"Everyone involved with the school should be extremely proud of what they achieve on a daily basis and the emphasis placed on ensuring everyone is nurtured, cared for and included.... This is a school that is constantly looking at ways to develop and evolve for the benefit of its learning community with a mutual respect and care that is evident across the staff body" (IQM Flagship Review July 2020)

Continually improving Walton-le-Dale is vitally important in the interests of our students, staff, families and wider community.  This page sets out the basic principles of our improvement and gives some information about our current progress and priorities.  Should you have detailed questions, please don't hesitate to contact James Harris, Headteacher, at school.  Email is best - head@waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk

A great education, including excellent examination results

Our School Improvement Plan is summarised by this picture.  3 pillars support a great education, underpinned by supportive structures and systems.  



Priorities 2022 - 2024 - Headteacher presentation here

Our distinctive ethos is at the heart of all that we do.  This is summarised in the ethos statement on the website and in the key phrases:

•    “Learning for Life”.  
•    “We are aspirational for ourselves and for others”.

Our key priorities are to

•    Improve pupil outcomes – especially for those identified as disadvantaged and those with SEND

•    Improve health, wellbeing, workload and environment for staff and students  

The most important ways of doing this will be through

•    Further improving the quality of teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum

•    Continually working to improve the attitude to learning of our students

•    Developing a culture of professional trust and autonomy based on continuing professional development and open professional dialogue.

Success will be measured by

•    Examination results at the end of Year 11

•    Attendance data

•    Internal and external surveys of staff, students and parent/carers.

The reliability of these measurements (particularly attendance and results) as performance indicators was significantly affected by the pandemic.

The Ofsted inspection (March 2022) identified three areas for improvement:  use of assessment, further development of reading and choice of most appropriate teaching strategies.  At the verbal Ofsted feedback, it was said that our direction of travel is appropriate and leadership is good, it is just that insufficient impact is being seen.  

Self-evaluation against the Ofsted framework is carried out on an annual basis and informs this plan.

Key priorities

School improvement planning is therefore is a development of our current approach, rather than a radical overhaul, and the key priorities remain the same….
•    Teaching, learning and curriculum development as the key approach to improved outcomes for all students
•    Wellbeing and mental health support for students and staff
•    Professional development for all staff as the way to improve quality of provision in all aspects of school life
•    Continued engagement with external networks and critical friends to ensure no complacency about provision and establishing best practice

External reviews

As part of our improvement it is essential that we work with experts outside the school to evaluate and inform our progress.  Recent examples include:

  • A rigorous review of provision by Chris Morris, Head of Broughton High School and National Leader of Education.  This took place in 2018 and was followed up by support work from Chris Morris and his team at Broughton.  Chris returned in early March to look at developments in teaching and learning, which were very positive.
  • A review of our provision in Science in October 2021 by Andy Pearson, Secondary Science consultant which followed on from his review in October 2018 - his updated review is very positive.
  • A review of governance by Lorimer Hayes, National Leader of Governance, in the summer of 2019 to ensure that our governance was of the very highest standard.  The report and actions can be found here
  • A review of our provision for students with SEND by Sue Allen, Headteacher of Oakfield High School and College, part of the Aspire Federation, to benchmark our provision against national best practice.
  • A review of our provision for teaching and learning with educational technology - the prestigious NAACEMark (also known as the ICTMark) which was exceptionally positive - you will find the full document below.
  • A review of our provision in Maths carried out in December 2021
  • We work closely with the Lancashire School Advisory Service, drawing upon their expertise with termly meetings.  We worked with with Karen Pomeroy, Head of Penwortham Girls High School, and an associate school adviser, during 2020-21 to review our progress since the last Ofsted report.

All of these reviews have had an impact on our school improvement.