Dukinfield school’s ‘delight’ at Ofsted report – but promises more work to improve

A DUKINFIELD high school insists it is ‘delighted’ at progress being recognised by Ofsted inspectors, even though is still ‘requires improvement.’

And Rayner Stephens, on Yew Tree Lane, has promised its work will not stop after being told attendance remains an issue.

Ofsted looked at the school for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic started on September 26 and 27.

And in a report, they found more work needs to be done, even though measures put in place since it became part of the Stamford Park Trust are having an effect.

It states: “Recent changes to the curriculum are helping pupils to build on their learning more securely at key stage three.

“However, the work to improve the curriculum at key stage four is not complete. As such, older pupils do not achieve as well as they could.

Rayner Stephens High School, Dukinfield

“Pupils’ behaviour and conduct have improved since the trust made changes to the behaviour management systems.

“Nonetheless, some pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, miss school frequently. This leads to gaps in their learning.

“The trust and the school have made attendance a high priority. They liaise with external agencies and continuously review their systems to manage pupil absences.

“This means that the school is better equipped to understand the causes of absences. Parental engagement supports the school to improve pupils’ learning and attendance.

“Even so, much of this work is in its infancy. Some pupils continue to miss school. As a result, these pupils do not achieve as well as they should.

“The school has made many positive changes to the curriculum in recent times. This is making a difference to pupils in key stage three. As a result, pupils’ achievement in this part of the school is improving.”

Recognition of the overall improvement at Rayner Stephens was welcomed by the school and the trust – but everyone knows more needs to be done.

In a statement, the school said: “The recommendations for improvement identified by the inspection team already form the basis of the next stages in the schools’ improvement strategy, where robust plans were already in place to continue to build on the improvements made.

“The constructive discussions that were held between the leadership and inspection team only strengthen this further.”

Headteacher Martin Davies added: “We have a team of highly skilled and dedicated staff, who are driven by a desire to ensure that we work together to continue to improve our school and provide our young people with the very best in all aspects of their education.

“This is one that I share and I am absolutely determined and proud to continue to lead and work collaboratively with all members of our school community to continue to realise our shared vision, and to continue the ongoing improvements.

“I’m immensely proud that the inspectors have noted the significant improvements of our school and the many successes our young people have experienced.

“We’re delighted that Ofsted has recognised the hard work that has gone into our ‘excellence and behaviour for learning’ systems and the positive impact this has had on teaching and learning.

“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership to continue to improve the areas highlighted in the report.”

Stamford Park Trust chief executive Anton McGrath added “We are pleased that Ofsted recognised the rapid improvement made by staff since the school joined the Trust and the Trust’s part in that improvement.

“We understand that there is further work to do and we remain committed to ensuring that Rayner Stephens High School becomes a beacon of excellence and ambition for all.

“The future is bright for both Rayner Stephens High School and Stamford Park Trust as we move through the next stage of our improvement journey together.”

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