Ofsted Report 2017

I am pleased to be able to now share with you the outcome and detail of last term’s Ofsted inspection. The inspection was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005 by a team of 5 inspectors overseen by a senior HMI. The full inspection report can be found ‘here’ and will be published on the Ofsted website ‘here’ on the 2 May.

The inspection went very well and the school was judged to be ‘good’ across every area of the inspection. The inspection team recognised the significant improvements that have been made, particularly in the last 2 years following the previous inspection and that ‘Calder High School is improving rapidly’. This reflected the views of students who told inspectors ‘that they feel safe in school and fully recognise that it has improved substantially’. I would like to thank the parents that contacted the inspection team during the two days to share their thoughts and view that ‘Calder High is a brilliant school. My child does well and is happy’.

The judgement of ‘good’ includes our Sixth Form that was last judged to be ‘good’ in 1999. The report highlights the improvements in academic and vocational achievement and that ‘the school does all it can to ensure that students develop into young adults who are ready for the next stage of their education or the world of work’ and ‘that students themselves are very positive about the way that school supports them and fully recognise that they get a good deal’.

Whilst we are very happy with the judgement and the improvements that have been made, as a school, we see this as the next step towards providing a truly great education for our students and becoming an outstanding choice for parents to send their children. The inspection team identified areas for improvement to ‘improve the quality of teaching from good to outstanding’ that match the focus of the school and the drive to continue to develop the quality of the education we provide.

Our record-breaking results at GCSE, alongside our judgement of ‘good’, provides the perfect platform to focus on the future of Calder High School. With the changes to Post-16 education in the valley, we are investigating how we can grow and continue to improve our sixth form offer and accommodation as we pursue the amalgamation with Cragg Vale Junior and Infant School. We are looking forward to providing the same high standard of care and education all the way from Reception to Post-16 and improve the facilities available to students and the community. We have a meeting with the Local Authority next month to discuss the plans for this exciting new phase and I will share with you the detail as soon as I can after the meeting.

The current challenges facing state education are well reported and documented in the media and to be able to provide a ‘good’ standard of education across all areas of the school in this current climate, I see as a real achievement. I would like to thank all of you for your patience, trust and belief in Calder High School as we have implemented the changes that have been instrumental in securing our standing as a ‘good’ school.

Yours sincerely

Anthony Guise