Cardinal Wiseman Catholic Technology College
phone: 0121 3606383
headteacher: Mrs Christina Stewardson
649 pupils capacity: 85% full
295 boys 54%
255 girls 46%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Secondary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 407603, Northing: 294570
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.549, Longitude: -1.8893
- Accepting pupils
- 11—16 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- March 5, 2013
- Archdiocese of Birmingham
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Birmingham, Perry Barr › Oscott
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Technology (Operational)
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.1 miles Maryvale Catholic Primary School B449AG (215 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Oscott Manor School B449SP (75 pupils)
- 0.2 miles TLG North Birmingham B449SH (9 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Kingsthorne Primary School B440BX (367 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Goodway Nursery School B448RL (92 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Kingsland Primary School (NC) B449PU (303 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Kings Rise Community Primary School B440JL
- 0.6 miles Great Barr Primary School B448NT
- 0.6 miles Great Barr School B448NU (1949 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Kings School B440JN
- 0.6 miles Great Barr Primary School B448NT (455 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Kings Rise Academy B440JL (237 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Warren Farm Primary School B440DT
- 0.7 miles Sundridge Primary School B449NY (181 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Glenmead Primary School B448UQ (382 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Christ The King Catholic Primary School B440QN (387 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Warren Farm Primary School B440DT (324 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Banners Gate Junior School B736UE
- 0.8 miles Banners Gate Infant and Nursery School B736UE
- 0.8 miles Longmoor School and Residential Unit B736UE
- 0.8 miles North Birmingham College B448NE
- 0.8 miles Banners Gate Primary School B736UE (370 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Greenholm Primary School B448HS
- 0.9 miles Greenholm Primary School B448HS (417 pupils)
Cardinal Wiseman Catholic
Old Oscott Hill, Kingstanding, Birmingham, B44 9SR
|Inspection dates||3–4 December 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Requires improvement||3|
|Achievement of pupils||Requires improvement||3|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a school that requires improvement. It is not good because
The school has the following strengths
| Student achievement requires improvement. Not |
Teaching requires improvement because it has not
Teaching in mathematics does not ensure that all
Teachers’ marking in mathematics is regular but it
enough students or groups of students make
consistently good progress across subjects.
enabled all students to achieve well.
students have sufficient skills to effectively apply
their subject knowledge to solve mathematical
does not accurately identify weaknesses in
students’ work or give detailed subject-specific
next steps for improvement.
| Students do not always explore subjects in detail or |
Teachers’ questioning in lessons does not always
Lessons do not improve students’ mathematical
Not all leaders of subjects are effective at improving
The school’s targets for improving students’
develop a deep understanding of them.
enthuse and inspire all students to engage and
respond in enough detail.
skills across a range of subjects other than
teaching and the achievement of groups.
achievement are not sharp enough to confirm
whether the plans will be successful.
| The headteacher provides strong leadership. She |
Senior leaders have established effective systems,
Students behave well. They are polite, courteous
Students have positive attitudes to learning and
has high expectations of both staff and students
in raising achievement.
which check the quality of teaching and provide
greater challenge and targeted support for
teachers. This is making teaching better and
raising student achievement.
and willing to take on responsibilities.
treat each other with respect. They work well with
each other in lessons.
| The safety and well-being of students is given a |
Programmes to support students’ literacy skills are
Governors are effective in their support for the
high priority in school policies and actions. Students
say they feel safe.
improving learning and progress for students in
school. They hold senior leaders rigorously to
account for their actions.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed students’ learning and behaviour in 32 classrooms through learning walks and lesson
observations. Senior leaders joined inspectors on a number of these visits. Inspectors also observed an
assembly, break times and lunchtimes. Students were observed reading in the library and at work in the
Emmaus Centre, which supports students with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties.
- Inspectors scrutinised students’ books and folders during lessons and as a separate activity.
- Meetings were held with groups of students.
- Inspectors held meetings with the headteacher, other senior leaders, subject leaders, the Chair of the
Governing Body and six other governors and a representative from the local authority. Informal
discussions also took place with staff. One inspector spoke by telephone to the centres providing
- There were 31 responses to the online Parent View questionnaire to provide evidence for the inspection.
Inspectors also received some written correspondence from parents and met with one parent in school.
They also considered the 52 responses to Ofsted’s staff questionnaires.
