The OFSTED inspection at Westside was carried out at the beginning of 1996 over a period of five days. At the time the school had 364 boys and girls on roll, aged 5-11. Westside is a Roman Catholic voluntary-aided primary school serving four Roman Catholic parishes. Approximately 18 per cent of the pupils came from non-Catholic homes. The report noted that:
Forty-three pupils [12 per cent] are on the school's register of special educational needs. The pupils are predominantly from white, ethnic backgrounds. Ten per cent of pupils are from dual heritage homes. The pupils come from a wide range of social backgrounds. Thirty-eight [10 per cent] are eligible for free school meals. The school occupies two sites, two and a half miles apart. The main site is in a relatively prosperous area in the [city] centre…and the annex is in a residential suburb [equally relatively prosperous]…The deputy head is based on the main site and there is a teacher-in-charge at the annex. The school's mission statement emphasises the purpose of Catholic education. The school aims to provide an education for children by which their whole lives may be inspired by the spirit of Christ and which develops the pupils' knowledge of God, the world and themselves.
At Key Stage 1, the percentage of pupils achieving level 2 or above in 1995 was greater than the national average in reading and writing. Based on teacher assessments and tests, the percentage of pupils attaining level 2 or above was 'broadly in line with national expectations'. In science, on the basis of teacher assessment only, the percentage again was 'broadly in line with national expectations'. In assessments at Key Stage 2, the percentage of pupils reaching level 4 (the level to be expected for pupils of this age) or above, on the basis of teacher assessments and tests, was 'well above the national average' in English and mathematics. In science, on the basis of teacher assessment and tests, it was 'broadly in line with national expectations'. The report went on to comment that pupils under five 'are attaining good standards in reading and writing' but 'attainment through structured play is underdeveloped in both classes' (1996:9, emphasis added). The report noted further: