School etc

Oakfield High School and College

Oakfield High School and College
Long Lane
Hindley Green
Greater Manchester

phone: 01942 776142

headteacher: Mrs Catherine Taylor Msc Ed


school holidays: via Wigan council

160 pupils aged 11—18y mixed gender
160 pupils capacity: 100% full

110 boys 69%


50 girls 31%


Last updated: June 20, 2014

— Community Special School

Establishment type
Community Special School
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 1, 2006
Reason open
New Provision
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 363295, Northing: 404086
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.532, Longitude: -2.5552
Accepting pupils
11—19 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
April 30, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
North West › Makerfield › Hindley Green
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Main specialism
Business and Enterprise (Operational)
SEN priorities
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty~SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Wigan

Schools nearby

  1. Hollins Community Primary School WN24XA
  2. 0.1 miles St Margaret Mary RC Junior and Infant School WN24QY
  3. 0.3 miles Hindley Surestart Nursery WN24LG (117 pupils)
  4. 0.3 miles Hindley High School WN24LG (875 pupils)
  5. 0.5 miles Sacred Heart RC Junior and Infant School WN24HD
  6. 0.5 miles Tanfield School WN23QB
  7. 0.5 miles Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Hindley Green WN24HD (205 pupils)
  8. 0.6 miles Hindley All Saints CofE Primary School WN23QS (241 pupils)
  9. 0.6 miles Castle Hill St Philip's CofE Primary School WN24DH (199 pupils)
  10. 0.6 miles Hindley Green St John's Junior and Infant School WN24SD (169 pupils)
  11. 0.7 miles Hart Common CofE Primary School BL52DB
  12. 0.7 miles Hindley Green Primary School WN24SS (436 pupils)
  13. 0.8 miles Hindley Junior and Infant School WN23PN (207 pupils)
  14. 0.8 miles Hindley Borsdane Brook School WN23RY
  15. 0.8 miles Brookfield High School WN23RY
  16. 0.8 miles The Phoenix Centre WN23RX (96 pupils)
  17. 0.8 miles ACE Centre WN23RX
  18. 0.8 miles The Phoenix Centre WN23RX
  19. 1 mile St George's CofE Primary School BL52FB (322 pupils)
  20. 1.2 mile St Peter's CofE Primary School WN23HY (288 pupils)
  21. 1.2 mile St Benedict's Catholic Primary School Hindley WN23DG (208 pupils)
  22. 1.2 mile St Benedict's RC Infant School WN23DG
  23. 1.2 mile Cardinal Newman RC School WN23DH
  24. 1.3 mile Eatock Primary School BL52ER (269 pupils)

List of schools in Wigan

School report

Oakfield High School and College

Long Lane, Hindley Green, Wigan, WN2 4XA

Inspection dates 30 April–1 May 2014
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Outstanding 1
Previous inspection: Outstanding 1
Achievement of pupils Outstanding 1
Quality of teaching Outstanding 1
Behaviour and safety of pupils Outstanding 1
Leadership and management Outstanding 1

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school.

Students starting at the school have much
Throughout their time at Oakfield almost all
By the end of Key Stage 4 and in sixth form
The sixth form is outstanding and makes a
Most teaching is outstanding and it ensures
lower standards in education than most
nationally. Nevertheless, their achievements
are outstanding.
students make extremely rapid progress, far
in excess of that expected. Occasionally,
students’ learning is slowed a little by having
to make use of written materials in classes
that are too difficult for them.
almost all students leave with a range and
level of qualifications far beyond the
expectations of their parents and others.
strong contribution to the excellent personal
developments of students.
the successes of students. Occasionally,
students are not shown exactly what is
expected of them and how to make the best
possible progress.
The behaviour and safety of students are
Students report that they feel very safe here
The leadership and management of the school
Leaders and managers at all levels in the
outstanding. In class, their impeccable
attitudes to learning help them settle very
quickly into classes. At break times and around
the school students’ behaviour is exemplary.
and this view is supported by parents and
staff. The care and support provided by the
staff is of a very high quality.
are outstanding. The headteacher has, with
the full support of the governing body,
continued to improve teaching since the last
inspection. Their work has resulted in students
making even greater progress and gaining
better qualifications.
school contribute effectively to its success. The
focus for all is on providing the best quality of
education and care to the students. However,
they do not always ensure that all of the
learning demonstrated by students in lessons is
captured and recorded by staff.