- Inspectors analysed a variety of information about students’ progress, attendance and behaviour. They
looked at a range of documentation including the school’s self-evaluation and development plans, and
minutes from governing body meetings. The inspection team looked at the school’s safeguarding policies
and at its records relating to the safeguarding of students.
|Mark Capel, Lead inspector||Associate Inspector|
|Peter Humphries||Her Majesty’s Inspector|
|Lynn Williams||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Cardinal Wiseman Catholic Technology College is smaller than the average-sized secondary school.
- A large majority of students are White British. The proportion of students from minority ethnic groups is
- The proportion of students who speak English as an additional language is below that found nationally.
- The proportion of disadvantaged students, who are those supported through the pupil premium
(additional funding provided by the government for students known to be eligible for free school meals
and children looked after by the local authority) is well above average.
- The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs is below average.
- A small number of students attend courses which take place away from the school site. The James Watt
Campus, Oscott Academy and the Flexible Learning Centre, Erdington provide these courses.
- The school meets the government’s floor standards which set the minimum expectations for students’
attainment and progress.
- The school is partnered with a nearby outstanding school whose headteacher is a National Leader in
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching so that more is consistently good or better to raise students’ achievement
across all subjects by:
helping students in lessons to explore what they are learning in greater detail, so that they can deepen
their knowledge and understanding and develop their subject skills
ensuring that students explain their views and opinions in more detail during lessons.
- Accelerate students’ progress in mathematics and ensure that the standards they reach are at least in line
with national averages by:
teachers frequently checking students’ progress and accurately identifying gaps in their knowledge,
understanding and skills
ensuring that teachers’ feedback helps students know if their work is accurate and correct
using the information from students’ progress to plan targeted activities that help them to catch up or
move forward with their learning more quickly.
- Develop regular opportunities for students to practise and apply their numeracy skills in subjects other
- Strengthen leadership and management by making sure that:
all leaders of subjects are effective at improving teaching and students’ achievement.
the school’s improvement plans have clearly measurable outcomes leading to improved student
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Leadership and management are good because senior leaders, under the tenacious leadership of the
headteacher, are swiftly tackling weaknesses in teaching and students’ achievement. Leaders have set a
clear agenda which insists on every teacher wanting the very best for each student. As a result, there is a
clear pattern of improvement across the school. For example, the proportion of students making expected
progress in English is now above the national average.
- School leaders are ambitious and share the headteacher’s vision for the school. They believe that all
students should have the opportunities to develop their talents. Leaders use their time effectively in
improving the school because they have clearly defined roles and responsibilities and are held to account
by the governors.
- School leaders have an accurate view of the school’s strengths and correctly identify where further
improvements are needed. The school has made effective use of additional support, including a nearby
outstanding school whose headteacher is a National Leader in Education, in confirming the school’s
judgements. As a result, school leaders have an improvement plan which is clearly focused on raising
students’ achievement by developing high quality teaching, improving students’ learning skills and
providing better facilities such as the new library. However, the plans lack a sharp focus on measuring
their outcomes for students.
- Teaching is improving quickly. This is because senior leaders regularly check the quality of teaching using
a range of evidence to do this. They make accurate judgements and use this information to provide
support and challenge for teachers. Teachers value the training they receive and the opportunities to work
with other colleagues to share good practice.
- Teaching is also improving because of robust ways in which teachers’ performance is checked which are
clearly aligned to the standards teachers should achieve. Any under-performance by teachers is rigorously
challenged and there is a clear link between performance and salary progression.
- Spending of additional government funding to support the disadvantaged students is carefully planned and
monitored by leaders and governors. The funding has been used to provide a balanced range of additional
provision. This includes individual tuition, additional teaching expertise in English and mathematics,
learning coaches, weekend classes and holiday revision sessions. All of these are helping to improve these
students’ achievement, particularly in English. The additional funding has also been used to provide a
Family Support Worker who effectively works with students and their families to improve attendance and
provide extra support to these students in school.
- Students are set challenging targets and their progress towards these is tracked in forensic detail by
senior leaders and heads of subjects. Where students are not making the progress they should, leaders
intervene quickly to provide additional support.
- Leaders of subjects are held rigorously to account for the students’ performance in their subject areas and
this is securing improvements in a range of subjects. The skills and expertise of subject and year group
leaders are developing well but are not yet consistent in their effectiveness, particularly in mathematics.
- The range of subjects and qualifications offered to students is broad and balanced. All students are
provided with good opportunities to gain valuable academic as well as vocational qualifications. The
personal, social, health, economic and citizenship education curriculum is well planned across subject
lessons, ‘enrichment’ days and a school assembly programme. As a result, the students’ spiritual, moral,
social and cultural awareness is well developed. This, together with the school ethos which strongly
promotes tolerance, respect and understanding of democracy, means that students are well prepared for
life in modern Britain.
