Agenda item

Agenda item

Ofsted Inspections of Manchester Schools

To receive a list of all Manchester schools which have been inspected since the last meeting and the judgements awarded and to consider the main themes arising from the inspections.


The Subgroup received a list of all Manchester schools which had been inspected since the last meeting and the judgements awarded. 


The Senior School Quality Assurance Officer provided Members with an overview of the inspections which had taken place since the last meeting, advising that all reports for inspections from the previous academic year had now been published.  She reported that 88.4% of Manchester schools were judged to be good or better, which placed the city fifth out of ten local authorities within Greater Manchester and in line with the average for the north-west and nationally.  She added that 89.6% of Manchester primary schools were good or better, placing Manchester sixth out of ten within Greater Manchester, and 82.8% of the city’s high schools were good or better, placing Manchester second out of ten at secondary level within Greater Manchester. 


In response to comments from the Chair about the positive outcomes for the special schools which had been inspected, the Senior School Quality Assurance Officer clarified that these were not included in the above figures.  The Director of Education highlighted that Prospect House was a new school which had been judged as outstanding on its first inspection.  The Chair welcomed that there was additional special school provision for pupils whose needs could not be met in mainstream schools.  A Member expressed concern that the High Needs Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant was not sufficient to meet the needs of all the pupils with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) in the city.


The Senior School Quality Assurance Officer reported that the themes emerging from the Ofsted inspections remained similar to those reported at previous meetings.  She stated that these included curriculum design, particularly identifying component knowledge, and curriculum implementation.  She reported that her team had put in place a series of webinars on curriculum design and implementation, which had received positive feedback so far.  She informed Members that the city had approximately 81 schools which were likely to be inspected during the current academic year and that these had been risk assessed, with officers working closely with those assessed as being ‘red’ or ‘amber’ risk.  She reported that, where there were specific concerns about a school, this was closely monitored by the Quality Assurance Board.  She informed Members that all Manchester schools had received a Quality Assurance visit during the autumn term and that these had included a focus on the curriculum to identify any issues and provide support.  She reported that next term there would be a Quality Assurance report focussing on behaviour, as the Department for Education (DfE) was spotlighting this issue.  She also informed Members of a webinar which was being developed on adaptive teaching, stating that Members would be welcome to attend this.  In response to a Member’s question, she stated that the schools judged to be inadequate or requires improvement were not concentrated in any specific area of the city.


Members discussed King David High School, with the Chair commenting that Subgroup Members had seen improvements when they had visited.  The Senior School Quality Assurance Officer reported that Ofsted had initially undertaken a monitoring visit to King David, which had been converted to a full inspection because there were signs of improvement and that the full inspection had resulted in a judgement of requires improvement (the school having previously been graded as inadequate).  She reported that the school had made significant progress and that it was expected that, when it received its next full graded inspection, within the next three years, it would be judged to be good.  A Member reported that a new governing body had been put in place.


In response to a question from the Chair about whether some of the judgements had been expected or not, the Senior School Quality Assurance Officer reported that Unity Community Primary School, which had been judged as requires improvement, had been unfortunate in their judgement, advising that they had been judged good in some areas.  In relation to Peel Hall Primary School, which had been judged as inadequate, she advised that officers had already been aware that there were concerns and had been working closely with the school prior to the inspection.  She outlined the steps being taken since the inspection, including half-termly Quality Assurance visits, weekly visits from the Senior Schools Quality Assurance Officer, local authority-brokered support from a Trust, an Interim Executive Board replacing the governing body and the Council supporting the school’s conversion to a sponsored academy.  She informed Members that a SEND review and a Safeguarding Review were taking place at the school.  She assured Members that Ward Councillors had been well-briefed and involved throughout.


In response to a Member’s question, the Director of Education provided further information on the Wise Owl Trust, which Peel Hall Primary School would be joining, stating that it was a small local trust which worked closely with the Council and she advised that homegrown trusts knew the city and its demographics well.  She stated that the Wise Owl Trust was already supporting the school and making a positive difference.


A Member suggested that at a future meeting it might be useful to look at some schools’ trajectories over the longer term.


In response to a Member’s comments, the Director of Education outlined some of the positive work taking place at Higher Openshaw Community Primary School, stating that the school was very community-focused.


The Chair welcomed the very significant improvements made in the city’s secondary school sector.  She highlighted the importance of the transition arrangements.  In response to a Member’s comments about pressure on school places in the secondary sector, the Director of Education advised that more Manchester children were attending secondary schools within the city and families from elsewhere in Greater Manchester were also now seeking places at Manchester schools.




To note the reports.

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