Ashton-on-Mersey School

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About Ashton-on-Mersey School

Name Ashton-on-Mersey School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Lee McConaghie
Address Cecil Avenue, Sale, M33 5BP
Phone Number 01619731179
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1421
Local Authority Trafford
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Ashton-on-Mersey School continues to be a good school.

The headteacher of this school is Lee McConaghie. The school is part of The Dean Trust, which means that other people in the trust also have responsibility for running the school. The trust is run by the chief executive officer (CEO), Tarun Kapur, and overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Damian McGann.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, and students in the sixth form, usually achieve well at Ashton-on-Mersey School. They are supported to learn deeply across a broad range of subjects. They learn with increasing confidence because staff are ambitious about what they can accomplish.

Staff expect and sup...port pupils to behave well. Staff purposefully show pupils how to treat others with respect. They support pupils to thoughtfully reflect on their behaviour where necessary.

Pupils enjoy positive relationships with staff.

Pupils benefit from well-established routines at the start, during and at the end of the school day. Pupils are usually calm and courteous.

They show consideration for other pupils, staff and visitors and enjoy a highly positive culture of behaviour.

Pupils regularly learn about the world from different perspectives. They are keen to explore and understand different cultures, beliefs and points-of-view.

They show a keen interest in the differences between people in their school and in the wider community.

Pupils benefit from a wide range of additional opportunities that go beyond the academic curriculum. For example, pupils enjoy taking part in sports events and performing arts.

This ensures that pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), regularly practise and develop their interests and talents.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Trustees and members of the local governing committee support the school well to ensure it is a highly positive place for staff and pupils. Staff are eager to contribute to the school's ambitious vision for pupils' education.

The school works closely with staff to support their workload and well-being. Staff feel trusted, equipped and empowered to successfully strengthen the curriculum that pupils experience and the progress that they make.

The curriculum for pupils in Years 7 to 11 is suitably broad and ambitious.

In the sixth form, leaders are in the first year of extending the range of subjects that students can study. Many pupils and students are keen to take up a rich blend of academic and vocational opportunities. Across all subjects, it is clear what knowledge that pupils and students in the sixth form will learn.

Pupils learn subject content in a carefully considered order. Most pupils and students make secure gains in what they know and remember. Consequently, they are well prepared for their next steps in education, employment or training.

Staff use clear expectations and routines to promote positive behaviour when pupils are in lessons. Pupils willingly engage with learning and cooperate well with other pupils and staff.

Typically, teachers have strong subject knowledge.

Mostly, they ensure that pupils and students benefit from clear explanations and well-chosen activities that allow pupils to learn subject content. In a small number of subjects, however, some teachers are still honing these practices. This means that pupils' learning is not as well matched to curriculum aims as it is elsewhere.

In many subjects, teachers confidently use assessment strategies to identify what pupils know and remember. This helps teachers to guide pupils well about gaps in their knowledge. Many pupils make good use of this information to help them progress through the curriculum.

That said, across subjects, a small minority of pupils do not take full advantage of the information that teachers provide about what they know or can do. This affects how quickly some pupils make gains in their knowledge.

The school appropriately identifies gaps in pupils' reading knowledge.

Pupils who are at the earliest stages of learning to read are supported effectively. Well-trained staff make use of appropriate schemes and resources to help pupils develop and practise their phonics knowledge. Subject teachers make regular use of library lessons to promote positive attitudes to reading.

As a result, pupils across the school make secure gains in their reading knowledge.

The school makes skilful use of relevant information to identify pupils who may have barriers that hinder their learning or development, including those with SEND. Staff ensure that these pupils benefit from carefully delivered subject-specific support in their lessons.

Consequently, pupils with SEND usually progress well through the full curriculum.

The school ensures that pupils benefit from wide-ranging opportunities to support their personal development. Staff make sure that pupils learn about personal, social, health and economic issues in a systematic manner.

Pupils value and engage with opportunities to explore safety, relationships and how they can make a positive contribution to society.

Pupils benefit from a multitude of well-ordered opportunities to think about their futures. Knowledgeable staff ensure that pupils feel well supported in making decisions about their education.

Furthermore, pupils gain a good understanding of the skills, experiences and qualifications that they need to pursue different careers.

Pupils are keen to attend school. The school provides strong support to help improve pupils' attendance where it is needed.

The school engages well with parents and carers. It seeks to consult with parents when needed. Staff ensure that parents are appropriately involved in supporting their children's education.

The local governing committee diligently explores accurate information about the quality and impact of pupils' experiences at the school. They ensure the school's vision is ambitious and hold the school to account about whether this is being realised. In doing so, they provide productive challenge and support that has a positive impact.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a few subjects, staff are still refining how they explain subject matter and then check pupils' understanding in lessons. In these subjects, pupils do not progress through the curriculum as smoothly as they do elsewhere.

The school should ensure that staff are confident in the pedagogical practices needed to help pupils gain and retain knowledge. ? A small minority of pupils do not take full advantage of information that teachers provide about gaps in their knowledge. These pupils miss out on helpful practise of recalling and applying the knowledge they have been taught.

This sometimes hinders their progress. The school should ensure that pupils engage fully with the opportunities that are provided to help them to consolidate or develop their learning further, using the knowledge that they have learned previously.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in January 2019.

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