Wigan secondary school gets positive report for lockdown teaching

The high school's work during the Covid-19 pandemic received the seal of approval from the education watchdog.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 12:13 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 12:16 pm

A monitoring inspection of Dean Trust Wigan by Ofsted found the Greenhey school is currently providing effective education to its pupils.

The verdict makes for happier reading for staff than Ofsted’s previous visit in 2020 which resulted in an inadequate rating with evidence of “serious weaknesses”.

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Dean Trust Wigan

And Ofsted have told executive headteacher James Haseldine and his team that they are currently ensuring the curriculum can be effectively delivered to pupils whether they have been studying in the classroom or at home.

Senior leadership has been “decisively” strengthened, Ofsted said, and staff were also praised for their efforts prioritising the welfare of vulnerable pupils during the pandemic.

Support for pupils with special educational needs has also been strengthened while the school has been making sure that pupils learning remotely have the right equipment and are able to access online materials.

Plans are also in place to check up on the learning of the year 11 group before it leaves the school and additional lessons have been put on, the watchdog said.

Dean Trust Wigan executive headteacher James Haseldine

However, Ofsted said further action was required to support pupils struggling to read by helping them with their phonics knowledge.

Mr Haseldine said: “We are improving rapidly as a school and our focus is on setting really high standards.

“We’ve still got work to do but I’m really pleased with the good work of staff and pupils over the past 12 months, which have been really difficult for families and children.

“I was also heartened that Ofsted recognised the great work staff have done with vulnerable pupils, going the extra mile for families.

“Ultimately we want to create a good school that the community can be proud of.”

The inspection took place remotely due to Covid-19 regulations and Ofsted admits it is therefore not as comprehensive as an in-person visit would be.

Inspectors met senior leaders, governors, representatives of The Dean Trust and spoke to the council about education in lockdown.

Parents and pupils were also quizzed for their views.

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