- The school provides students with good information, advice and guidance on the subjects they choose to
study during Years 10 and 11 and in preparation for what they will do beyond Year 11. School leaders
have been very successful in making sure that all students who recently left the school have continued in
education or training or found employment.
- The school’s arrangements for safeguarding students meet requirements. Leaders are tenacious in taking
swift and appropriate action to secure the safety and welfare of the students. It closely checks that other
agencies are doing everything they can to help potentially vulnerable students or those who need
- School leaders regularly make checks on the small number of students who attend courses away from the
school. They make sure these students are safe and making good progress.
- The local authority has provided appropriate advice and guidance to support school improvement.
- The governance of the school:
Governors have a clear understanding of their role and bring a good range of skills and experience to
the school. They undertake regular training to ensure they are best able to fulfil their role.
Governors regularly visit the school. They contribute their expertise to appropriate areas and hold
leaders to account. They meet with them regularly to review the progress being made in various
aspects of the school’s work.
They are confident in analysing the considerable amount of information provided by the school. As a
result they have a good understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses including the quality of
teaching and how the progress of students compares to national averages.
Governors have an accurate understanding of pupil premium spending and its impact on students’
Governors understand how the school uses performance management to improve teaching. They have
supported school leaders in rewarding good work and challenging underperformance.
The Governing Body is efficient in ensuring that its statutory duties are met, especially with regard to
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of students is good. They have good attitudes to learning in lessons and show respect for
each other and their teachers. Students are well engaged in lessons, they share their learning and listen to
each other’s views. However, although behaviour is good students are not always motivated when the
quality of teaching is less than good.
- Students behave in a mature and responsible manner around school. They take responsibility for their
actions so that breaks and lunchtimes are calm and orderly. Students from different backgrounds get on
well with each other.
- The students are polite, courteous and helpful. They are proud of their school. Students arrive promptly
and are well prepared for lessons. They show good respect for their environment. The site is litter free.
- The school’s records show that behaviour is typically good. This was confirmed in discussions with
teaching and support staff, in staff questionnaires, in the school’s own surveys and when considering the
views of parents who responded to Ofsted’s questionnaire. Pastoral leaders analyse behaviour in detail
and take immediate action to tackle incidents of poor behaviour.
- The school works effectively to promote good behaviour. Successful systems are in place to involve staff,
parents and carers and external agencies in developing strategies to moderate students’ behaviour. The
Emmaus Centre within school is particularly effective in helping those students whose behaviour is
preventing them from learning. Students in the centre are able to continue to follow the curriculum while
undertaking programmes which help them to be successfully reintegrated back into their classes.
- Good attitudes are promoted in school through a well-understood system of praise and rewards which are
highly valued by the students.
- The students willingly contribute to school life. For example, older students serve as prefects and students
from all year groups are members of the Student Chaplaincy team where they take part in community and
charity events. During the inspection three students confidently presented a 20 minute assembly on
Advent. The school listens to the students’ views through the school council and regular student voice
- School attendance is broadly in line with the national average and there are good systems in place to
ensure that students attend regularly. The number of students who are frequently absent from school is
below the national average. These improvements are a result of the good partnership work with students
and their parents to highlight the importance of regular attendance at school.
- The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is good. The safety of students is afforded a high
priority within the school.
- Students, including those who are potentially vulnerable, say that they feel safe and secure in school.
They were clear that they trust adults in the school and are confident they will be listened to. The good
behaviour in the school and the high levels of supervision at break times all support students in feeling
safe in school.
- Students know about different forms of bullying. According to students, incidents of bullying are rare and
they are confident that if students are unpleasant to each other the school will deal with it quickly and
effectively. The school records confirmed this.
- Students have a broad understanding of how to keep themselves safe from potential harm when they are
not in school. Issues such as keeping safe on-line and cyber-bullying are discussed in detail in assemblies
- Senior leaders carefully monitor the behaviour, attendance and safety of students attending alternative
provision. The students’ behaviour is good and they are well cared for.
|The quality of teaching||requires improvement|
- Teaching requires improvement because it has not ensured all students make good enough progress.
While there have been recent improvements in the quality of teaching it is not yet consistently good in all
- The quality of teaching in mathematics requires improvement. Teachers do not sufficiently focus on what
the students need to learn and lessons become a series of activities which are either too hard or too easy
for students. As a consequence there are some gaps in the students’ knowledge, understanding and skills
in the subject.
- Teachers plan their lessons thoroughly and set clear routines for the students to follow. This means that
students know what is expected of them. However, some teachers do not make sure students explore
topics in more detail or deepen their understanding.
