Patchway Community College has been praised by Ofsted inspectors who have awarded the school a ‘good’ grading under the new, more rigorous Ofsted regime.
Patchway is the first secondary school in South Gloucestershire to be inspected under the tougher Ofsted regime. In their report, inspectors praised the school’s results, noting: “Regardless of their starting points, ability or special educational needs, all groups of students make better progress than their peers nationally.”
The school received a ‘good’ grading in all four inspection categories of Achievement, Teaching, Behaviour & Safety and Leadership.
Headteacher Jane Millicent was also singled out for praise in the report for “very clear and passionate leadership”, with inspectors commenting that her leadership ensures “there is a continuous drive for improvement” which is supported by “good leadership at all levels”.
The report also praised the headteacher’s focus on the quality of teaching, which inspectors identified as key to the school’s success. They commented that in lessons, “teachers are well aware of the needs of individual students in their classes”” Provision for students eligible for the Government flagship pupil premium funding was described as being “at a very high standard”.
Mrs Millicent said:
“This Ofsted judgement is a validation of all the success and progress seen at Patchway over the past few years. Students here make exceptional progress and are given individual attention to make sure each and every one of them fulfils their potential.”
“The staff at Patchway are fantastic and work as a committed team to create a high standard of education for the community. I am so pleased that the inspection has also recognised the happy, safe and caring environment which we have created here for our students.”
“I am very proud of all that has been achieved in the school and expect us to continue build on the Ofsted ‘good’ judgement to improve even further.”
Chair of Governors Geoff Howell said:
“I am delighted that Ofsted have recognised that Patchway is a good school which provides a high quality education for the young people in the community.”
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Children and Young People Committee Cllr Ian Blair said:
“This very positive report is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the school’s staff and students, who have worked tirelessly to deliver some fantastic results.”
“The fact that the school achieved a ‘good’ grade under the more rigorous Ofsted regime is particularly welcome. Staff, students and parents should feel very proud to be part of Patchway College’s success.”
Parental feedback to Inspectors was overwhelmingly positive, with their report noting that “… the personalised approach from the school engages parents and carers and they feel that the school goes the extra mile to support their child”.
The school’s highly regarded pastoral systems, using experienced Heads of Year, was described as “strong” and “effective at promoting a happy, safe and engaging environment for students.”
The report also emphasised the breadth and the balance of opportunity at the school, from the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities “which allow students to extend their horizons” to the skills development programme in Year 7 which “develops independence and supports learning well”. Inspectors also praised the school for ensuring that “no students are discriminated against” and for “a range of initiatives that ensure that they read widely”.
The sixth form was recognised as “an important aspect of the school’s provision” and received high praise, with the report stating that: “Students’ attainment in the sixth form has improved strongly over the past three years. This is a result of good teaching and the school’s collaborative work with other providers.”
The school’s areas for further improvement identified in the report are to increase the proportion of outstanding lessons at Key Stage Three and to develop numeracy across the curriculum. Inspectors recognised that literacy is already “well developed within the school” so that students continue to make “better progress than expected in English” when compared to their peers nationally.
Reaction from local Councillors
A statement from Patchway’s local Labour Councillors congratulated the school on its positive Ofsted report, adding that “staff and students are delivering an excellent and improving performance under the [control of the] local education authority”.
Patchway Councillor Sam Scott, who is also a College Governor, commented:
“I am delighted that the Ofsted inspection has recognised the hard work put in by staff, students and the community into making Patchway Community College a superb school. These results show that Patchway Community College has been able deliver a ‘good’ performance in all areas and is an excellent choice of school for local parents.”
The College has to work in a difficult physical environment and desperately needs investment in its buildings. It missed out on a rebuild when the Coalition Government scrapped Labour’s Building Schools for the Future Program and had its bid rejected under the Coalition’s own much smaller Priority Schools Building Programme. Despite these continued setbacks, the College community has worked hard to get a good grading and deserves a lot of congratulations.”
Read the full Ofsted report on the Patchway Community College website.
Photo: Headteacher Jane Millicent celebrates Patchway Community College’s ‘good’ Ofsted report with students at the school.
Related link: Schools in Patchway (The Journal)