Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College

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About Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College

Name Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College
Ofsted Inspections
Address Urban Road, Altrincham, WA15 8HT
Phone Number 01619118090
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1555 (50.1% boys 49.9% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.9
Local Authority Trafford
Percentage Free School Meals 10.50%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.3%
Persistent Absence 10.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 10.9%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. Overall, students make outstanding progress. Standards have risen steadily over time and students' achievement across the range of subjects is consistently above average.

In 2012, the proportion of students achieving five GCSEs grades at A* to C, including English and mathematics, was exceptional and among the very best results nationally. Teaching is outstanding because teachers have excellent subject knowledge. Teachers benefit from outstanding training opportunities which help them to keep on improving their skills and developing their leadership potential.

Behaviour and safety are outstanding because students' attitudes to le...arning are exemplary. Attendance is above average because students are happy at school. Students value the support and encouragement offered by staff.

There are examples of outstanding teaching across a number of subjects, including: English, mathematics, religious education, science and physical education. The headteacher sets high expectations for staff and students. Leaders are relentless in their drive to ensure that standards continue to rise through the rigorous monitoring of teaching and tracking of students' progress.

Students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding because the school's Catholic ethos promotes an accepting, respectful and caring school community. Governors provide senior leaders with an outstanding level of challenge, particularly in making sure leaders are held to account for students' achievement. The new sixth form is good and improving rapidly.

Information about this school

The school is average in size. The majority of students are from White British backgrounds; White and Black Caribbean, Irish and students from any other White background are the largest other minority ethnic groups. The proportion of students who speak English as an additional language is below average.

The proportion of students eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and those children that are looked after, is below average. The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs supported at school action is below average. The proportion of students supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is below average.

The school was designated as a National Teaching School in March 2013. The headteacher is a national leader in education (NLE). The school works with national organisations including Future Leaders and Teaching Leaders.

The school supports eight primary schools and five secondary schools to help them improve the quality of teaching, students' achievement and school leadership as part of the National Leader in Education programme. The school meets the government's current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students' attainment and progress. Ten Key Stage 4 students attend off-site alternative provision for part of their learning, which includes courses in motor vehicle maintenance, hair and beauty, and construction at Trafford College, Manor High School and Education Business Solutions.