Express & Star

Wolverhampton school celebrating as inspectors rate it good across the board

Staff and pupils at a city school have been celebrating a Good Ofsted rating, with inspectors describing it as a place where children ‘do their best and think of others.’

Pupils join Councillor Jacqui Coogan (Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for Education, Skills and Work), Tamsin Davis (principal), Councillor Christopher Burden (cabinet member for Children and Young People), to celebrate St Anthony’s Catholic Primary Academy's Good Ofsted rating.

They visited St Anthony’s Catholic Primary Academy in Wolverhampton in July and found it to be a school where everyone feels encouraged and valued and, as well as high academic standards, reported that the guiding hand of supportive adults is very evident.

The report, published last week, marks the culmination of a very successful 12 months for the Fordhouses school, which is part of the St Francis and St Clare Multi Academy Company.

Pupil attendance is exceptional, in the first percentile nationally, while attainment at Key Stage 2 continues to be high, and 22 per cent above the national average for English and maths combined.

The report also said that maths was exceptional, with attainment at 97 per cent and progress matching the top 5 per cent of schools in the country this year.

Reading was also marked as a key priority, with inspectors noting that ‘pupils achieve strongly’ in many subjects, including English and maths.

They said that pupils behaved well and wanted to learn, with a distinctive feature of the school being the expectation that pupils will do their best and think of others, while behaviour in the classroom was calm, respectful and attentive.

Leaders were seen as quick to identify pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and provide additional adult support or adapt resources so that they could access the same curriculum as everyone else.

Away from the classroom, pupils learnt about how to take responsibility and to show initiative, taking on leadership roles like junior health and safety officers, checking on site safety and reporting back to school leaders.

There were also a varied range of after-school clubs and sports events which were enjoyed by a large number of children.

The arrangements for safeguarding were described as effective, with leaders having effective routines to keep all staff up to date with safeguarding matters and, through the curriculum, pupils learned about safe and respectful relationships.

Inspectors rated the overall effectiveness of the school Good, with the five inspection areas, quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and early years provision, all rated Good.

Tamsin Davis, principal of St Anthony’s, said: “It is truly a community effort. We regularly seek the views of our stakeholders and pull together for the best possible outcomes for our children.

"I was delighted to see that Ofsted found that parents trust our leaders and staff to do their best for the children and keep them safe.”

Councillor Jacqui Coogan, Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for Education, Skills and Work, said: “This is a very strong Ofsted report for St Anthony’s Catholic Primary, the first for the school since it became an academy, and I would like to congratulate the leadership team, staff, pupils, parents and governors on their success.

“There is much for everyone at the school to be proud of, particularly the excellent attainment levels recorded at Key Stage 2, which demonstrates the first-class education pupils are receiving at St Anthony’s.”

Latest figures show 89 per cent of schools in Wolverhampton are now rated either Good or Outstanding, above the regional and national average.

In addition, nine in 10 Wolverhampton pupils attend Good or Outstanding schools, the best in the West Midlands.