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors watched parts of 10 lessons with eight different teachers, often accompanied by the
    headteacher. Shorter visits were also made to classrooms. They spent almost five hours in
    classes and visited an alternative provision placement to check that students are safe and
    receiving appropriate courses for learning. They spoke with managers in three local secondary
    schools that utilise the school’s outreach service.
  • Meetings were held with the headteacher, other senior members of staff including from the sixth
    form, teachers, staff and students at the alternative educational provision. They met with the
    Chair and vice-chair of the Governing Body and the school adviser from the local authority.
  • Informal discussions were held with students of all ages during lessons and around the school at
    break times.
  • Account was taken of 21 responses available on Parent View, the Ofsted online questionnaire for
    parents. Two parents came to meet the inspectors. There were 65 questionnaires returned by
  • Inspectors reviewed a wide range of documents, including records of students’ work and their
    achievements, progress, behaviour, attendance, and the school’s plans to further improve them.
    Records of the quality of teaching were looked at as were documents showing the school’s view
    of its own performance, improvement plans and outreach work. Documents related to the work
    of the governing body and policies concerning keeping students safe were seen.

Inspection team

Terence McKenzie, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Stephen Helm Additional Inspector
Marilyn Massey Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • Oakfield High School and College educates boys and girls aged between the ages of 11 and 19.
    They can join the school at any stage of their secondary education but the majority come at the
    start of Year 7. A further substantial proportion joins at the beginning of Key Stage 4 or at the
    start of the sixth form.
  • All have a statement of special educational needs in respect of moderate learning difficulties,
    specific learning difficulties or behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. Some have physical
    disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions and other communication difficulties.
  • Around one-third of the students are girls and almost all come from a White British background.
  • More than half are entitled to support from the pupil premium funding and this is much higher
    than the national average for all schools.
    The pupil premium is additional funding for those
    pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals and those children who are looked
    after by the local authority.
  • Oakfield provides an outreach service to other local secondary schools but none of the students
    at the school are dual registered. Some come from local secondary schools to receive a few of
    their lessons at Oakfield.
  • The school gained the highest (Gold Standard) award for Investors in People in January 2014.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Enable students to always have the best opportunities to make and demonstrate the maximum
    progress in their learning by ensuring that:
    the writing that they are expected to read and make use of in lessons is always correctly
    matched to their levels of ability and understanding
    they are always given clear expectations for learning
    staff always record students’ learning quickly and efficiently so that the evidence of progress
    made is not lost.

