SADDLEWORTH School has been rated ‘good’ across all areas by Ofsted inspectors.
A ‘short inspection’ took place on March 21, 2018 – three years after the Uppermill school also received a ‘good’ grading.
Diggle Primary School received a similar ‘good’ report following their recent Ofsted inspection.
News of the outcome has been well received by Saddleworth headteacher Matthew Milburn and the students.
“The school is as good as the children and the staff that are in it and as good as the parental support we are able to engender,” said Mr Milburn.
“I am thrilled we have got such a positive report because it speaks of that team between the students, parents, families and staff. To have that vindication is important for us as a school.
“We want to be a fantastic school. At the moment we are a great school. But there are things more we can do.
“If we can shift the performance of disadvantaged pupils up so they are achieving at just the same level as every other child then for me that would be a great achievement.
“But there are many things going on at the school that aren’t judged by Ofsted report.
“For me, it’s not Ofsted that guides the way we work, it is our own sense of values about helping young people develop into fantastic human beings. That’s what schooling should be about.
“But it is important we have external judgements made about the school. They are matching up what the school has achieved in terms of exam results, in terms of attendance profile and also by talking to the students and observing lessons.
“Their judgement is the school is doing a good job and that’s important. We are here to serve the pupils and give them a platform for life to go on and flourish and succeed.”
The report states: “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.
“Together with governors and staff, you and your leadership team are ambitious and passionate about improving the quality of both academic and personal provision for all pupils, particularly the most vulnerable.
“As several pupils commented: ‘Teachers care about us and that is what great about the school.’”
Inspectors visited 22 lessons, a number jointly with school leaders. The report confirmed: “We also spoke with pupils in lessons and during break and lunchtimes as well as meeting with pupils formally.”
An online Ofsted online Parent View (PV) survey received 147 responses, including free text comments, along with 62 responses to the staff questionnaire, were considered.
The PV suggested a small minority of parents expressed concerns in relation to behaviour and some teaching.
Inspectors noted: “Leaders and governors are rightly prioritising actions to ensure any incidents of poor behaviour are swiftly dealt with and that all teaching matches that of the best in the school.”
It also said: “The proportion of fixed term exclusions for a very small minority of pupils has increased this year since higher expectations of pupils’ behaviour have been set.
“Pupils know the consequences of poor behaviour and the majority of teachers apply the school’s behaviour consistently.”
Pupils’ attendance is recorded as “in line with the national average and is improving gradually.”
However, inspectors confirmed: “Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure they improve attendance further, particularly for disadvantaged pupils and those who have Special Education Needs and/or disabilities.”
The Independent was invited to speak to Year 10 pupils about the report. Joseph Taylor said: “I think it is a good representation of the school.
“The next steps for the school are quite accurate that we need to improve our attendance.
“It (the report) is generally very good because we are good school so it does represent what we are.”
Poppy Shepherdson said: “We have a great community here and everyone will look out for each other, including the teachers and students even if they are in different year groups.”
Joe Mumford-Lloyd added: “I think we are well known around the community. We have a good image at the school.
“We all bring positivity around everywhere. It doesn’t give anyone a bad image of the school.”
Maddison Potter-Farrants said: “I think it is a really good report for our school.
“You can really tell the teachers don’t just want to teach you and get you out of the lesson.
“They want to make sure you are learning and make sure you understand so when you do the test you are doing it to the best of your ability.”
The full report can be found on the Ofsted website.
* Meanwhile, Evie Hanss and Joseph Taylor have been appointed as Saddleworth School’s new Head Girl and Head Boy for 2018-19.