As you know, Ofsted visited us on 21 and 22 January 2016. This was a brief visit with two inspectors on day one and four more inspectors for the following day. The report is now available and we are pleased that during the short time they were in school they were able to see and comment upon some of the excellent features of life at St Edmund Campion Catholic School and Sixth Form Centre. We are pleased that the judgements for the effectiveness for personal development, well-being and safeguarding was good. The judgement for Sixth Form provision in the school was also good.

It is helpful to have a focus on some of the areas that we have been working on to improve. We are, however, extremely disappointed that they failed to see or acknowledge some of the other strengths of our school and that their overall judgement — 'requires improvement' — is not one that we believe provides an accurate picture of our school.

We would agree with Ofsted's view of our strengths, including: 

  • The school's work to promote pupils' personal development and welfare is good.
  • School leaders place great emphasis on making sure that pupils are well cared for.
  • Leaders ensure that pupils have the opportunity to experience a wide range of opportunities to develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural experiences and an awareness of British values.
  • Sixth Form learners are well supported through their study programme.
  • Teaching in Sixth Form vocational courses is particularly strong.
  • Monitoring of the quality of teaching and learning by senior leaders is effective.
  • Teachers are enthusiastic, have excellent subject knowledge and set high expectations for pupils in work-related learning, art and languages.
  • Teaching is improving and strengths of teaching leading to effective learning were seen.
  • The arrangements for safeguarding are detailed, thorough and effective. Attendance is improving (Attendance at St Edmund Campion Catholic School and Sixth Form Centre is in line with national average).
  • Pupils spoke very warmly about the support that they receive from the school.
  • Parents have extremely positive views towards the high quality of care, guidance and support provided for pupils at the school.

We are pleased that Ofsted have agreed with the school's own self-evaluation which focuses on the following areas for improvement:

  • Improve the teaching of Mathematics further.
  • Improve leadership and management through making better use of assessment information through our new assessment system launched in September 2015.
  • Ensure consistency in the management of pupils' behaviour in lessons.

Ofsted were supportive of the firm line that we are taking on uniform and behaviour in and around school. However, the judgement for behaviour was prevented from being good as a small number of pupils were judged as being disrespectful. In line with Ofsted recommendations, we continue our zero tolerance approach and Ofsted have made it clear that consistency in this area is extremely important. To this effect it is vital that all pupils and parents embrace and respect the school rules at all times without any negotiation.

We know that Ofsted's current agenda is to focus on Maths and the progress of disadvantaged pupils. Whilst the progress of these pupils is improving at St Edmund Campion Catholic School and Sixth Form Centre, there is still work to do and we already have plans in place to narrow the achievement gap. Currently the school's English results and levels of progress are above national average but this was not acknowledged in the report. Consequently, in our view, this report does not reflect all of the positive work of the school.

As Ofsted acknowledge in their report and we know that from comments on 'parent view' the vast majority of parents have extremely positive views towards the high quality of care, guidance and support and teaching provided for pupils at the school and we will continue with our successful strategies to support our pupils, as well as addressing the areas highlighted for improvement.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham also conducted an RE inspection on 9th and 10th February 2012.  They found that Catholic life and religious education are also good, with some outstanding features.

You can read the full inspection reports from the links below:

RE Inspection April 2017

Ofsted Monitoring Inspection Letter October 2016

Ofsted Report January 2016

Ofsted Report November 2011

RE Inspection February 2012

SKEIN School Assessment Report 2014 on Effective Professional Learning by CUREE

Use of Alternative Provision Inspection 2015

*Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills)

*CUREE (Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education)