Wigan high school labelled 'inadequate' as Ofsted inspectors find 'lack of ambition'

A "lack of ambition permeates" among senior leaders and governors at a secondary school in Wigan found to be inadequate by Ofsted.

Monday, 20th July 2020, 4:39 pm
Updated Monday, 20th July 2020, 4:40 pm

Hindley High School was inspected in March after a previous visit by the watchdog found that improvements were not being made quickly enough.

Weaknesses in the curriculum have led to pupils struggling with their GCSE exams in recent years, with their grades falling below the national average in most areas.

While grades have started to pick up since the appointment of a new deputy headteacher, Ofsted says it is too early to tell if this will have a lasting impact.

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Hindley High School

An inspector’s report says that governors have failed to hold senior leaders to account for the quality of education provided at Hindley High School and are "too reliant" on the information given to them.

Both governors and senior teachers have also been accused of not having high enough expectations for disadvantaged pupils, including those with special educational needs and disability (SEND).

“For too long, pupils in this school have not received a good quality of education,” says the report published this month.

“Leaders have not acted swiftly enough to resolve this situation.

“The actions that they have taken have not been effective in bringing about the necessary improvement to pupils’ achievement.

“This lack of ambition permeates the school.

“Too many pupils, particularly those who are disadvantaged and those with SEND, leave the school without attaining a standard or strong pass in their English and mathematics GCSEs.”

While school management and quality of education were marked as inadequate and requiring improvement respectively, the behaviour and personal development of pupils were recognised as being good.

Pupils work hard in their lessons and are respectful to their peers and teachers, says the report, while absence levels are falling.

A new programme of learning called Identity and Destination, aimed at preparing pupils for life in modern Britain by teaching the rule of law and moral issues, was also praised.

But teachers are given varying levels of support to deliver the curriculum effectively.

The report says: ”The quality of education that pupils receive is too dependent on the teachers that they have. Leaders and governors continue to leave too much to chance.”

Wigan Council says it has already been working with the school’s leadership team and governors to develop an improvement plan.

A spokesman added: “There are many great things to celebrate about Hindley High School and we want to reassure parents that we are confident that the school is already on a really positive journey to continue to improve outcomes and children will have a bright and positive future there.”

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