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Ashton School without outdoor space for PE or changing facilities slammed by Ofsted

An independent school in Ashton has been criticised by Ofsted after inspectors discovered there were no changing facilities or outdoor space for PE – and a ‘narrow curriculum’.

Greater Manchester Alternative Provision School, which provides education for 11 to 16-year-olds outside ‘mainstream’ education, was told by the education watchdog it did not meet independent school standards. It came after a monitoring inspection at the Blandford Street site on February 7.

The report, published on March 14, highlighted a continued lack of physical and creative education outlets for the students. 

The previous Ofsted inspection in September 2023 found pupils received no physical, technological or creative education at all. Although some effort has been made to find outdoor PE space and changing facilities and art equipment being bought, inspectors believe the school has not gone far enough to meet requirements.

The report read: “At the previous standard inspection in September 2023, the school did not provide pupils with a sufficiently broad curriculum. In particular, pupils did not experience physical, technological or creative education.

“Pupils continue to receive a narrow curriculum when they join the school. The school’s curriculum policy does not make clear the range of subjects that pupils will study at the school.

“Leaders have not put plans and schemes of work in place for physical, technological or creative education. The school has taken some small steps towards providing physical and creative education. 

“For example, a range of art materials has been ordered ready for pupils to use. Also, the school is in the process of arranging physical education (PE) provision for pupils at a local sports centre.”

The school was in discussion with a local sports centre to make use of its facilities at the time of the inspection. According to the school, these arrangements have been finalised.

The report went on to highlight the school’s progress on creating a robust procedure in place for staff to report any concerns about a pupil’s welfare as well as providing fire warden and first aid training to staff. Previously there was no allocated fire warden or trained first aider.

In response to the Ofsted report, headteacher Shane Mahon said: “Since the Ofsted report was published, steps have been taken to address the unmet requirements. They are now fully met.”


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