Section 48 Inspection 2016
Following a visit from a team of three Diocesan Inspectors to
The Barlow RC High School in September 2016, when they met staff
and students, I am writing to inform you that the Section 48
reportis now available on the school website.
Inspectors who visited the school said that they were very
impressed by many aspects of the school and in particular by how
our students care for each other as a community in which everyone
values and respects each other for who they are. They went on to
say that the culture of welcome at the school is a strength with
pupils and staff recognising, valuing and celebrating diversity at
all levels. The quality of welcome ensures that pupils staff
parents and visitors feel respected and valued while subject to the
stringent safeguards that the school has in place to keep pupils
Inspectors judged theschools overall effectivenessas "Good" and
identified the areas of Welfare, Welcome and Witness as"
They identified the key strengths of the school as being:
- The vision and commitment of the Head teacher, Senior
leadership team and Governing Body which has provided the catalyst
for change and the determination of all who work at the school to
provide a successful Catholic learning community.
- The quality of relationships and the care and welfare of all
students, including outreach and support for the most
- The highly skilled RE team with excellent leadership which is
fully committed to providing an outstanding Catholic education for
all pupils and which has led to sustained improvements in GCSE
results in Religious Education.
Inspectors reported that they found the commitment of the
governors and the senior leadership team to the welfare of all
within the school to be outstanding and described the school as a
"vibrant community which places Christ at the heart of its mission
and witness "and found this aspect to also be outstanding."
Inspectors identified the schools areas for
development as being:
- Encourage pupils to take a greater lead in the prayer life of
- Sustain the rapid progress in teaching and learning in RE
allowing the department to become the leading area of
learning across the school
- Ensure all departments engage with the "Big questions" and that
all staff are able to articulate the that policy and practice are
driven by the schools mission.
All recommendations identified by inspectors were already in the
schools improvement plan and we are confident that the school will
continue its journey towards outstanding in the forthcoming
Mrs C Mc Carron
Section 5 Inspection 2016
In November The Barlow RC High School received a monitoring
visit from of a team of Section 5 inspectors. The inspection took
place under the new August 2016 OFSTED framework and the report is
now available on the school's website.
Leaders are very pleased that inspectors accurately identified
the many strengths and areas of success at The Barlow in their
report, as can be seen in the above statements taken from the
We are particularly pleased that they noted the strength of the
curriculum, as well as the very strong achievement made by students
in the majority of subjects which perform above National Levels.
Also, the fact that as a consequence of this:"the very high number
of pupils that go onto further education, employment or
They agreed with Leaders at the school that the performance in
Maths and Science were areas for improvement; caused in the main
part by national recruitment issues in these subjects, something
which was beyond the schools control. Inspectors saw that the
school has now addressed this issue with new leaders and teachers
in post and noted that"already the impact of their leadership can
be seen in the progress pupils are making".
Inspectors noted the high standards expected of pupils at the
school and, in line with the school's self-evaluation, judged that
the behaviour of students at The Barlow is 'good'. They identified
that attendance of all pupils is above national levels and they
described our students as:"Articulate, charming and proud of their
school".They commented that Leaders are"unrelenting and watchful in
ensuring that pupils are kept safe, especially the most
Key areas for the school to develop were identified by
- Improve the quality of provision for pupils that have special
educational needs or disabilities.
- Ensure Pupil Premium funding is used on strategies to improve
the achievement of disadvantaged pupils.
- Improve the standards in Maths and Science.
All three recommendations had been accurately identified by
Senior Leaders and Governors and had been included in the School
Improvement Plan. These were already being addressed by Leaders,
with clear signs of impact."New leaders appointed have brought a
determination and proven capacity to make a positive
difference. Already the impact of their leadership can be
seen in the progress that pupils are making."
There is no doubt that the school was significantly affected by
national recruitment issues and a number of unavoidable staff
absences last year and this consequently had an impact on
outcomes in Maths and Science, and therefore the judgement on
overall school effectiveness. Leaders and Governors at the school
are absolutely confident that these issues have now been addressed
and we continue on our journey towards becoming an outstanding
Catholic High School for the students that we serve.