School etc

St Mary's Catholic High School

St Mary's Catholic High School
Manchester Road

phone: 01942 884144

headteacher: Mr David Burnett Bed Frsca


school holidays: via Wigan council

1601 pupils aged 11—18y mixed gender
1599 pupils capacity: 100% full

780 boys 49%


820 girls 51%


Last updated: June 18, 2014

Secondary — Voluntary Aided School

Education phase
Religious character
Roman Catholic
Establishment type
Voluntary Aided School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 369273, Northing: 399922
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.495, Longitude: -2.4646
Accepting pupils
11—18 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Feb. 25, 2009
Archdiocese of Liverpool
Region › Const. › Ward
North West › Leigh › Astley Mosley Common
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Maths and Computing (Operational)
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

15 June 2015
Andrew Dawson
St Mary's Catholic High School
Manchester Road
M29 7EE
Dear Mr Dawson

Requires improvement: monitoring inspection visit to St Mary's Catholic
High School

Following my visit to your school on 12 June 2015, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s

Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to report the inspection

findings. Thank you for the help you gave me and for the time you made available to
discuss the actions you are taking to improve the school since the most recent
section 5 inspection.
The visit was the first monitoring inspection since the school was judged to require
improvement following the section 5 inspection in March 2015. It was carried out
under section 8 of the Education Act 2005.
Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring
improvement identified at the recent section 5 inspection.


During the inspection, I held meetings with you, as headteacher and other senior
leaders. I also met the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Governing Body and a governor
who is responsible for child protection and safeguarding. Additionally I had a
discussion with a representative of the local authority (LA) and a representative of
the Archdiocese

to discuss the actions taken since the last inspection. The school’s

improvement plan was evaluated. I also made a brief tour of the school, met with a
group of middle leaders and scrutinised examples of pupils’ written work. In
addition, I considered a range of policies and documentation related to the
outcomes of monitoring activities and the impact of performance management.

Serco Inspections
Colmore Plaza
20 Colmore Circus
B4 6AT
T 0300 123 1231
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
reveal email: enqu…
Direct T: 0121 679 9153
Direct email: reveal email: naik…


Since the last inspection three new teachers and a new site officer have been

Main findings

You, senior leaders and governors have lost no time in taking robust action to
ensure that the school swiftly becomes good. You have all made an energetic
response to the findings of the last section 5 inspection that judged the school to
require improvement.

You have galvanised the staff to embrace the new policies that you have put in place

to ensure greater consistency, for example in marking. You have re-structured roles
and responsibilities both of the teaching staff and the various committees of the
Governing Body. This is already securing much clearer and sharper lines of
Middle leaders are enthused and excited by their roles and say that senior leaders
give them freedom and allow them to undertake their leadership roles with
confidence. They understand very well the urgency of the work at hand. Improved
lines of communication have already begun to enable middle leaders to hold their
teams to account much more rigorously. For example, through regular meetings with
the senior leaders who manage their work.
You have placed quality of teaching very coherently at the heart of the school’s
work, with the result that teachers’ expectations of what pupils can learn and how
quickly, are rising. You and senior leaders have an accurate view of the quality of
teaching in the school. Leaders and staff appreciate the rich variety of professional
development to which they have access. This enables them to benefit from high
quality training from local expert professionals.
Morale is high and most staff are committed to the vision and direction that you
have set for the school’s rapid progress to good. Where this is not the case, senior
leaders apply appropriate support and challenge and are not afraid to move teachers
on if they fail to respond.
The school’s improvement plan is fit for purpose, being well considered, coherent
and sharply focused on the recommendations from the last inspection. Leaders at all

levels, including governors, therefore understand well the school’s key priorities for

improvement. For example, all subject leaders can articulate their department’s

crucial role in developing pupils’ numeracy and literacy through their subjects.

Measures, such as fortnightly work scrutinies and learning walks, inform leaders and
governors of any slippage in the momentum of improvement, so that it can be
quickly arrested.
It is too early for the impact of these well-focused changes to show significant
impact, as yet, on pupils’ achievement, in the eight weeks since the last inspection.
However, the schools’ provisional data for the 2015 examinations indicates
improvement on 2014 outcomes. The school’s capacity to improve the school quickly
to good is also evident, for example, in leaders’ actions to establish sharper
monitoring of pupils’ progress not only in Year 11 but throughout the school. While
there are variations across subjects in the quality of marking, it is clear that the
school is achieving increasing consistency.
Governors are deeply committed to the school. They recognise the need to focus on
progress as well as attainment and talk knowledgeably about the progress of
particular groups. They are determined to play their part in improving the school and
are equipping themselves accordingly with appropriate skills. They are also keen to
improve the school’s communication with parents and other stakeholders.


are therefore undergoing a review of their practice in order to increase their
Ofsted may carry out further monitoring inspections and, where necessary, provide
further support and challenge to the school until its next section 5 inspection.

External support

The school has made wise choices in drawing on a wide range of external support.
Since the school has been judged to require improvement, the local authority is
committed to contributing to this support. A National Leader of Education from an
outstanding school is providing a review of the pupil premium expenditure. He is
also supporting training for middle leadership and acts as a critical friend to the

school, reporting to governors on the quality and effectiveness of initiatives. A

former Her Majesty’s Inspector is contributing to the development of governors’

skills. Additionally, a local headteacher from a good school has trained all staff on
improving pupil progress. He is also to focus on training senior and middle leaders in
the effective observation of teaching. Finally, a senior leader from an outstanding
local special school has undertaken an audit of the school’s provision for pupils who
have a disability or special educational needs.

I am copying this letter to the Chair of the Governing Body, the Director of Children’s
Services for Wigan local authority, the Archdiocese of Liverpool and as below.

Yours sincerely
Susan Wareing

Her Majesty’s Inspector

The letter should be copied to the following:

 Appropriate authority - Chair of the Governing Body Local authority
 The Education Funding Agency (EFA) if the school has a sixth form

reveal email: hns.…

 Diocese – for voluntary aided and voluntary controlled schools
 The person or body responsible for appointing foundation governors if the school has a


print / save trees, print less