Our Ofsted Report - October 2012
Excellent results, a
national award and now an Ofsted report that praises outstanding
leadership, an innovative curriculum and exemplary methods of
The continued success of The Barlow
has been recognised in our recent Ofsted Report. Inspectors
from the Office for Standards in Education who visited the school
on 16th and 17th October 2012, praised
pupils, staff and governors and stated that 'under passionate,
visionary leadership, the school is going from
Inspectors were so impressed with
standards in all aspects, they upped the school's grading to
'Good'. They added that The Barlow would achieve an 'outstanding'
status in the near future, by following recommendations set out to
Headteacher Claire McCarron
said,"We are delighted the Inspectors recognised that the
school has improved rapidly in all aspects since our last
inspection only 18 months ago. It is a great testament to the hard
work of staff and students alike. We are securely on track and just
one short step away from becoming an outstanding school; a goal
that we are determined to achieve. We have already implemented
additional changes to deliver the areas of further improvement
identified in the report."
Inspectors reported that The Barlow
is innovative in developing the curriculum with attainment
significantly above average. Pupils achieve well because teaching
is consistently good. They stated that behaviour is also
consistently good; outstanding in some lessons and that The Barlow
has exemplary methods of safeguarding pupils. Bullying is not
tolerated and staff at the school go the extra mile to ensure all
children are safe and happy.
The full Ofsted report can be
It has been an excellent year for
The Barlow with GCSE results rising significantly for the fourth
year in succession. In 2012, 95% of the pupils achieved at least 5
A*- C grades, with 74% including English and Maths. These
outstanding results placed The Barlow yet again as one of the
highest performing secondary schools in Manchester. In July 2012,
The Barlow also received national recognition from The
Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT)for achieving some of
the fastest improving GCSE results in the country.
Paul Chidgey, Chairman of the
Governing Body at The Barlow added,"The new, rigorous Ofsted
framework raised the bar, yet the report confirms progress at The
Barlow is exceptional. Alongside the excellent exam results and our
award, itis a wonderful reflection of the hard work and enthusiasm
of all the staff who Ofsted state, 'share the same vision to make
the school even better and know how they are going to achieve this
Comments from OFSTED Report about our
- Under the outstanding leadership of the Headteacher, the school
has improved rapidly in all respects since the last inspection 18
- Under the passionate, visionary leadership of the Headteacher,
the school is going from strength-to-strength.
- A team of committed and dedicated professionals determined to
improve this good school further.
- Leadership of teaching has led to strong improvements in its
- The Governing Body have a deep knowledge of the school's
- In the last 2 years pupils have made such good progress that by
the end of Year 11, attainment is significantly above average.
- Pupils are exceeding expectations so that more pupils are
achieving the higher levels.
- Pupils achieve well in lessons.
- Nearly all pupils progress to higher-level courses after Year
Learning & Teaching
- Good and outstanding lessons are characterised by a brisk pace
and a good balance of activities.
- All pupils achieve well because teaching is consistently good
across the school.
- The school is innovative in developing the curriculum.
- There is a strong focus on literacy.
- Literacy is promoted across all subjects.
Behaviour / Safety
- Behaviour is now consistently good and is outstanding is some
- Exemplary methods of safeguarding its pupils and goes the extra
mile to ensure they are safe and happy.
- Pupils enjoy school and feel proud to attend here
- Bullying is not tolerated.
- Pupils feel safe and free from harassment.
- Pupils very much enjoy the challenge of being given leadership
- Pupils make a good contribution to the local and wider
community through their fund-raising.
Ofsted is the Office for Standards
in Education, Children's Services and Skills. It reports directly
to Parliament and is independent and impartial. School
inspections are required by the government to help parents judge
how good a school is and to help schools improve the quality of
teaching and learning. Ofsted writes independent reports of
the quality of schools, checks whether pupils are achieving as much
as they can and publishes the results on its website.
Inspections - a Guide for Parents'
Ofsted has a new online questionnaire that allows
parents and carers to give their views on their child's school at
any time of the year. Ofsted use this information to help make
desisions about which schools to inspect and when. The results will
also be available to inspectors at the point of inspection.
Give your views on the Parent View
The 12 questions asked on Parent
View were carefully chosen to ensure that they cover a range of
issues which are important to parents but are equally designed to
provide Ofsted with the right information to support decisions
about inspection. Results are published in real-time and are
available on the website for schools, parents/carers and the
Ofsted inspects most schools every
few years. The last inspection at The Barlow took place in
March 2011. The inspectors observed 31 lessons, taught by 29
teachers, they held discussions with the Head Teacher, school
staff, the Deputy Chair of the Governing Body, the school council
and groups of students. They observed the school's work and
analysed the responses to both parental and student