St Francis of Assisi Catholic College

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About St Francis of Assisi Catholic College

Name St Francis of Assisi Catholic College
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Luke Salkeld
Address Erdington Road, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 0RN
Phone Number 01922740300
Phase Secondary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1161
Local Authority Walsall
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St Francis of Assisi Catholic College continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils attending this school make good progress.

Teachers make sure that learning is well planned. They have thought carefully about what to teach and when. They provide high-quality resources that help pupils to organise what they need to learn.

Teachers check that pupils have understood what they have been taught before moving on to new content.

Leaders and other staff have high expectations. They expect pupils to be polite and respectful.

Pupils rise to the challenge. They are courteous and kind. Pupils are keen to do well, and they work hard in ...class.

Disruption to learning is rare.

Pupils feel safe in school. They know that staff care about them.

Pupils know who they can talk to if they have a problem. They trust staff to deal with issues, such as bullying, on the rare occasions when it happens. Pupils enjoy coming to school.

Most attend regularly. They appreciate the improvements that the headteacher and other leaders have brought about over the last 18 months.

Students in the sixth form enjoy a wide selection of subject choices and a growing range of enrichment opportunities.

High-quality careers guidance helps them, and younger pupils, to plan their next stage of education.

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

The headteacher provides clear and principled leadership. He is well supported by an effective team of senior leaders and governors.

Together, they have stabilised the school following a period of turbulence. They have brought about improvements to many areas of school life, including behaviour and the curriculum.

The school's leadership commands the confidence of staff, parents and pupils.

Staff appreciate leaders' work to ensure that teachers' workload is manageable. Many parents told inspectors how happy they were with the school. The sixth form has grown considerably in recent years, as more pupils choose to stay in the school beyond Year 11.

Subject leaders and staff have produced a well-organised and ambitious curriculum in all subjects. They have carefully planned what pupils should learn and they regularly review how well the curriculum is working.

The curriculum is taught well across subjects and from Year 7 to Year 13.

Teachers have strong subject knowledge. They use this well to explain new concepts, choosing appropriate methods to help pupils learn. Teachers systematically check pupils' understanding.

They provide extra help when it is needed to address misconceptions. They regularly make pupils recall what they have been taught previously. As a result, pupils remember what they have been taught and can apply their learning to new contexts.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) achieve well in school. Leaders provide teachers with helpful guidance about how to meet pupils' individual needs. Teachers adapt the curriculum in the light of this guidance.

Staff provide effective extra support when pupils need it.

All pupils with SEND have a learning support plan. This details pupils' needs and strategies that teachers should use to support them.

Pupils with SEND who do not have an education, health and care (EHC) plan are not routinely involved in producing or reviewing their plan. Neither are their parents. Consequently, these plans do not reflect pupils' views and preferences.

Many parents are unaware of the strategies being used to support their children.

Leaders have put in place an effective programme to support pupils who find reading difficult. Extra support is well matched to each pupil's ability to read.

Pupils become more confident readers and more confident learners as a result.

Pupils, and students in the sixth form, consistently demonstrate excellent attitudes to learning. Leaders place great emphasis on politeness.

This has been highly effective. Pupils throughout the school are polite, sensible, mature and articulate. The school is calm during lesson times and at social times.

Most pupils enjoy school and attend regularly. A minority do not. Disadvantaged pupils are disproportionately represented in this minority.

Leaders are taking appropriate steps to address this key priority.

The school's work to promote pupils' wider development is effective. The curriculum contains a comprehensive programme of personal, social, health and economic education.

The school's previously rich programme of enrichment activities has suffered because of COVID-19. It is being reintroduced now as restrictions allow. Careers education is strong in the school.

Governors have appropriate expertise. They are committed to the school, and they ensure that it has a clear vision that 'only the best is good enough'. However, they have been less successful in communicating the school's key priorities for improvement.

This means that they are less effective than they could be in holding leaders to account.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The school has a strong culture of care and keeping pupils safe.

Pupils, parents and staff say that pupils feel safe in school. Inspectors agree.

Staff know how to spot the signs that pupils might need extra help.

They readily pass on their concerns to leaders, who deal with these in a timely manner. The school provides high-quality pastoral support that pupils value. Much of the support for pupils is provided by school staff.

However, leaders understand when to involve outside agencies and they do so appropriately. They ensure that pupils get the help they need when they need it.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Governors have not communicated the school's strategy as effectively as they should.

Their strategic plan has too many priorities. Consequently, key priorities, for example improving the attendance of disadvantaged pupils, are lost within them. This means that governors are not able to hold leaders to account for some aspects of the school as well as they could.

Governors should ensure that the school's strategic priorities are clear and that they hold leaders to account for addressing these. ? Pupils with SEND who do not have EHC plans are not consulted sufficiently in drawing up plans for their support. Their parents are also not consulted adequately.

Consequently, the support provided to pupils is not informed well enough by the views of pupils and their parents. Leaders should ensure that pupils with SEND and their parents are fully involved in developing and reviewing the support the school provides.


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

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in May 2013.

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