Ofsted report

We are pleased to share the Ofsted report based on our recent inspection. This is the first time Priestley has been inspected since we became an academy in May 2017.

The report headlines are that we have been graded as follows:

  • Overall effectiveness Good
  • Effectiveness of Leadership and Management Good
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare Good 
  • Outcomes for students Good

There are many excellent detailed comments within the report but we are particularly proud to see comments such as:

  • Students enjoy their studies and feel safe. Their behaviour is excellent in lessons and around the college. Students are polite and highly respectful of their peers, staff and visitors
  • Leaders and managers ensure that a very high proportion of students achieve their qualifications
  • Senior leaders, managers and staff nurture a supportive and inclusive culture
  • Students participate in a wide range of interesting and worthwhile additional activities that help them develop their personal, social and communication skills
  • Students who receive funding for high needs receive a high-quality learning experience
  • Students benefit from effective pastoral support and the strong working relationships they have with teachers
  • Senior leaders and governors ensure that the curriculum meets the need of 16 to 19 year olds in Warrington and prepares them well for their next steps
  • A high proportion of students, many of whom do not have a family history of higher education, go to university
  • Teachers ensure that students develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their qualifications and in their working life
  • Teachers ensure that students who choose not to go to university receive useful information, advice and guidance about going into employment or onto apprenticeships
  • Students who are targeted to “aspire high” nearly all got a place at prestigious universities including the University of Cambridge. A high proportion go to Russell Group Universities
  • The proportion of students who remain on their course is high in all subjects. The number of students who progress to a second year of study is high, particularly on A Level courses.

There are, of course, areas that we need to continue to work on to improve the college still further, but it was reassuring that these align well with our own self-assessment.

In particular we are keen to continue our drive to improve attendance on Level 2 programmes and where a small minority of students do not achieve the grades of which they are capable.

However, Ofsted also noted that we swiftly put in place swift actions to address any required improvements.

We would like to thank all of those parents/carers, students and governors who contributed to the online surveys, attended meetings or were observed in class and around the college during the inspection.

It was a very pressured time for an inspection as all AS classes were suspended due to examinations. Over 1800 individual external assessments were sat during the inspection week, and A Level, vocational students and GCSE students were in the final throes of their courses.

Your support was very much appreciated by everyone at Priestley.

We can assure you that whilst this report gives us much to celebrate it also reinforces our determination to make Priestley an even better place to study and learn.


Matthew Grant

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