Ofsted undertook an inspection of St Aidan’s in September 2021 and have now released the report.
- Quality of education – Good
- Behaviour and attitudes – Good
- Personal development – Good
- Leadership and management – Inadequate
- Sixth-form provision – Good
The inspector raised concern over management aspects of the school. It spoke well about a broad curriculum, and SEND support, that the teacher’s made use of.
To read the full report: St-Aidans-Ofsted-Report-2021
Extracts from the Report:
Governor’s had not held the school to account
- The report said Leaders, including governors and trustees, have an overgenerous view of the school’s performance.
- Because of this, governors and trustees have not held leaders effectively to account for the impact of their work.
- Trustees and governors have not assured themselves accurately about the effectiveness of the school’s arrangements to safeguard pupils.
Safeguarding at the school is not effective
- The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective.
- Leaders have not ensured that rigorous checks are made, as required by statutory guidance, on the suitability of adults to work with pupils. Inspectors identified gaps in the recruitment checks made on staff.
- Leaders do not undertake appropriate checks on sixth-form work experience providers to ensure their suitability for students
- Leaders have not checked sufficiently well on staff’s understanding of the safeguarding training they receive.
The school has decided to hide behind a remote public relations company, and have not agreed to any of our interview requests.
The school provided a press release, which we have included extracts from below.
Chris Ives, Acting Headteacher, said:
Given that the school has not had a full inspection for over 15 years, and that Ofsted’s new Education Inspection Framework included a recent ‘recalibration’ of Outstanding gradings, both the Trust and the school knew this would be a challenging inspection.
That being said, the inspectors praised many aspects of school life, including the superb behaviour of pupils, the staff expertise, the overall quality of education and the wonderful opportunities available to all our pupils. Thank you and well done to all in our brilliant St. Aidan’s community.
Whilst we all strongly refute the Inadequate judgement, we cannot ignore the concerns that have been raised. As always, we will work to fully explore potential improvements and we always implement advice that will help us continue to provide care that is of the highest level. The Trust and school leaders have also put into place additional external assurance for the areas where inspectors raised serious concerns.
Jo Wicks, Chair of Governors, said:
It would be fair to say that the overall outcome of our inspection is highly unusual, and fills us with a mixture of pride, bitter disappointment and exasperation in equal measures.
This is not the judgement we were expecting, nor is it one that we think fairly represents our school.
We have, and will continue to, take positive steps to try and oppose this judgement, but we are also pragmatic and practical.
We simply do not think it is right to spend significant time and effort on what would be an expensive legal process, and think it is important that the community see the report as soon as we have been permitted to publish it.