Our most recent inspection by Ofsted took place in March 2018.
Last time Ofsted inspected Finchley Catholic in 2013, it was a Section 5 Inspection, which is a two-day process, looking at the full range of provision a school offers. This type of inspection results in a full report, giving feedback on the variety of areas looked at by the team.
The inspection we had most recently, was quite different. It was a Section 8 Inspection under the new Ofsted framework and so is only a one-day process, aimed at seeing if our school is still good, as it was judged to be in 2013. The Inspection team therefore, do not look at the full range of provision we offer, but check on our already identified areas for improvement, or key lines of enquiry, as well as essential safeguarding practices here at school.
This type of short inspection results in a letter, a copy is available below, which outlines the findings of the Ofsted team.
We are obviously really pleased that the team recognised how strong our safeguarding practice is here at FCHS, as this is our absolute priority. We are also delighted that the very real progress and improvements which have been made in the 6th Form have been recognised, as this was an area identified for further action in the Ofsted report in 2013.
The areas we have been focussing on as a school this academic year are further support for our most-able students and for our disadvantaged students. These two priorities feature heavily in our School Development Plan and were recognised as being appropriate areas for our attention by Ofsted, as you can see in the letter. We absolutely recognise that we have further work to do in these areas before we know they have been fully addressed and it was pleasing to see Ofsted acknowledging the progress we are making in these areas.
The Ofsted team recognised that the good quality of education here at FCHS has been maintained. All staff and governors continue to work relentlessly, to ensure the quality of education and care here at this school goes from strength to strength. We welcome constructive feedback from external agencies such as Ofsted, to help us in our endeavours to continue to improve. Similarly, we always welcome feedback from our parents, to let us know where we can improve or where you think we have done something particularly well.
Please see below some extracts from the 2018 inspection:
"you have established a clear sense of purpose and direction. Governors, parents and carers, staff and the local authority speak positively about your strong leadership."
"Finchley Catholic High School is a welcoming community with positive relationships throughout the school. Morale is high. Members of staff who spoke to inspectors said that they are proud to work at the school. An overwhelming majority of parents...agreed that the school is well led and said that they would recommend the school to another parent. Many commented positively about the high-quality pastoral care the school provides, and said that their child is happy and safe at school."
"Pupils acknowledge the strong levels of support, guidance and care they receive and said that they feel highly valued. They are appreciative that staff will go ‘the extra mile’ to help them beyond their lessons. As a result, pupils have very strong attitudes to learning, enjoy school, attend consistently and behave very well. They are polite and courteous to adults and to each other."
"Attainment for pupils at key stage 4 is much higher than the national average, including in English and mathematics."
"Through strong leadership, effective teaching and assiduous monitoring of students’ academic and pastoral progress, outcomes in the sixth form are now well above the national average across a range of subjects."
"The leadership of safeguarding is strong, as is the scrutiny provided by the governing body."
"You have ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose, and records are detailed and of high quality."
"All pupils that we spoke with during the inspection said that they feel safe in school. They said that bullying is rare and that staff deal swiftly with any that does happen.
Pupils know how to keep themselves safe, particularly online. Parents agree that their children are safe and happy in the school."
"A high proportion of pupils move on to the school’s sixth form after Year 11. Retention rates between Year 12 and Year 13 are high. Leaders and teachers are meticulous in their tracking of students’ progress and are quick to provide academic and pastoral support, where necessary. Students value the high-quality teaching. The majority of students move on to appropriate university courses, including Russell Group universities, and some pursue apprenticeships."
The last Diocese of Westminster report took place in November 2013. This report and other recent Ofsted Reports can be viewed below.
We are very proud of what we have achieved at Finchley Catholic High School and we will continue to strive for excellence.