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is outstanding
  • From their very low starting points, all groups of students make rapid progress that is
    maintained throughout the school until they leave. Outstanding achievement is demonstrated by
    all and there are no discernible differences between students with moderate learning difficulties,
    specific learning difficulties, those with physical disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions or any
    with behavioural difficulties.
  • Students make outstanding progress in each of the key stages and in the sixth form. Boys and
    girls do equally well in English and mathematics throughout the school, as do those known to be
    eligible for free school meals. As a result, almost all students gain recognised qualifications,
    including English and mathematics before leaving school and this is a superb outcome for a
    school such as this.
  • All students are fully included in learning and there is no discrimination against any because
    courses of study are so well matched to their individual needs. As a result, almost all students
    leave school at the end of Year 11 or sixth form with five or more GCSE equivalent qualifications.
    Others gain Entry Level Certificates and complete other courses that help them move on
    successfully to the next stages of their education, training or employment.
  • Teachers take great care to ensure that tasks set for students take close account of their needs.
    This results in all, including the most able and least able students, being always challenged to
    learn. An example of this was seen by inspectors during a lesson for physical education in which
    all students took part despite their difficulties and disabilities.
  • The first activity of the day is always a structured reading session. A great deal of thought and
    preparation is given to this by staff. The most able students are encouraged to acquire the
    reading skills that help them to gain access to higher levels of study. Weaker readers catch up in
    their reading and many become independent readers for the first time, thus opening up areas of
    study that were previously closed to them. Students were keen to show off their reading skills to
    inspectors during these sessions and proud of their progress in reading.
  • Just occasionally, teachers overestimate the reading abilities of some students and provide them
    with written materials that are too complex or untidily presented on white boards. This prevents
    a few from gaining all that they can in their learning.
  • The range of courses available to students is exciting and motivating for them. In the upper
    school, expert tutors are brought in to supplement the skills of the staff so that students gain
    qualifications in floristry, horticulture and technology.
  • Students placed in alternative provision are motivated by the nature of their courses to succeed
    and they do well by gaining externally accredited qualifications. The local schools supported by
    Oakfield through outreach report that their students benefit greatly from the service and close
    gaps in their learning as a result.
The quality of teaching is outstanding
  • School records indicate that much of the teaching is outstanding and that it is never less than
    good. Throughout the inspection, outstanding and good teaching was consistently seen by
    inspectors. High quality teaching is instrumental in enabling the great majority of students to
    make exceptional progress and to gain better than expected qualifications.
  • All classroom staff are skilled in the teaching of reading and all are involved in the daily reading
    sessions. Most have undertaken training in phonics (the sounds that letters make) so that when
    supporting students there is consistency of approach by staff and students do not receive mixed
    messages that would otherwise confuse them.
  • Generally, a great deal of care is taken by staff to ensure that students’ literacy skills are
    enhanced. For example, in a mathematics lesson witnessed by inspectors the teacher ensured
    that each student could understand the mathematics materials that they were working on and
    that they were capable of presenting their mathematical findings in an appropriate fashion.
  • The teaching of English and mathematics is very well managed so that close attention is paid to
    helping students gain important skills in literacy and numeracy.
  • When students enrol here, the staff take great care to ensure they fully understand the special
    educational needs, learning difficulties and disabilities of each one. Tests are used, particularly in
    English, reading and mathematics to ensure that courses of study are well matched to students’
    levels of ability. Regular checks are made to ensure that students make the expected degrees of
    progress and that all are on track to meet their long-term targets.
  • Through this highly effective use of information about how students learn, staff can tell if any
    are falling behind in their studies. Staff quickly move to provide additional help and assistance to
    any that are not on track to meet their targets. School information shows that these
    observations are extremely successful and play a large part in ensuring that almost all students
    make better than the progress expected of them throughout their time in the school.
  • Occasionally, the expectations for learning are not as clear as they should be. Here, students’
    tasks do not provide the best opportunities for each to learn and make the best possible
    progress. For example, a student explained to an inspector that he had completed yesterday’s
    work but was not sure what he was expected to do today.
  • Students make such excellent progress because of the high quality support they receive from
    staff. The work of teaching assistants is directed very effectively. As a result, their efforts are
    almost entirely concerned with supporting learning rather than behaviour. Indeed, in this school
    the outstanding behaviour results from the intense focus on teaching and learning.
  • A number of parents of existing and previous students spoke with inspectors. They were all keen
    to stress that their children have done so well at this school because of the efforts of the staff.
    One said of the school: ‘this is a marvellous place, I wish all children could come to school here!’
The behaviour and safety of pupils are outstanding
  • The behaviour of students is outstanding.
  • Students have excellent attitudes to learning in their classes. This results in them wasting little
    time in settling into lessons. They hardly ever lose their concentration because they are provided
    with interesting things to do. Their very positive attitudes are also helped by the high quality of
    support they receive from the staff.
  • Outside class and around the school students’ behaviour is exemplary. They get on very well
    together. They show very high levels of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development both
    inside and outside the classroom. Many stay behind after school to join in with clubs and
