Ofsted Report Finds Chiswick School 'Needs Improvement'

Praise for sixth form and quality of teaching but work needed in special educational need

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Chiswick School has lost its overall 'Good' Ofsted rating following an inspection at the beginning of November and has been found to 'Need Improvement' in a number of areas.

These include areas related to Special Educational Needs performance, the analysis of data, and some areas of leadership. The report also said Governors did not hold leaders to account sufficiently well and wants to see improvement in that area.

The school maintained it's 'Good' ranking in

  • Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Behaviour
  • Students’ personal development and welfare
  • Quality of the Sixth Form

The report released today said that while some academic outcomes were broadly in line with national averages, the progress of disadvantaged pupils and those with Special Educational Needs was "erratic" and lagged behind that of other pupils in the Academy. The provision for special Educational Needs within the main Academy was weak and not focused clearly on ensuring those pupils achieved as well as they can. However the alternative provision at the offsite Chiswick Centre was well managed and had been succesful in helping a number of pupils return to mainstream education.

The report also said Governors do not hold leaders to account sufficiently well and there was insufficient challenge related to the performance of different groups.

Ofsted inspected Chiswick School on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4 th November 2015. The inspection was due, as the previous inspection had been carried out in March 2012, when, after a number of years where the school had been assessed as ‘Satisfactory’, it was converted to the higher grading of ‘Good’ in all categories.

Since then, the school has grown in both size and popularity, raising its Year 7 intake numbers last year from 215 to 240 in response to parental demand, resulting in it being heavily over-subscribed this summer.

The inspectors commented on how the quality of teaching had obviously improved dramatically and was now of a very high standard. Students were obviously proud to attend Chiswick and their behaviour both in and outside of school was recognised as being very good.The inspection team commented that students felt safe and secure and that they reported that not only were there very few instances of bullying within the school but when it did occur, students knew how to report it and were confident that the school would take appropriate action.

The Sixth Form was deemed to offer a good provision with an appropriate curriculum and rising standards. Inspectors also commented on the strong leadership, together with pastoral and support structures evident within post-16 education. Careers education, information and guidance was judged as an obvious strength across the school and the school’s work on assisting students to adopt positive approaches to their mental health and well-being were praised.

The report said the Academy needed to sharpen the quality of leadership and management and increase accountability at all levels by ensuring;a more systemic and frontline approach to monitoring and evaluating all aspects of the Academy; that the Governing Body was provided with appropriate and detailed information; clear and measurable targets related to whole-school development were identified and shared with Governors.

The school needed to eliminate gaps in the area of 'outcomes' of different groups of pupils including disabled pupils, those with Special Educational Needs or identified as being disadvantaged, using more purposeful and precise analyses of performance data to identify underperformance.

It needed to work on ensuring academic progress attainment was compared with the correct 'national comparators' (comparing disadvantaged pupils with non-disadvantaged pupils nationally). The school needed to better analyse data relating to behaviour, attendance and achievement to identify patterns, trends, or issues.

Referring to restructuring which had been carried out due to financial constraints, which meant a change in staff, including an influx of newly-qualified teachers, the report said there had been a "well structured induction programme" and teaching had stabilised and students settled down well to learning. The curriculum was broad and balanced.

Leadership and management required improvement because "leaders do not monitor the performance or evaluate provision of different groups of pupils including disadvantaged or Special Educational Needs" and information relating to the current performance of those key groups showed "volatility"- their progress varied between subject and year groups.

The evaluation of the many activities supported by the pupil premium was not up to date.

The school is expected to comment in response.

November 30, 2015