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Ofsted Report Recognises Shirley High Success

Following closely after the news that Shirley High School has been placed second in the country in the DfE Government league tables for Post-16 vocational progression (the only school to appear in the top 5 in both 2014 and 2015), Shirley High School has now been highly praised in its most recent Ofsted inspection of January 2016 where we have been recognised as a ‘Good’ school in every aspect of our provision. A printed copy can be requested from reception if required. 

To the many people who know the school well, this success will not come as a surprise and is an endorsement of the relentless hard work carried out by all students, staff, and governors at Shirley. The journey to success has been a result of dedicated focus and the inspectors recognised this when they stated “The headteacher and other school leaders, including governors have established a culture of high aspiration and are determined to continue their journey of improvement. Staff and pupils are fully motivated and support this vision”.

The team of 5 inspectors observed over 40 lessons in two days and found many examples of excellent practice across the school, particularly within examination focused classes, observing that “Pupils behave well in lessons and around the academy. There are strong working relationships between pupils and teachers and this supports pupils’ learning well”. This has led to “Overall progress for pupils’ best eight subjects” being “significantly above average”.

It was most satisfying to have the rapid progress of the sixth form standards recognised by the inspection team who noted that the sixth form is now good. “Leaders ensure that learners are taught well and make good progress”. And they were keen to acknowledge the quality of the post-16 opportunities at Shirley, stating that “The post-16 curriculum offer is broad and offers a good range of both academic and vocational courses. Approximately half the qualifications taken each year are vocational and the other half are academic. Because learners receive good-quality guidance, they undertake programmes of study that are well suited to their interests and aptitudes and that prepare them well for the next stages of their lives. As a result, retention rates for learners starting and finishing their courses are above average”.

Thorough work on student personal development, safety and well-being ensures that our students are confident in handling a range of issues and scenarios and the inspectors commented that “The promotion of pupils’ personal development and welfare is a real strength of the academy. School leaders know individual pupils and their particular circumstances extremely well. They provide high levels of care for pupils whose circumstances make them vulnerable, and for their families. There is a wealth of extra-curricular activities on offer, which broaden pupils’ learning, cultural development and good health”.

They went on to speak enthusiastically about the quality of our ethos here at Shirley High School and how the school promotes British Values “In this multicultural school, pupils of different races, religions and cultures get on very well with each other. They learn about different faiths and lifestyles and have assemblies on topics such as human rights. As a result, they learn to understand and respect the diverse population found in modern Britain. Due to this “Pupils develop into confident and articulate young people”.

And they observed how well our students conduct themselves in and around school making the judgement that “Pupils enjoy coming to school. As a result, attendance is consistently above average and persistent absence is low. Exclusions are below average. Pupils arrive punctually to school and move across the large academy campus quickly in order to arrive at their lessons on time.”

One of the many highlights of the inspection was the endorsement of the governing body:

“Governors bring a good range of skills and experience to the table, including from the world of education, finance, law and human resources. This expertise is used well in working with the academy. Governors are supportive of the academy and work well with senior leaders.”

We will continue to improve and Strive for Excellence in all that we do.

Mr N M Barrow (Principal) and Mr M West (Chair of Governors) 

Please click here for our Ofsted Report.