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This is a good school This is a truly inclusive school where every pupil is valued. All pupils receive high-quality support, particularly those who are vulnerable. Leaders have created a culture in which all are given the chance to be successful.
The headteacher has a clear and ambitious vision which is shared by everyone in the school community. She leads with both rigour and humanity. She is ably supported by a very strong team of senior leaders.
Governance is very strong. The chair of governors and his team have a deep knowledge of the school and have played a considerable part in bringing about the recent improvements. The resolute actions of the headteach...er and governors have improved the quality of middle leadership.
They are aware that the leadership of geography and religious education is not yet good. Leaders have made progress in all the areas for improvement identified during the last inspection, apart from improving pupils' literacy across the curriculum. Strategic leadership of this area is weak.
The work that the school does to keep its pupils safe is exemplary. The welfare and personal development of pupils are a high priority for all staff. Improvements in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment have had a positive impact on pupils' outcomes.
Most pupils now benefit from good teaching that enables them to be successful in their studies. In key stage 4, pupils make better progress across a range of subjects than they have done in recent years. Progress of pupils in key stage 3 is not as strong.
Outcomes for Year 11 pupils in 2016 were much better than in previous years. This was particularly the case in English. The progress and attainment of disadvantaged pupils improved markedly in 2016.
Differences between the achievement of these pupils and that of other pupils nationally are diminishing. Pupils value the support that they receive from staff, which creates a positive learning environment. However, not all staff have high enough expectations of what their pupils, particularly the most able, can achieve if challenged.
Pupils behave extremely well both in lessons and around the school. They are polite and friendly. Pupils' attendance has improved significantly over the last two years.
Information about this school
The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. It is smaller than the average-sized secondary school. The proportion of pupils who are disadvantaged and, therefore, supported by the pupil premium, is well above the national average.
The proportions of pupils from minority ethnic groups and those who speak English as an additional language are well below the national average. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is higher than the national average. At the time of the inspection, seven pupils follow alternative education provision off the school site at the following providers: The Beacon, MPH Training, Launchpad Centre, Instant Training and Aspire Training.
The school is host to the Minerva Centre, which is a centre for pupils with behavioural issues. This provision is used by other local schools as well as by pupils from St Cuthbert's. The school meets the government's current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils' attainment and progress.
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