The school underwent a full ISI inspection in May 2019 as part of the regular cycle of inspections for all schools. The inspection covered all parts of the School including, since we have boarders, our compliance with the National Minimum Standards for Boarding (NMS).
The inspection was conducted in two parts: a Regulatory Compliance Inspection and an Educational Quality Inspection. In terms of the Educational Quality Inspection, inspectors found that the quality of the pupils’ academic achievements was excellent and the quality of the pupils’ personal development was excellent, as outlined in the inspectors’ key findings:
The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent.
- Pupils’ exceptional musical talents are developed highly effectively to enable them to move on to successful careers in music.
- Pupils achieve well above average results in public examinations despite spending less time on academic subjects than their peers in mainstream education.
- Pupils, including those with EAL, communicate well, both linguistically and through their musical performance.
- Disciplined study habits gained through rigorous practice enable pupils to demonstrate strong critical thinking skills which they apply to all their studies.
- Pupils’ attitude to learning is outstanding: concentration, self-discipline, initiative and collaboration underpin all their work.
The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent.
- High levels of confidence and self-awareness are developed by pupils as they progress through the school.
- Pupils display a mature ability to make decisions, particularly about their future career path and what they need to do to achieve their goals.
- Pupils’ exceptional spiritual awareness arises out of their strong connection and response to music as well as opportunities for quiet reflection.
- Pupils are highly supportive of one another and their social skills are highly developed.
- A strong appreciation and respect for the diverse cultures from which they come is evident throughout the pupil community.
In terms of the Regulatory Compliance Inspection, the following standards, including National Minimum Standards for boarders, were all met:
- The standards relating to the quality of education
- The standard relating to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
- The standards relating to the premises and accommodation
- The standard relating to the provision of information and statement of boarding principles
- The standard relating to the handling of complaints
Of the eight ISI Compliance standards and twenty Boarding School standards, the school failed to meet small components of three of these. The inspectors found that, while full-time staff are trained in safeguarding at an appropriate level for their responsibilities, not all visiting staff had completed all of the mandatory safeguarding training at the time of the inspection. The inspectors further noted that in a few cases, the School had not ensured that it followed statutory guidance in ensuring that all staff have a separate barred list check should their criminal records check be delayed; and on occasion some visiting staff were allowed to start work before all references had been received. Finally, inspectors noted that on a very small number of occasions, medical fitness and qualifications were not systematically checked before confirming appointments, and the school’s Single Central Register did not always record the dates when checks were carried out.
As a result, the School has been found non-compliant on those aspects of the standard relating to welfare, health and safety of pupils; and non-compliant on those aspects of the standard relating to the suitability of staff, supply staff and proprietors.
All other aspects of our obligations to ensure the welfare, health and safety of our pupils, and to the suitability of staff, supply staff and proprietors, were found to be compliant.
As a consequence of the inconsistent implementation of our safeguarding and recruitment policies, the standards relating to leadership and management of the school have not been met.
The School’s Senior Leadership Team has now drawn up a comprehensive action plan to ensure that our safeguarding policy is implemented effectively and that our recruitment policy is fully compliant and rigorously implemented at all times, with immediate effect.
20 June 2019
Our Inspection Reports are available to download from the links below.
Also available are the four previous inspection reports, from ISI in 2016, 2013, Ofsted (Boarding) in 2010 and from ISI in 2007.