Westhoughton High School
phone: 01942 814122
headteacher: Mr Phil Hart
1153 pupils capacity: 83% full
485 boys 51%
475 girls 50%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Secondary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 365836, Northing: 405901
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.549, Longitude: -2.5171
- Accepting pupils
- 11—16 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Sept. 12, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Bolton West › Westhoughton North and Chew Moor
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Technology (Operational)
- SEN priorities
- VI - Visual Impairment
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.2 miles Westhoughton Primary School BL53DT
- 0.3 miles Sacred Heart RC Primary School BL53DU (368 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Washacre Primary School BL52NJ (163 pupils)
- 0.4 miles St Bartholomew's CofE Primary School BL53NZ (209 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Compass Centre West BL53RD
- 0.5 miles St Thomas CofE Primary School BL53HP (253 pupils)
- 0.6 miles The Gates Primary School BL53QA (335 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Eatock Primary School BL52ER (269 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St John's CofE Primary School, Wingates BL53PR
- 0.9 miles St George's CofE Primary School BL52FB (322 pupils)
- 1 mile St James CofE Primary School, Daisy Hill BL52JU (381 pupils)
- 1.5 mile Hart Common CofE Primary School BL52DB
- 1.6 mile St George's CofE Junior School M460HJ
- 1.6 mile St George's CofE Infant School M460LE
- 1.6 mile Atherton St George's CofE Primary School M460HJ (244 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Meadowbank Primary School & Children's Centre M460HX (249 pupils)
- 1.7 mile St Richard's Roman Catholic Primary School Atherton M460HA (163 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Fourgates Primary School BL53NA
- 1.8 mile Lostock Park School BL64EL
- 1.8 mile Two Porches School M460HX
- 1.9 mile Hollins Community Primary School WN24XA
- 1.9 mile St Margaret Mary RC Junior and Infant School WN24QY
- 1.9 mile Oakfield High School and College WN24XA (160 pupils)
- 2 miles St Andrew's CofE Primary School, Over Hulton BL51EN (212 pupils)
|CfBT Inspection Services |
West Lancs Investment Centre
|T 0300 1231231 |
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
|Direct T 01695 566855 |
Direct F 01695 729320
21 November 2013
Mr P Hart
Westhoughton High School
Dear Mr Hart
Requires improvement: monitoring inspection visit to Westhoughton High
Following my visit to your school on 20 November 2013, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's
Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills to report on the findings of my
visit. 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 September 2013. 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 visit, meetings were held with you, the director of learning for mathematics,
students, members of the governing body and two representatives of the local authority to
discuss the action taken since the last inspection. I evaluated the school’s improvement plan
and scrutinised other documentation provided by the school. I undertook a short learning
walk with a member of the senior leadership team for a brief opportunity to observe
teaching and see students’ work.
Since the last inspection, there have been no changes to leadership staff. One member of
the mathematics department has left and been replaced.
You and other staff in the school agree that the areas for improvement identified in the
September 2013 inspection report provide a helpful focus for moving the school forward.
The school’s improvement planning has been adapted to focus clearly on the key issues and
is structured appropriately to enable you to monitor how quickly progress is being made.
The school’s records show that students’ achievement is set to rise in 2014, including in
mathematics and including for the most able students. In mathematics, mock examinations
in November 2013 compare favourably with similar results from the same time last year. In
addition, more students are being entered for the higher tier examination and very few are
entered early, and these two actions have the potential to raise students’ aspirations further.
Teachers are aware of the need to present examples of how mathematics can be applied to
solve problems. An example was seen where pupils in Year 7 were developing problem-
solving skills through investigating patterns on a grid. You have provided financial support
for the mathematics department to purchase a new curriculum and assessment package.
Staff report that, in its early days, the new curriculum is having a positive impact on
students’ motivation. Links with other schools have been established to support work in
mathematics and in history; these have influenced the selection of curricular materials in
mathematics and begun to have an impact on subject-level improvement planning.
You have set up a range of activities to improve the quality of teaching, including through
sharing good practice. Students recognise some changes in teaching and report that
teachers now respond more robustly when they have not produced sufficient work. The
planned programme for teachers’ professional development includes a focus on the issues
identified in the inspection report and other issues identified by the school. You report that,
as yet, staff have attended on a voluntary basis and that attendance at the first two
sessions has been disappointing. You are aware of the need to ensure that all staff,
particularly those with most to gain, attend appropriate training and demonstrate improved
practice as a result.
You have recognised that, where the school’s judgements on the quality of teaching have
been generous, it is because observers placed too little emphasis on students’ learning and
progress. You have redesigned the form on which observers record their comments and now
ensure that students’ progress forms a limiting judgement. Senior leaders have undertaken
learning walks, including one that focused specifically on mathematics, and provided useful
feedback. Your decision to include appropriate external staff in joint lesson observations is
crucial in validating the judgements of your senior staff and hence to moving forward the
quality of teaching in the school.
You are aware that the school’s predictions for GCSE results in 2013 were over-optimistic.
The school has introduced what you believe to be a more rigorous process for monitoring
students’ progress, including that of key groups. As a result, managers are now able to
check both the progress of different groups and the progress of students in particular
teaching groups. However, the data system is in its early days and is yet to show an impact.
You have started the process of checking that assessment results entered into the system
are accurate and robust so that you can have full confidence in the system’s effectiveness.
This remains a vital step in the path to improving the school. It has the potential to hold
staff, including leaders, to account more effectively as well as to identify where students are
underachieving and trigger targeted interventions. You have established a link with a
National Leader of Education but this is in the early stages and no meetings have yet taken
Governors are highly supportive of the school and keen for it to be as good as it can
possibly be. They agree that that the areas for improvement are appropriate. They accept
the need to enhance their role further, such as playing an increased role in the appraisal of
senior staff. They have plans in place to undergo training with the aim of acquiring the
Governor Mark accreditation. Since the inspection, governors have enhanced their
understanding of which student groups are being monitored closely by subject leaders. They
have identified that particular members of the governing body should train further so that
they can lead on the interpretation of data.
Ofsted may carry out further visits and, where necessary, provide further support and
challenge to the school until its next section 5 inspection.
The local authority has supported the school through setting up an Inspection Action Group,
which includes representation from the local authority and an external consultant, as well as
representatives from the school’s senior leadership team and the governing body. The group
has met once and so is not able to demonstrate impact as yet. The external consultant
brought in by the local authority supported the school in drawing up its action plan and
provided good advice to you and other school leaders. The regular meetings for heads of
department in local schools facilitated links being made with a local Teaching School, which
led to a modified curriculum in mathematics.
I am copying this letter to the Chair of the Governing Body and the Director of Children's
Services for Bolton and as below.
Her Majesty's Inspector