Wigan borough private school slammed by Ofsted as staff deliver ‘poor lessons’ and pupil safety ‘left too much to chance’

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A school has been slammed by Ofsted inspectors over concerns about pupils’ safety and staff delivering “poor lessons outside their expertise”.

The damning report stated the pupils’ learning at the Lilford Centre in Tyldesley – one of two independent Progress Schools in the borough – was “hampered by a poorly delivered curriculum across many subjects”.

Labelled as “inadequate” by Ofsted, the school has pupils referred by the local authority who have previously disengaged with education due to non-attendance or behavioural issues. This is something Ofsted believed was not being done adequately.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Wigan man who feared his dog had been stolen while he suffered a fit has been re...
Charlotte Barton, the managing director at Progress SchoolsCharlotte Barton, the managing director at Progress Schools
Charlotte Barton, the managing director at Progress Schools

The school, which opened in 2020, had 30 pupils when inspectors visited and found it had “failed to meet the independent school standards”.

Many teachers were delivering lessons with “poor content” that was “outside of their areas of expertise”, the inspector claimed.

The report stated safeguarding measures were not effective, with safety being left “too much to chance”, despite pupils saying they trusted staff to keep them safe.

Leaders’ periodic checks and calls home only provided "temporary assurances about pupils’ location and safety”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
The Lilford Centre in TyldesleyThe Lilford Centre in Tyldesley
The Lilford Centre in Tyldesley

“Under these current practices, leaders cannot reasonably assure themselves that these pupils are safe,” the report said.

“This means that leaders are not fulfilling some of the requirements of part three of the standards.

“In much of their work, leaders are well guided by the appropriate safeguarding practices outlined in their policy. Leaders ensure that pupils who attend school are taught about staying safe.”

In a long list of requirements to improve, the school was told it needed an “appropriate full-time curriculum” which children working from home could access.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Teachers were required to gain a better understanding of what pupils need to learn and be supported to deliver parts of the curriculum they did not specialise in.

“The number of pupils with extremely low attendance is unacceptable,” the report highlighted. “These pupils are missing out on their education.

“Leaders should raise their expectations for pupils’ attendance. They should further strengthen their approaches to challenging and supporting pupils’ attendance.”

Lessons on personal development and the next steps in education, employment and training were praised, despite being “mixed in breadth and quality”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Charlotte Barton, managing director at Progress Schools, said: “We are disappointed with Ofsted’s findings. Having recently agreed an investment programme in our educational delivery, the timing of this inspection did not give us the ability to show the positive impact that this is making.

"However, Ofsted’s feedback, combined with the ideas and support of our parents, caregivers and local authority, are helping turbo charge these improvements in order to support our students to achieve their potential.

“We are committed to providing a well-rounded curriculum that is bespoke to each of our student’s needs, delivered by a well-qualified team who care deeply about their students’ well-being and outcomes.

"My appointment in May sees the organisation under a new leadership team and we are confident that when Ofsted return for their next inspection, they will see the clear steps that we have already been taking to drive up the quality of our provision.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We have been working closely with the local authority to keep them updated as to the progress made with our action plan and continue to maintain regular communication with our parents and caregivers around their child’s progress. All parties remain supportive of our delivery.”

Related topics: