Wilmslow High rated 'good' with an 'inspirational' head

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Wilmslow High School's last full inspection was in April 2011 and since then they had a subject report in November 2012, so another Ofsted inspection less than a year since their last one came as a bit of a surprise.

Gill Bremner, Head teacher, commented "We are happy to invite people into Wilmslow High and the Ofsted team were made to feel very welcome. We are proud of our students and school and relish the opportunity to share our achievements and successes."

As a result of this latest inspection, carried out at the end of October, Wilmslow High School has been judged 'good', rather than 'outstanding' as was the case in both previous inspections.

Mrs Bremner commented "On all bar one (of Ofsted's current areas of focus), we were judged outstanding, as with every other aspect of a full inspection, so there is much to celebrate in the report.

"Ofsted judged that the vast majority of our students are making outstanding progress but with the current focus on Pupil Premium students (students eligible for free school meals, and looked after children, at any time over the last six years), who are not making the expected statistical progress between their assessments at the end of Key Stage 2 and their GCSE examinations, our overall achievement in both achievement and teaching could not be graded as better than 'good'."

Mrs Bremner continued "We will, as always, strive for improvement and we know, as you, our students and staff know, that this is an outstanding school. We offer all our students opportunities to achieve beyond expectations and to become successful learners, responsible adults and contributing members of society: we all know this comes from the all-encompassing education they receive at Wilmslow High School."

The inspectors concluded that while students' achievement is good overall, the most able make outstanding progress, students' behaviour and safety are outstanding, the vast majority of teaching is good with much that is outstanding. They commented that the rich variety of extra-curricular activities enhance the memorable experiences of students and the sixth form is good and highly successful at helping students move on to higher education, training or employment.

Inspectors also noted that the drive, passion and determination of the headteacher and her team continues to have a very positive impact on the school's work, stating "The headteacher is inspirational. She has a very clear view of how successful the school can be, and exceptional ambition for students' self-esteem, attitudes to learning and academic achievement, which are unanimously shared by governors and all staff."

When Wilmslow High School was told they had yet another Ofsted inspection, less than a year since their last one, parents only had one night to respond to the parents' survey but they rallied round and 485 responses were submitted - with 97% of parents would recommend the High School to another parent.

The latest Ofsted report concluded that Wilmslow High School is not yet an outstanding school because "The achievement of students for whom the pupil premium provides support and for those supported at school action plus is not as good as that of other students" and "In some lessons, teachers do not plan to meet the differing needs of students within the class. The pace and challenge in lessons is rapid but not all students are able to keep up and thus consolidate their learning."

Click here to read the full Ofsted report.

Ofsted, Wilmslow High School