‘Motivating’ school praised by Ofsted inspectors

A MOSSLEY high school has been told it ‘motivates’ students and is ‘ambitious for pupils and has high standards for their academic achievement and their behaviour.’

But Mossley Hollins High school was told in its latest Ofsted report some of its children feel it is ‘too strict.’

The Huddersfield Road facility has been rated good after its first inspection in nine years – its first under the new, more stringent guidelines.

It was rated outstanding but even Ofsted’s head, Andrea Spielman, believed the number of schools with that mark would halve.

Students celebrate their GCSE results in 2022 at Mossley Hollins High School

And inspectors praised the work done by headteacher Andrea Din and her staff.

The report states: “Leaders are ambitious for pupils and have high standards for their academic achievement and their behaviour.

“The vast majority of pupils work hard to rise to these expectations. They behave responsibly and they achieve well in a range of subjects. This means that they are well prepared for their next steps by the time they leave the school in Year 11.

“Pupils are motivated to attend school each day. This is reflected in their high rates of attendance.

“Leaders have devised a high-quality, varied programme to support pupils’ wider development. Staff deliver this effectively through assemblies, form time, dedicated whole-school days, and the curriculum.

Mossley Hollins High School

“Pupils learn about a range of issues, such as healthy relationships and internet safety. Pupils benefit from a well-planned programme of careers advice and guidance.”

Ofsted’s new inspections came into effect at the start of this academic year after a further change was implemented in 2019 – five years after Mossley Hollins’ last visit.

But in addition to the motivation and quality, inspectors judged safeguarding as effective, adding: “Leaders are proactive in developing the culture of safeguarding at the school,” and “leaders work effectively with outside agencies and safeguarding partners to seek advice and support for pupils who may be at risk.

“They bring appropriate colleagues into school to help pupils learn about how to keep themselves safe.”

Mossley Hollins says it is working to rectify some of the less positive elements of the report.

Inspectors said: “Pupils were less positive when they spoke about how well leaders consider their emotional well-being. This affects how happy they feel in school, as they feel that the school is too strict.

“Some pupils spoken to said that they would appreciate more input on how to access support for mental health and emotional well-being.

“At times, a small number of pupils feel unhappy in school as they feel that the rules are too strict, and leaders should ensure that consideration is given to supporting pupils to feel nurtured and cared for.

“A minority of parents indicated that they do not feel that leaders engage with them well enough to address concerns or to explain changes to processes that the school is making.”

In response, the school – which is happy with the grading it received – has been conducted a review of its own to find out what it can do better and how.

It said: “Although leaders, governors and staff are very pleased with the report, we are working hard on the areas identified from our own self-evaluation, which the inspection team agreed with.

“Although the work in classrooms to support our students with additional needs is strong, we are already working hard to further resource the Learning Support Faculty to ensure that students with additional needs are identified in a timely manner so that they are able to access the most appropriate support outside of the classroom.

“Mrs Din and her team would like to praise the joint effort of students, teachers and governors.

“Leaders, governors and staff are very keen to work with students and the wider school community to further develop the school and plans are in place to allow this work to take place.

“We are very grateful to those parents and students who offered positive advice, as the report says, on how to take the next steps for our school.

“It is this joint work that will allow the school to continue to grow and develop.”

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