The inspection of a school under Section 48 (S48) of the 2005 Education Act, provides an independent external evaluation of its effectiveness as a provider of Catholic education and a diagnosis of what it should do to improve, based upon a range of evidence. S48 Inspections, therefore, complement Ofsted Inspections, but should be seen as dealing with matters fundamental to the Catholic school which are not inspected by Ofsted.
The Portsmouth Diocesan Framework for the S48 is a Self-Review and Evaluation of Catholic Education. This framework is designed to assist schools in the process of reviewing the Catholic education which they provide, evaluating its content and planning its future development. It enables schools to systematically assess the nature of their Catholic identity and how effectively their pupils benefit from the curriculum and Catholic character of the school. The Catholic school offers an education which is religious in both its context and content. There is no area of its life or curriculum which is not relevant to its Catholic character. The S48 inspection asesses the school's performance in the following areas:
- The school as a Catholic community
- Curriculum religious education
- Pupils' spiritual and moral development
The inspection takes place every 5 years; here are some of the findings from our 2022 validation:
- St Teresa’s is a school which truly lives out its mission statement; ‘Safe, happy and successful together with God’, with every member of the school community exemplifying a Christian witness, which permeates the whole community.
- There are excellent links in place with the parish of Corpus Christi. The parish priest is extremely supportive of everyone at the school and welcomes the whole community into the church without exception.
- Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding. The children are kind, courteous and friendly with each other, the staff and visitors. They have a keen sense of right and wrong, underpinned by a maturing understanding of Gospel values and they consistently demonstrate this through their very positive relationships.
- Many of the pupils at the school come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. The school welcomes all such pupils and their families and this diversity is a cause of celebration.
- The moral development of the children is outstanding; the pupils’ behaviour and attitudes are excellent and they are keen to express their love of the school. During the validation one child stated ‘The teachers here all make you shine!’
- Parents are very grateful of the school’s provision and the way that their children are looked after. One summed up the general feeling by stating ‘The school is extremely good at teaching the Catholic Faith to their pupils and they are very passionate about our whole community coming on that journey. It's clear that the school has a clear strategy to grow and develop our Catholic community in Wokingham and be instrumental in this change.’
- During prayer and liturgy the pupils’ behaviour is exemplary and they have an obvious respect and veneration for God. The children express this in varied ways and with great enthusiasm and at the time of validation their singing in particular was inspiring.
- School governors are keen to understand the strengths and development points in the school and regularly visit the school, observe practice and to talk with senior leaders.