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School on track for Outstanding after Good inspection rating

A Good rated Wolverhampton school has "demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement" according to Ofsted - with inspectors recommending a return visit to see if it has become Outstanding.

Highfields pupils have
"Excellent attitudes to learning"

Ofsted visited Highfields School recently and found that headteacher Graham Tate and his leadership team had "maintained the good quality of education" at the school since its last inspection.

Inspectors said that pupils have "excellent attitudes to learning" and that outcomes for have been "consistently high for several years". They praised the school's "focus on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment" which has enabled pupils to make "substantial and sustained progress" in the vast majority of subjects.

Highfields' leadership team has a "strong understanding of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment across the school", while the governors "speak proudly about the school's achievements and constantly strive for further improvement".

Inspectors found the school "has a happy and harmonious atmosphere which puts safeguarding and pupil welfare at the heart of its core purpose". The positive relationships between staff and Highfields' pupils, who inspectors praised for their "exemplary" behaviour, are a key strength which has helped to promote a strong culture of mutual respect.

Parents and carers were "overwhelmingly positive about the school" and are "proud to be members of its community". One parent told inspectors: "This is a fantastic school with superb facilities and great teachers".

Based on their findings, inspectors concluded that Highfields "has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in specific areas" which "may indicate that the school has improved significantly overall" since it was judged to be Good in 2011. As a result, they recommended that the school is subject to a full inspection next time around.

Mr Tate said: "We are delighted that inspectors were able to recognise the work that goes on at Highfields every day. We feel that the report captures the ethos and spirit of the school very well and the high expectations that we have for all of our students.

"Our broad and balanced curriculum, alongside consistently high quality teaching, learning and assessment, mean that students receive rich and diverse learning experiences across the curriculum and beyond. All of the students were an absolute credit to the school and their families; their behaviour and conduct were exemplary at all times.

"I would like to take this opportunity to extend our very sincere thanks to all of the staff who work so hard every day to make Highfields the school that it is. Likewise, we really appreciate the tremendous contribution made by our students on a daily basis and the extraordinary support that they receive at home."

Councillor Lynne Moran, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "I would like to congratulate everyone at Highfields School on this excellent inspection report.

"Mr Tate and his team are working hard for their pupils and I am pleased that the school is making significant improvements which suggest it may become Outstanding in the not too distant future."

To find out more about education in Wolverhampton, please visit Education & schools.

  • released: Wednesday 12 December, 2018