|Name||Fazakerley High School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Inadequate|
|Inspection Date||08 October 2019|
|Address||Sherwoods Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool, Merseyside, L10 1LB|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||791 (56% boys 44% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||16.6|
|Percentage Free School Meals||34.3%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||5.3%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||21.7%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils do not get a good deal at this school. Leaders have failed to make sure that pupils are ready for the next stage of their education, employment or training. Many pupils do not learn well enough in a wide range of subjects. Some teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve are too low. Over time, pupils’ examination results are far lower than those of other pupils nationally.
Too many pupils do not attend school often enough. That said, when they are in school, most of them are keen to learn. They are polite and kind. Many pupils try their best to behave well, although there is some boisterous behaviour around the school building. Staff are usually at hand to calm things down.
Pupils told us that they are well cared for and they feel safe. They are clear who they would turn to if they have concerns. They said that staff support them well. They say that bullying is rare.
Pupils like the extra-curricular activities offered. Pupils benefit from volunteering in the community and supporting charities. Every pupil in the current Year 10 has been registered for and completed activities towards the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders at all levels, including governors, have made too little difference to the quality of education that pupils experience. While a small number of subject areas, such as art, make a difference to pupils’ learning in key stage 3, this is overshadowed by poor quality elsewhere. This contributes to the weak examination results of far too many pupils across almost all subjects. This is especially true for disadvantaged pupils, who do not achieve well.
In many subjects, leaders have not developed the curriculum well enough. This leads to teaching which does not build on what pupils know or help pupils to learn new knowledge. Pupils have large gaps in their learning. They do not remember what has been taught and they are not ready for the new learning that is presented to them. They struggle to take on challenging ideas because they do not have the building blocks in place to extend their understanding.
Too many staff do not take account of pupils’ prior learning, particularly of what they have learned in primary school. In Year 7, curriculum plans lack ambition in too many subjects. Pupils say the work is too easy or repeats what they have learned previously. Sometimes, pupils become bored by the work. Only occasionally, such as in mathematics, are more pupils excited by their learning. This is because the curriculum in these subjects at key stage 3 is well planned and helps pupils to succeed.
Leaders, including governors, have allowed the curriculum to be narrowed for somepupils in key stage 3. This is especially, but not only, the case for a large proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and lower-ability pupils. These pupils have only half of the time provided to other pupils to study some subjects, such as modern foreign languages and humanities. Leaders and governors do not ensure equality of opportunity for younger pupils. Their expectations of this group of pupils are low.
Leaders have reviewed the examination courses offered at key stage 4, with the intention of meeting the interests and needs of pupils. Around two thirds of pupils follow an academic English Baccalaureate pathway. However, the GCSE outcomes in these academic subjects often fall far short of what pupils are actually capable of. This is because of the weak, ill-designed curriculum at key stage 3, which does not get any better during key stage 4.
Pupils with SEND do not do well at this school. Their needs are not met because teachers lack the expertise to offer the support that is required. Recently, there have been changes to the leadership of this area but it is too soon to see the difference this is making.
Most pupils behave well and try hard to make the most of their time in lessons. Some pupils lose concentration when the curriculum is not ambitious enough. Most pupils respect one another and any differences of religion, race or sexuality. The few bullying incidents have mostly been on mobile devices. Leaders have taken positive steps to make sure that pupils know how to reduce the risk of this happening to them. Staff keep a close eye on pupils at break and lunchtimes and take effective action, when required, to maintain order.
Leaders’ efforts to improve pupils’ attendance since the last inspection have not been successful. Senior leaders and governors have made changes to leadership of this area very recently, with the hope of improving pupils’ attendance. To date, these changes have made no noticeable difference.
A significant number of pupils leave the school before the end of Year 11. Leaders do not check the reasons for this pupil movement well enough. This means that leaders are at a loss as to what they need to do to better support such pupils before they take the decision to leave.
Pupils value the support of staff and other professionals to help them think about careers and what they will do once they complete Year 11. Leaders plan opportunities for pupils to develop positive values in lessons, attend clubs and activities, and enjoy new experiences. Even so, there are weaknesses in how the taught programme for developing pupils’ personal development is delivered, especially in tutor times.
A restructuring of leadership roles, and some fresh ideas from new leaders to the school, have not hit the mark. Governors now ask some challenging questions of senior leaders but they do not take enough notice of how well the school’s curriculum helps pupils to learn.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff know how to keep pupils safe. Staff take the time to know pupils well, are vigilant and know what to do if they have a concern. Regular training means that staff know what to look out for if pupils are at risk. Pupils are confident to talk to staff if they are worried or unhappy. Leaders consult parents and carers and refer cases to social care or the police, when necessary. Staff and other professionals in school provide support for pupils at risk of poor emotional well-being. Pupils know about risks when online or threats such as gang-related crime.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Pupils in key stage 3, especially lower-ability pupils and those with SEND, do not have sufficient opportunity to develop a deep knowledge of all of the subjects they study. This is especially the case in history, geography and modern foreign languages. The school should take urgent action to ensure that their expectations of this group of pupils rise and that all current pupils in key stage 3 benefit from a curriculum which is at least as ambitious in breadth and scope as the national curriculum. . The key stage 3 curriculum does not take account of what pupils have already learned, including from their time in primary schools. Planning does not build on pupils’ knowledge. It does not enable teachers to meet pupils’ needs. Leaders should act urgently to ensure that there is an ambitious curriculum in place which helps pupils to gain the knowledge they need to achieve well, including in GCSE examinations, in a range of subjects. . Too many pupils do not attend school often enough. Pupils who are disadvantaged and those with SEND have especially weak attendance. Leaders should build on their recent actions to ensure that pupils are in school regularly. . Leaders should ensure that the planned personal development curriculum is taught well, especially during tutor times. . Changes to the leadership responsibilities have not brought about the planned improvement. Leaders should build on the recent restructuring and new appointments to ensure that their actions are sharply focused on improving the quality of education. They should seek additional support to enhance their capacity to improve the school. . Governors should be clear about their responsibilities and ensure that they monitor, challenge and support senior leaders to make the improvements required to the quality of education. Governors should check and question the rates and reasons for pupils’ movement, notably for those pupils who leave the school before the end of Year 11.