    activities. When asked by inspectors why they do this, three students replied that it provides
    more chances for them to be with their friends and staff.
  • When questioned by inspectors, students were enthusiastic about the school. Many said that
    they ‘love coming here’. When asked why, they stated ‘because of the staff – they really look
    after us!’ One said ‘it is such a good school because staff make sure you do your best!’
  • The rates of attendance are extremely high compared to special schools nationally. Since 2012,
    the average rate of attendance has risen from 92% to the current level of 96%. Unauthorised
    absence and absence for holidays taken in term time is almost unknown.
  • The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is outstanding.
  • This is because of the care and support they receive from the staff, including in the
    arrangements for child protection. There are high levels of supervision at break times. When
    asked, students reported that bullying and harassment are rare here. Any issues are quickly
    dealt with by staff so there is little opportunity for serious incidents to occur. Exclusions are very
  • The school places great emphasis on helping these potentially vulnerable students to keep
    themselves safe. For example, the curriculum for personal, social and health education deals
    with bullying, sex education and the misuse of substances, such as alcohol and drugs. The
    school has recently gained an award for the work it has done in helping a substantial number of
    students to travel independently to and from school.
  • Parents report that this is a very safe place for their children to be and their views are supported
    by the staff.
The leadership and management are outstanding
  • The leadership and management of the school are outstanding. This is because since the last
    inspection the headteacher has concentrated on improving the quality of teaching so that a
    continually improving service can be provided to the students. The headteacher constantly
    challenges the teachers to improve on their high quality work even further and this is clearly
    linked to the outstanding progress made by all groups of students.
  • The headteacher has been fully supported by the governing body, members of the senior team
    in school and leaders and managers at all levels. Furthermore, all have been involved in ensuring
    that the safety of students is as great as they can possibly make it through providing
    supervision, support and guidance to students. Systems for managing behaviour have been
    developed that are clearly linked to maintaining students’ success in learning and full
    concentration of effort in their classes.
  • The headteacher has ensured that managers at all levels are given the support and responsibility
    they need to work effectively. As a result, the levels of management are highly supportive of
    each other, through the senior team to middle managers and classroom teachers. All work
    together to ensure that students have the best chances to succeed, through providing high
    quality lessons and an excellent range of courses.
  • Courses of study provide memorable experiences for students. This was seen when some sixth
    form students proudly showed inspectors their displays of flowers. This accredited floristry
    course is one of many that could stand them in good stead when applying for work upon leaving
    school. The exciting range of courses encourages high rates of attendance.
  • The management team have developed and set in place improved systems for understanding
    how well students are doing in their studies. However, managers have not always shown staff
    how to quickly collect in the main points of students’ learning in lessons and this results in some
    evidence of achievements being lost.
  • Morale amongst staff is very high with almost all reporting through their questionnaires that they
    are proud to work here. Since the last inspection, much has been done to help parents have
    more opportunities to help in the running of the school, and as a result, they are more involved
    in their children’s education.
  • The effectiveness with which the management is shared throughout the school enables the
    headteacher to offer a wider advisory management service to the local authority. This is greatly
    appreciated by other local special and secondary schools, as is Oakfield’s outreach service.
  • The school, in turn, benefits from excellent support from the local authority.
  • The governance of the school:
    The work of the governing body has improved since the last inspection through maintaining its
    stability and providing high quality support and challenge to the headteacher and other
    managers. Members have taken careful note of the headteacher’s efforts to improve teaching
    through, for example, making sure that the performance management of teachers is operated
    appropriately. They are told about the targets set for teachers and they review these several
    times each year to be sure that targets are being met. In this way, they ensure that any
    underperformance is dealt with swiftly by the headteacher. The use of performance related
    pay for teachers has been in operation in the last year. The governing body oversees the
    performance management process of the headteacher and holds her to account in respect of
    the targets set. Minutes of the governing body meetings show that when members have been
    provided with details of students’ progress and attainment they ask searching questions.
    Governors challenge school managers to explain that students receive the best service
    possible, for example, in ensuring that the use of the pupil premium funding supports the
    progress of those entitled to the funding and that any gaps in their learning are closing.
    Members of the governing body have been instrumental in helping the school make significant
    changes, for example, in recently transferring the entire service to one site. Through this
    process, governors have ensured that the school is on a much more secure financial base.
    Other aspects of school finance are handled correctly. Members ensure that all statutory
    duties are undertaken and the requirements for safeguarding are met.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
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 employment.
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 Ofsted inspectors.

School details

Unique reference number 131530
Local authority Wigan
Inspection number 439650

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Special
School category Community special
Age range of pupils 11–19
Gender of pupils Mixed
Gender of pupils in the sixth form Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 160
Of which, number on roll in sixth form 70
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Judith Brown
Headteacher Catherine Taylor
Date of previous school inspection 12 January 2011
Telephone number 01942 776142
Fax number 01942 776143
Email address reveal email: enqu…


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