found that our students “…behave extremely well around the school. They are polite, friendly and respectful.” That “the overall attainment and progress of students…has been significantly above national averages”. Our “students in the sixth form achieve very well and make a valuable contribution to the school community.” “Teaching…enables students to achieve well over time. In the majority of lessons, they make good progress and learn well.”
I would like to encourage you to read the report fully as there are many findings to celebrate, especially the successes of our students. As you do so, you will no doubt have a range of questions. Not least the reasons behind the inspection in the first place. Ofsted initially took interest in the school following concerns raised directly to them after media coverage in November which mentioned our school and the local community. Once Ofsted undertook some research and realised that we had not had a whole school inspection since 2008, they therefore decided it was appropriate to undertake an inspection.
Let me deal with the situation regarding the concerns raised first and foremost. Ofsted unequivocally supported the school and have said that “leaders in school are proactive in ensuring that safeguarding measures are strong. Staff work extremely well with parents and outside agencies to make sure students’ welfare needs are met”. Directly relating to the complaints “…substantial evidence provided by the Head Teacher, linked to the wider issues raised by the complaints to Ofsted, demonstrates that the school has robust systems and procedures which contribute strongly to helping its students stay safe”.
Overall, the inspection team found that we have:
 very high exam results at every level with results “significantly” above the national picture
 very good value added (i.e. we do better with our students than others would do with our students)
 very good behaviour and safe children
 highly qualified staff who have exceptional subject knowledge and are highly skilled at preparing students for exams
 strong teaching which enthuses and involves students in their learning
 a great and vast range of opportunities for students
 a very strong Sixth Form (courses, results, opportunities and impact on the wider school)
 very effective links with the primary schools and transition is a clear strength of the school which helps students make a strong start to their Key Stage 3 (Yrs 7-9) learning
 achieved significantly above national targets for students making and exceeding expectations in English and mathematics
The Inspection Team was also able to validate for us our key school improvement areas and support us in fine tuning the areas of our work that will form the School Improvement Plan moving forward. The key aspects that we will be continuing to develop are to:
 close the achievement gap between our Pupil Premium students and our non-Pupil Premium students. Last year, the very few (i.e. less than 15) Pupil Premium students we had did not do as well as other students. We
need to ensure they do. (Pupil Premium refers to students who are eligible for Free Schools Meals or are Looked
After Children)
 ensure students who are School Action Plus (i.e. supported by outside agencies) do as well as their peers who
are not designated School Action Plus
 ensure all subject areas are as good as the best in school, removing any variability and inconsistency
 further improve governors’ knowledge and ability to challenge the school
 make sure our many, truly outstanding teachers get to systematically support others across the school
Overall, we have achieved a grading of “Good” for Achievement, Teaching and Learning and Behaviour and Safety.
However, extremely disappointingly, we were graded as “Requires Improvement” for Leadership and Management.
(The category of Leadership & Management covers senior, middle and governance levels of leadership). Once one
category is given “Requires Improvement”, this is the only overall grade you can achieve, in spite of the fact that all
other categories were assessed as “Good”. The judgement for Leadership and Management mainly comes about
because the gap in achievement for the very few Pupil Premium and School Action Plus students has not closed over
the previous three years, in fact it had widened. The report also highlights some inconsistency and variability at a
subject level and that we are already actively addressing these aspects.
Our school is an exceptional school in which the vast majority of students achieve brilliantly. The report is not saying
our students do not achieve, it is saying that not all our students are achieving in the same way. A VERY small
number of students (less than 10 last year) did not do as well as their peers. As this happened in previous years as
well, ultimately, Ofsted made the decision to classify this attainment gap under improvements required in
Leadership & Management rather than the Achievement category.
Within 18 months we will be inspected again and at that point we will be re-graded as “Outstanding” once more.
The inspectors said “…we have not inspected any school better placed to go straight back to outstanding”.
The bottom line is that in our school, over a number of years, if you have been one of the very few students who has
benefited from the Pupil Premium grant or had supportive involvement from an outside agency, you may not have
not done as well as your peers. Almost all other students have consistently achieved significantly over and above
government expectations, but as a result, the gap for these few students has grown. We must ensure that all
students see the same levels of achievement and therefore close the gap for the few students who do not yet meet
these same very high standards.
Poynton High School will be regraded as “Outstanding” in 2015, of this I have absolutely no doubt. Not because it is
a “hoop to jump through” but because it will represent a position where we are truly meeting the needs of every
one of our 1560 students. Every student, no matter what their barrier to learning, achieves at the same outstanding
level.
There are always many questions which arise out of a school inspection so may I encourage you to either e-mail me
directly (dwaugh@phs.cheshire.sch.uk), keep an eye on our website or you may wish to keep track of our updates on
twitter by following me at “PHS_Headteacher” where I will be regularly putting on Q&A posts and I’ll also be able to
keep you up to date on our rapid journey back to outstanding.
Yours faithfully,
David Waugh
Head Teacher