Ofsted Inspection – 13 & 14 DECEMBER 2022

Following the visit of Ofsted on 13-14 December, the status of Sheldon as a ‘Good’ school is unchanged; the inspection team could have converted to a full inspection, but they were satisfied that there was no need to do so on this occasion. You can read the report here.    

They have highlighted three action points for us to work on – two around students being able to articulate what they have learnt, and being able to build on previous learning, with the third around the behaviour of a small minority of pupils.  This will be the starting point of the next inspection within two years, which will be a more involved graded visit checking on the Quality of Education judgement in particular.

The report highlights that most pupils behave well.  We know, as do you, that some do not behave as well as we would like and various letters over the past two years will have pointed to that; this is something we were open with the inspectors about and which we will continue to address with those who need it.  Linked to that is the behaviour policy, which Ofsted highlighted needed greater consistency – this, too, we will tighten up.

We were pleased, however, that a large number of positive elements within Sheldon were emphasised:

  • Students enjoy school; they feel safe and welcome
  • The curriculum is ambitious for all students, with staff having high expectations of our young people
  • There is a strong focus on supporting pupils’ wider development
  • Bullying is uncommon (we know it happens, and for those who are on the end of it, we know that it is very real and unpleasant) but most students are confident in our staff intervening properly if it happens
  • The careers advice was deemed to be of high quality
  • Leaders know the school well, and have identified the appropriate priorities

The points for action are clear and ought to be relatively easy to remedy, especially those in respect of students being able to talk about their learning.  We are already working on these aspects and will continue to do so.

Ofsted reports provide a snapshot in time and there is much more that we are doing. Our three-year school development plan, now in its second year, will help to provide focus, and irrespective of any formal Ofsted judgement, we will commit to doing what we can to ensure that the experience for those in our community is a thoroughly enjoyable and positive one.