School hailed for improvements

Cansfield High School in Ashton
Cansfield High School in Ashton
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A borough high school has been praised by watchdogs for turning things round after a bad inspection.

Cansfield in Ashton underwent a monitoring inspection, following its rating of “requires improvement” in September 2016.

Ofsted found “effective action” was being taken to tackle the areas that needed to be improved.

Inspector Ahmed Marikar held meetings with staff, pupils and others, evaluated the school’s improvement plan and looked at documents.

A letter to headteacher Michael Southworth said: “You, your staff and governors have responded positively to the previous inspection judgements. You have done a sterling job in winning the hearts and minds of your staff team.

“Staff say that morale has improved and that they are well supported. You have raised expectations of staff and pupils.

“You have created an action plan that effectively focuses on the areas for improvement identified in the last inspection report. You provided me with clear evidence on the actions that leaders have taken and the positive impact that these have had on pupils’ progress.”

The letter said leaders were regularly tracking pupils’ progress against targets, allowing them to identify those needing extra support, and training had been given to teachers to help them plan interesting activities.

Pupils were found to be “very positive” about the school and understood individual targets ,which were “helping to raise their aspirations”.

They made “stronger progress” in exams in 2017, but pupils still needed to be challenged more.

Steps had also been taken to improve attendance, Ofsted found.

Meanwhile a full inspection at Fred Longworth High in Tyldesley resulted in its getting the second highest rating of “good”.

It was given the top mark of “outstanding” for the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils, but the lower rating of “requires improvement” for pupils’ outcomes.

The report said: “Pupils receive a good and improving education. Leaders have stopped the decline in standards and have driven far-reaching improvements that are helping pupils throughout the school to make faster progress.”

Pupils and staff spoke fondly of the “Freddie’s family”, there was a “broad and balanced curriculum” and teaching was “good overall”.

The inspector found pupils behaved “exceptionally well” and had “excellent attitudes to learning”.

Attendance was described as “excellent” and strategies being used had led to a “significant decrease” in absence.

Concerns were raised about progress made by pupils at the school based on exam results.

But the inspector noted that pupils currently at the school were making “much faster progress”.

The report said: “Outcomes require improvement because results from public examinations over the last few years have indicated that pupils have not made consistently strong progress across the curriculum. In particular, pupils’ progress has not been good in mathematics, humanities and English.”

Changes were already being made to help pupils.

Recommendations were made for how the school can improve further. These were developing the leadership and management of teaching and learning at the school, such as by evaluating the impact of strategies to improve teaching and pupils’ progress, and developing the quality of teaching further.