The St Thomas the Apostle College


Name The St Thomas the Apostle College
Website http://www.stac.uk.com/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 20 November 2018
Address Hollydale Road, Nunhead, London, SE15 2EB
Phone Number 02076390106
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 935 (96% boys 4% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 11.4
Percentage Free School Meals 24.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 42%

Information about this school

This inspection is a section 8 deemed section 5 inspection due to the addition of a sixth form in 2015. The school is slightly smaller than the average-sized secondary school. The designated religious character of the school is Roman Catholic. The school was inspected under section 48 of the Education Act 2005, on 14.15 November 2013. The executive headteacher is the headteacher of Sacred Heart Catholic School, Southwark. The proportion of pupils who have an education, health and care plan is in line with the national average. The proportion of pupils in receipt of support for SEND is below the national average. The proportion of pupils who are eligible for free school meals is higher than the national average. The proportion of pupils for whom English is an additional language is above the national average. The school does not use any alternative provision.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school The headteacher, executive headteacher and those responsible for governance have an unwavering determination that every pupil will achieve their potential. Leaders have ensured a track record of success since the previous inspection in 2014. The school has maintained exceptionally high standards of pupils’ progress every year. Leaders have an accurate view of how well the school is achieving. They are sharply focused on making what is already excellent even better. Teachers’ high expectations are at the heart of teaching in the school. Current pupils’ progress is extremely strong, including for the most able, disadvantaged and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teachers plan learning that engages, challenges and motivates pupils of all abilities. Pupils learn skills and acquire knowledge in depth and with breadth. Pupils’ attitudes to learning are highly positive. They engage with work set in class diligently and participate in the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities. Pupils behave impeccably in lessons and throughout the school. They are polite, thoughtful and determined to do well. Staff at all levels go the ‘extra mile’ to make sure pupils achieve, feel cared for and thrive within a supportive and productive learning environment. As a result, pupils enjoy coming to school and attendance for all groups of pupils is high. There are excellent arrangements in place to support pupils’ personal development. These arrangements make a significant contribution to developing pupils’ positive and responsible attitudes. The school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding extremely well. Teachers make the most of opportunities to encourage pupils to debate, discuss and reflect on issues of interest. Sixth-form students make above average progress in academic and vocational subjects. Through high-quality support and guidance, the overwhelming majority of students go on to further training or study.