Wigan high school hailed for great turnaround after being put in special measures

Community First Academy Trust chief executive Sue Darbyshire
Community First Academy Trust chief executive Sue Darbyshire

A troubled Wigan secondary school has been praised for making “rapid improvements” less than a year after being put in special measures.


During a recent visit from Ofsted, leaders of Rose Bridge Academy have been praised for a drastic upturn in the secondary school’s performance.

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After a rocky 12 months, which saw the Ince school draw criticism, inspectors found that now, “all those involved in the leadership of the school have ensured that there have been rapid improvements in both standards and expectations”.

As part of their findings, Ofsted inspectors praised leaders from both Community First Academy Trust (CFAT) and The Dean Trust (TDT) for taking “effective action” towards getting the school out of special measures.

The school, which was banned from hiring newly-qualified teachers, has now also been given the go-ahead to take on four new members of staff.

Inspectors said: “All those involved in the strategic leadership of the school have ensured that there has been rapid improvement. Staff and pupils express confidence in senior leaders and recognise that many aspects of school life have already changed for the better.

“In particular, leaders have ensured that approaches to teaching and learning are now consistent and that expectations about pupils’ behaviour are very high.

They add that, “a sense of pride in the school has developed among teachers and pupils” and “staff and pupils express confidence in senior leaders and recognise that many aspects of school life have already changed for the better”.

Amongst the many areas of progress, inspectors also commended leadership for improving the school’s self-assessment, the management of pupil premium funding and the “rapid improvement” in the quality of teaching and learning.

Sue Darbyshire, chief executive of Community First Academy Trust, said: “We are pleased to welcome this positive feedback on the many areas of progress that have been made here.

“Through the tireless efforts of all of the teams involved, we are delighted to see that Rosebridge is on a very positive trajectory.”

Jane Mantel, chairman of the interim academy management committee, added: “We have left no stone unturned as we reviewed every part of school life.”