Ofsted Inspection

Ofsted Inspection


Ofsted inspection, March 2015
Dame Catherine Harpur School School was inspected by Ofsted between 17th and 19th March 2015. Following their visit, Ofsted rated the Quality of Teaching as Good and the Achievement of Pupils as Good in their report.

Ofsted identified the following strengths of the school;

  • “Pupils throughout the school make good progress in reading, writing and mathematics, with many achieving high standards. They are well prepared for the next stage of their education.”
  • “Teaching is consistently good, including in the early years.  Staff create a stimulating and exciting environment which inspires pupils to try their best.”
  • “Pupil’s behaviour is good.  Caring and supportive relationships are a particular feature of the whole school community. Pupils are very happy, polite and have very positive attitudes to learning.”
  • “Parents feel that the school keeps their children safe from any harm.  Those talked with praise the ‘family atmosphere’ and feel the school nurtures and looks after pupils well.”
  • “Proprietors, staff and parents care about the school and are determined to provide all pupils with good educational opportunities and the support they need to learn and be successful in their future lives.  This ambition is reflected in the quality of relationships that exist among everyone involved in the life of the
    school, and significantly enhances pupil’s experiences at school.”

  • “A strength of much teaching is the way in which it promotes a richer, deeper and fuller understanding of what was being learned, particularly in reading, writing and mathematics.  Teacher’s questioning is usually highly effective. Teachers link questions to ensure they probe pupils’ understanding of key ideas so that learning is
    reinforced.  Often, such questions elicit mature and perceptive responses from pupils. “

  • “The early years leader has created a culture where children are warmly welcomed in the school and so soon feel safe and happy following entry.  The teaching area provides a rich and exciting environment that engages the children’s imaginations and stimulates their enthusiasm for learning.  All adults working there provide good levels of support and act as positive role models.  Therefore, children learn how to get on well together and settle quickly into its day to day routines.”

However, the school did not meet compliance in some of the newly introduced standards in leadership and management, and as a result the school was judged as Inadequate in its overall effectiveness.

The school took immediate action to rectify these areas of non-compliance and completed an action plan that covers the following areas:

  • New processes have been put in place to evidence that independent school standards have been met.
  • New systems are in place to evidence that school policies and procedure are implemented and reviewed.
  • Risk assessments and safety checks are made and recorded in line with requirements.
  • The membership, roles and responsibilities of senior management team have been reviewed to ensure that statutory responsibilities have been carried out.
  • Staff and head teacher appraisal systems have been reviewed and revised.

We welcome the findings of Ofsted, as they enable us to review and reflect on our processes and enable us to drive forward improvements. Since our Inspection in March 2015 Ofsted approved our action plan and undertook another visit in October. A copy of that report can be found at the bottom of the page but in summary it stated that all of the statutory requirements had now been met. We are awaiting a follow-up full visit before our grading can be revised.

For full report see links below.

Mark Crouch
Chair, Dame Catherine Harpur’s School Senior Management Team
April 2015


Main School Ofsted Page
2017 Ofsted Report
2015 Ofsted Report_OCT update
2015 Ofsted Report
2011 Ofsted Report