Ofsted finds St Cuthberts is heading in the right direction

First published in News

A SECONDARY school has been told by Ofsted that it is making progress but still needs to find improvements.

Inspectors who visited St Cuthbert’s Community College for Business over two days in December judged the school was no longer inadequate, a ranking of a previous inspection in 2011.

Instead they found it had made strides forward but still requires more work to make it a “good school”.

In an inspection report they found St Cuthberts, on Berrys Lane, requires improvements in the quality of teaching, achievement of pupils and its management.

But behaviour and safety of pupils is said to be good and children are praised for their attitudes to learning, are polite and well-mannered to visitors.

Overall the findings gave headteacher Monica Gallimore the confidence to describe St Cuthberts as “definitely on the up”.

A summary of Ofsted’s key findings ruled that although achievement is improving, it is not yet good: “Progress made by some groups of students, such as those supported by school action and particularly in English and mathematics, is not rapid enough.”

One of the brightest notes for the school is that “teaching is improving rapidly”, however a small amount is “not good enough to make or exceed expected progress”.

Another positive is that attendance at the school has also picked up, but it is still below the national average.

Strengths of the school are that every pupil is valued equally and “extremely well cared for through effective pastoral care systems”.

Courses and opportunities contribute to students’ development, add the report.

And the school’s senior leaders and governing body work well with the local authority to raise standards and the quality of education.

The inspection team recognised how the introduction of a new reading initiative throughout the college had made a “very positive impact”.

Teachers were praised for their good subject knowledge and enthusiasm and how this encouraged students to achieve well.

In a press release issued by St Helens Council, Monica Gallimore, the college principal, expressed satisfaction.

She said: “I am delighted that the Ofsted inspection identified the fact that the gap between student attainment and national averages is closing quickly, and their finding that ‘student achievement in lessons is good.

“Our pupils, our parents and our staff at St Cuthbert’s have worked so hard this year to make progress in the last year. I can happily affirm that this is one college most definitely on the up.”

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