In July 2018 we had a monitoring visit by one of her Majesty’s Inspectors. Her report stated that “this school is now well on the way to shaking off the ‘requires improvement’ judgement and becoming a good school.” On 1st and 2nd October 2019, St Antony’s Catholic College was inspected by Ofsted. Under the new framework, in place for only 4 weeks at this point, Leadership and Management judged to be inadequate. This judgement links solely to one decision made to deliver a vocational PE qualification that was completed by last year’s Year 11, is being completed by the current Year 11 and by 60% of the current Year 10. It is a course that we planned for in 2016 and that students started studying in 2017 – two full years before the new Ofsted framework.
If you are a potential parent considering this school for your child, I understand fully that a label of inadequate may be a challenging barrier for you to overcome. However, please see below extracts from the report which detail some of the many strengths of our school.
“Pupils enjoy coming to school, and they feel safe. They say that behaviour has improved because of high expectations from their teachers. Most pupils move around the school sensibly during breaktimes and between lessons. During lessons, most pupils work hard and listen carefully because they want to learn. They show positive attitudes to learning. Pupils from different backgrounds get on well with each other.
Pupils say that bullying is rare and are confident that staff deal with it quickly if it does happen. Pupils can speak with peer mentors and staff if they have a problem. Pupils feel well supported in school.
Pupils are offered a wide range of opportunities in school, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and the Combined Cadet Force. These opportunities help them to develop their self-confidence, and they contribute to their personal development well.
Disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive effective support from teachers. Teaching assistants know their pupils well. They respond effectively to pupils’ learning needs.
Leaders have been successful in improving pupils’ behaviour. Pupils say that teachers are applying the behaviour policy consistently. The school is generally a calm and orderly place. Pupils show respect for each other and their teachers. Most pupils behave well in lessons and around the school. Exclusions are less common than in previous years. Most pupils attend school regularly.
Pupils have many opportunities to participate in a variety of sports, trips and visits. They learn about the rule of law and democracy and other aspects of life in modern Britain through their personal, social, health and economic education lessons and assemblies. Pupils have been successful in regional debating competitions.
“The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders make appropriate checks to ensure that all staff are safe to work with pupils. Clear procedures are in place to ensure that pupils at risk of harm are identified, helped and protected. Staff have regular training in safeguarding and are vigilant. They know what to do if they have concerns about a pupil. Leaders work effectively with external agencies. Pupils learn about how to keep themselves safe from risks, including when they are using the internet and social media."
Staff morale is high. Staff are proud to work at the school and appreciate the training that they receive. The overwhelming majority of parents who responded to Ofsted’s surveys are very positive about the school.”
Please click here to read some of the communication received from current parents following the publication of the report.
On Day 1, four subjects were subject to a Deep Dive, which is an in-depth examination by inspectors. The following observations and comments about these curriculum areas were made to either the Curriculum Leader or to Mrs Wright and Mr Giblin during feedback meetings.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
I hope the above gives you confidence that St Antony’s is far from an inadequate school. Following this judgement the school did all it could to challenge the damaging outcome, including the submission of detailed documentation for the QA process. When the draft report was produced we undertook a detailed factual accuracy check and submitted further challenge. When the final report was produced we undertook a legal challenge. We finally submitted a full complaint expressing significant concerns regarding the conduct of the inspectors and their failure to follow their own processes. If you would like further detail on this legal challenge please click here.
Latest Ofsted Report October 2019: https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50129475
Ofsted Monitoring Inspection Report July 2018: St Antony's Catholic College 10053807 PDF Final
Ofsted Report March 2017: http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/files/2474010/urn/106372.pdf
Performance Table: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/school/106372/sec/LA