- Teachers’ generally good subject knowledge is used to pose effective questions in lessons which help
students to make quicker progress. The most effective teachers use questioning to set high expectations
and make sure that all students remain engaged so that they can share each other’s ideas and benefit
- Students’ work is marked regularly and in most subjects, detailed feedback is given to help the students to
improve their work. While the quality of students’ responses to this feedback is quickly developing there
are inconsistencies within departments and across subjects. In mathematics, the three weekly cycle of
marking is not effective in helping students to identify errors in their work and gaps in their knowledge
- The standards of literacy are developing well across all subjects. As a result of training, teachers actively
promote students’ literacy skills. For example, in a science lesson, students were given key words and
required to explain their science understanding through extended writing. However, the development of
numeracy skills for all students across subjects is inconsistent.
- Relationships between teachers and students are very positive in the vast majority of lessons. When asked
to, students work well together. For example, in an art lesson, students reviewed each other’s work and
identified areas for improvement, resulting in the students developing their skills in this subject.
- The most effective teaching is characterised by teachers carefully planning what all students, including
those who are disabled and have special educational needs, can and should learn. Teachers use their
good subject knowledge to challenge and engage students and as a result students make good progress
in these lessons.
- The school has provided additional training for all teachers to ensure they effectively meet the needs of
disabled students and those who have special educational needs in their classes. The school no longer
employs teaching assistants and additional support for these students and for those who have English as
an additional language is provided by the special educational needs co-ordinator and two learning
coaches. It is too early to measure the effectiveness of these changes.
|The achievement of pupils||requires improvement|
- Achievement requires improvement because there are a number of subjects, including mathematics,
where students and groups of students have not made consistently good progress over time.
- Students join the school in Year 7 with standards that are well below average. In recent years the
proportion of students achieving five or more GCSE passes at A* to C including English and mathematics
has fluctuated and is currently below the national average.
- The school’s analysis of 2014 results shows improving progress in English literature, languages,
humanities and science but progress in design and technology remains well below national averages.
- Students make better progress in English than mathematics. Although the proportions of students making
expected and above expected progress in English are broadly average for the last two years not enough
students make the progress expected of them in mathematics and this has worsened in 2014.
Disadvantaged students make similar progress to their classmates in English and mathematics. The
school’s monitoring indicates that current Year 11 students are on track to make progress at least in line
with national expectations in both English and mathematics.
- The gap between disadvantaged students and their classmates in gaining five or more GCSE passes at A*-
C including English and mathematics remains wide. In 2014 the results show that disadvantaged students
attained a quarter of a grade lower in English and just under half of a grade lower in mathematics
compared to other students in the school. The gap between the grade achieved by disadvantaged
students in the school and other students nationally was just under one third of a grade in English and
just over one grade for mathematics when compared to the most recent national averages. The gap is
smaller in English and wider in mathematics than the previous year.
- The proportion of students achieving the EBACC (achieving a GCSE grade C or above in English,
mathematics, a language, history or geography and two sciences) increased in 2014 and has improved by
11% since 2012. This is because the school encourages students to study a wide range of academic
qualifications and they do so with some success.
- The school’s strong focus on literacy in recent years has helped students to develop their literacy skills.
This is reflected in the increased number of students making expected and more than expected progress
in English and the improved results in GCSE English literature and humanities subjects.
- The achievement of disabled students and those who have special educational needs requires
improvement. The recently appointed special educational needs co-ordinator is improving the early
identification of these students’ needs and making subjects and teachers increasingly accountable for the
progress of this group. Current information shows that progress is now improving through Key Stage 3,
although weaknesses in progress remain in Key Stage 4.
- The school is now more focused on the achievement of the small number of more able students. The
progress made by these students is not yet consistently good and it is too soon to measure the impact of
recent initiatives to raise their achievement. School leaders no longer use early entry to GCSE
mathematics. When they did use the strategy it did not limit the potential of the most able students.
- The progress made by students in alternative provision is monitored by the school. The progress they are
making is similar to that of other students in following courses which combine GCSEs with vocational and
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes that |
provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures that pupils
are very well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well for all |
its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it is not |
inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within 24 months
from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing |
to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s
leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have
the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school. This
school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and requires
significant improvement but leadership and management are judged to
be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular monitoring by
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Unique reference number||103539|
|Type of school||Secondary|
|School category||Voluntary Aided|
|Age range of pupils||11–16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||538|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||5 March 2013|
|Telephone number||0121 3606383|