Rossett School

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About Rossett School

Name Rossett School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Timothy Milburn
Address Green Lane, Harrogate, HG2 9JP
Phone Number 01423564444
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1072
Local Authority North Yorkshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

For the most part, Rossett School is a warm, friendly and welcoming school.

Leaders, governors and staff are deeply committed to the pupils who attend the school. A strong determination to be inclusive and supportive permeates the school. Leaders and staff have high expectations for what pupils can achieve.

As a result, virtually all pupils move on to positive next steps at the end of their time at Rossett.

Most pupils behave well, founded on strong relationships. A large number of parents reported to inspectors how well supported their child has been by members of staff, especially those in welfare teams.

A notable minority of pupils, however, do no...t behave well. These pupils sometimes disrupt the smooth running of the school around the site and between lessons. Most pupils who communicated with inspectors feel safe at school, but the conduct of the minority makes some pupils feel unsafe at times.

The majority of pupils think that bullying either does not happen, or that staff deal with it effectively if it does occur. Some pupils and parents who communicated with inspectors, however, do not think it is well handled.

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

The curriculum is ambitious, broad and balanced.

Across subjects, leaders have thought carefully about what content to include and how to assess what pupils have learned. Units of work build from one to the next in a reasoned order. On a minority of occasions, some curriculum planning is relatively less precise in its content.

Most teaching is engaging. The curriculum in the sixth form is ambitious and meets the requirements of government guidance. Leaders have acted successfully to improve the rate of retention on certain sixth-form courses.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) achieve well for the most part. Leaders are ambitious for these pupils. To a high degree, staff use the pupils' 'individual provision maps' effectively, although at times this is not as consistent as it needs to be.

There is an impressive school-wide programme in place to support pupils with their reading. This includes phonics-based support for the weakest readers. High-quality training for staff underpins the programme.

The behaviour of students in the sixth form is of a high standard. Pupils' behaviour in the main school is mixed. Many pupils are routinely polite and well behaved, with respectful relationships between most pupils and staff.

A minority of pupils, though, are not as well behaved. Some pupils' conduct out of lessons is variable, with overly boisterous behaviour. Some pupils ignore staff requests and instructions.

Some staff do not apply the school's behaviour policy consistently. A minority of pupils are regularly late to lessons, or have to be rounded up by leaders and escorted to class.Leaders are taking action to improve the behaviour of the challenging minority of pupils, including the implementation of the 'Learning Support Centre'.

While leaders keep records of which pupils are sent to the 'Reflections Room', leaders do not analyse this information to identify patterns and take appropriate action. The records of pupils' attendance in lessons are unclear, and are not analysed by leaders. As a result, leaders do not have an accurate picture of whether pupils are late, trying to avoid going to lessons, or both, and consequently this limits their ability to deal with the problem as sharply as required.

The attendance of some pupils is poor. Leaders' attendance data for the term to date shows that approaching half of all disadvantaged pupils are persistently absent. Leaders follow the school's policy in attempting to improve this situation, but it lacks the necessary drive and urgency to bring about the required step change in some pupils' rate of attendance.

There is a strong programme for pupils' personal development. In particular, pupils learn about the principles of inclusivity, tolerance and respect. The programme in the sixth form is not as consistently strong as the main school, with some students not able to confidently describe what topics they have covered.

There is no question that governors and leaders are committed to the pupils. Leaders have built an inclusive culture and they want the best for all pupils. Governors have listened to the views of staff about workload and have supported leaders to make some well-received changes to help staff in their teaching.

However, governors do not have a fully accurate understanding of the school's performance. They have a more positive view of behaviour than is the case. They have not been enabled by leaders to rigorously explore those aspects of pupils' outcomes at key stage 4, which are less strong than others.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. There are minor weaknesses in safeguarding arrangements that are easy to put right and do not leave children either being harmed or at risk of harm.

Arrangements for identifying and helping pupils who may be in need of support are secure.

Leaders are effective in keeping these pupils in sight. The checks on staff joining the school meet requirements. Leaders know what to do should there be allegations against members of staff.

Appropriate programmes are in place to raise pupils' awareness about, and how to get help if affected by, sexual violence and harassment.

The process for managing students' absence in the sixth form is not sufficiently tight. Students can self-certify absence, but this is not routinely followed up.

Consequently, students could be at risk, but neither school nor parents might know for some time.Staff know to pass on any concerns about the conduct of other adults, but some are unclear about the correct procedure to be followed.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• A notable minority of pupils do not behave well.

They ignore staff instructions, conduct themselves inconsiderately around the site, and are habitually late to lessons. This is disruptive to the smooth running of the school day. Most of the pupils causing this disruption have been at Rossett for the duration of their secondary education.

Leaders should take action to ensure that staff are fully supported in managing pupil behaviour; ensure that all staff are enabled to implement the school's behaviour policies with consistent rigour, including the consistently effective support for pupils who report bullying and improve the analysis of behaviour and attendance-at-lesson data, so that more precisely targeted action can be taken. ? The attendance of some pupils is poor. This is particularly the case for pupils who are disadvantaged.

Improving the rate of pupils' attendance was an area for improvement at the previous section 5 inspection in 2019 and at the section 8 No Formal Designation inspection in 2021. Although leaders are following the school's policy for pupil attendance, this is not bringing about the necessary improvement. Leaders must act with a greater sense of strategy, urgency and creativity to do things differently, so that there is a step change in pupils' rate of attendance.

• Arrangements for checking sixth-form students' attendance when they self-certificate by email are not tight enough. Under the current system, a student's self-certification might not be checked for a lengthy period. This means that the student may be at risk and/or be missing from education, but neither school nor parents would be aware.

Immediate action must be taken to close this loophole, so that students' self-certified absence is checked daily. ? Some staff are not fully aware of when to report to the headteacher, chair of governors (chair) and the local authority designated officer (LADO) if concerned about the conduct of other staff members. While these staff know that such concerns must be passed on, leaders should ensure that all staff understand the process and circumstances for reporting concerns as appropriate to the headteacher, chair or LADO, rather than reporting a concern to the school's human resources team.

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