The most recent Ofsted inspection of Sale Grammar School was carried out by two of Her Majesty's Inspectors during November 2006. The Inspectors met with the Headteacher, senior managers, governors, staff and students. They visited a range of lessons and observed students' conduct at break and lunchtime. The Inspectors scrutinised a range of documentation and over 400 questionnaires completed by parents.
The result - Sale Grammar School is an 'Outstanding' Grade 1 school.
This is an outstanding school. The visual arts specialist status permeates all aspects of the school and has been used as a vehicle for continually moving the school forward. Students are happy in the school, make good progress and reach very high standards at the end of each Key Stage. However, there is still scope for the most able boys to do even better, building on the improvement in progress already seen this year. Teaching is effective and students respond keenly to the high levels of challenge. The setting of targets and assessment processes are good and are being further developed. The personal development of students is outstanding.
The curriculum is excellent and strongly reflects the school's specialist status. It supports students in achieving their aspirations and prepares them well for the next stage of their career. The extra-curricular activities are a strength of the school and all students speak very highly of them. There is a very wide range and a large number of activities are linked to the visual arts. There is excellent care, guidance and support for students, particularly when students join the school in Year 7 and when they progress from Year 11 into the sixth form. Attendance levels are very high and students feel safe and well cared for.
Leadership and management are excellent. This is a school that knows itself well. There is a strong focus on priority areas and the positive impact of management actions can clearly be seen, for example, in the improved results in 2006. Self-evaluation is well established and enables the school to make accurate judgements about its provision. A very small minority of departments are not performing at the expected high level. Managers are aware of this and are working hard to help them improve. Weaknesses from the last inspection have been tackled effectively and the school is strongly placed to improve further. It provides excellent value for money.