Ofsted Inspections of Manchester Schools
The Senior School Quality Assurance Officer provided Members with details of the Ofsted visits which had taken place during the 2020-2021 academic year. She explained that routine inspections had been put on hold during the pandemic but that Ofsted inspectors had still been visiting schools – either remotely or in person – during this time. She drew Members’ attention to the Section 8 visits which had taken place, advising that these did not result in a judgement but that the reports from these visits had been overwhelmingly positive. She reported that, for schools which had been previously judged as Requires Improvement or below, Section 8 monitoring inspections had continued and that these had been very positive.
A Member commented that, due to the use of virtual visits and reduced staffing, Ofsted were relying more on data to assess schools. She also reported that in some areas of the city, and particularly in the secondary sector, there were some very good schools and some not so good schools and that the leadership and management were key to this.
In response to a question from the Chair, the Senior School Quality Assurance Officer confirmed that Newall Green High School had closed. She informed Members that the Council had raised at a national level the pressures that Manchester schools had faced during the pandemic. She highlighted that some schools had received multiple Ofsted visits within a short period of time and offered to provide an update at the next meeting. The Chair commented on the excellent work of Manchester schools during the pandemic and the additional pressures that they had been placed under, particularly schools which had already been struggling.
The Subgroup considered the recent Ofsted report for Manchester Enterprise Academy, which stated that this continued to be a good school. Members welcomed this and discussed the school’s Fantastic Futures programme. A Member expressed concern at the new, more simplified report format that Ofsted was now using, which the Senior School Quality Assurance Officer advised was written to be accessible for parents and families. The Chair commented on the low numbers in the school’s sixth form, to which another Member responded that the sixth form was closing down. The Chair noted the comment in the report about boisterous behaviour and advised that the important issue was how this was dealt with. In response to a question from the Chair, the Senior School Quality Assurance Officer advised that the school’s Alternative Provision would have been included in the inspection and, if there had been any concerns about it, this would have been mentioned in the report.
The Subgroup considered the recent Ofsted report for Wright Robinson College, which stated that this continued to be an outstanding school. The Senior School Quality Assurance Officer explained that schools that had been judged outstanding had previously been exempt from routine inspections but that this had now changed. She informed Members that schools which were last inspected before 2015 were receiving a Section 5 inspection and that schools which had been inspected since 2015 were receiving a less wide-ranging Section 8 inspection and that Wright Robinson fell into the latter category. The Chair commented that it was an impressive report. A Member reported that the school was over-subscribed but did not suit all children and that it had strict behaviour management. She advised that it welcomed new arrivals and was an inclusive school. The Chair expressed concern at the zero tolerance behaviour policies and asked if the school had in-house Alternative Provision. Another Member advised that pupils would remain on roll but attend a nearby Alternative Provision. She also commented that it was very inclusive of children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).
- To write to Manchester Enterprise Academy and Wright Robinson College to congratulate them on their recent Ofsted reports.
- To arrange visits to both schools.
- Manchester Enterprise Academy Wythenshawe, item 3. PDF 459 KB
- Wright Robinson College, item 3. PDF 473 KB