Ofsted: Patchway secondary school ‘requires improvement’

Photo of the main entrance to Patchway Community School.
Patchway Community School.

A secondary school in Patchway that joined the Olympus Academy Trust (OAT) in 2016 after being rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted has received another disappointing grading from inspectors who visited the school in February.

The latest Ofsted report for Patchway Community School allocates an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’, with the same rating being given to the individual assessment categories of ‘quality of education’, ‘behaviour and attitudes’ and ‘leadership and management’.

On the plus side, ‘personal development’ and ‘sixth form provision’, were both rated ‘good’ by the inspectors.

The report acknowledges that Trustees, Trust leaders and local governors are committed to stabilising and improving the school. However, it adds that they “have yet to secure a good quality of education for all pupils”.

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Progress has been made on improving attendance. The report says that pupils are now attending school regularly, including those who previously had high rates of absence.

Inspectors say the curriculum has been planned carefully and leaders and staff are clear about what pupils need to learn. However, teachers do not always check the learning in lessons has been fully understood.

Pupils’ conduct in lessons is said to be “calm and orderly” with very little disruption to learning. However, behaviour outside lessons is “not good enough”, causing concern for some pupils.

Survey results show that most parents said their child is happy and feels safe at the school, however a majority said that when they had raised concerns with the school, they hadn’t been dealt with properly. Asked if they would recommend the school to another parent, only 40 percent said “yes”.


Following publication of the report in April, a spokesperson for OAT said:

“We knew that it was going to be a close call as to whether inspectors would see enough to say that Patchway Community School is now a consistently good school. There were many positives in the inspection report as well as some areas of concern that will require further action.”

“The inspection has not changed the direction of travel but has confirmed that all the things we have been working on in recent months are moving the school closer to being consistently good. New expectations and routines introduced in stages since the autumn have had a hugely positive impact and the school is increasingly calm, purposeful and happy on a day-to-day basis. Some of the changes are a direct response to concerns raised by students and parents about feeling safe and supported.”

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Dave Baker, OAT chief executive, said:

“Members of the Olympus Central Team have spent a lot of time based in Patchway since October and we have seen week by week how the new routines have helped to establish better habits. This will enable all students to thrive once they are used to them.”

Patchway Community School headteacher, Karen Cornick, expressed thanks to students for being superb ambassadors for their school during the two days of inspection. She said that it was no surprise to her that inspectors praised students for their honesty, warmth and eagerness to talk about their positive experiences as members of the school community.

More information: Ofsted reports for Patchway Community School

This article originally appeared in the May 2022 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 23).