Inspection Report 2015

Ratcliffe College Awarded “Excellent” In Every Category

Ratcliffe College is regularly inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). This is the body approved by the Department of Education for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to Independent Schools Council (ISC) Associations and reporting on compliance with independent school regulations.

Summary of the Report

A team of ten inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate spent four days examining every aspect of school life. Below is a summary of their findings, but you can download and read the complete report at: www.isi.net/schools/6822/

In the first time in Ratcliffe College’s history, the School was awarded “Excellent” in each of the nine categories:

  • Pupils’ achievements and learning
  • Curricular and extra-curricular provision
  • Teaching
  • Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • Pastoral care
  • Welfare, health and safety provision
  • Boarding
  • Governance
  • Leadership and management, including links with parents

The Success of the School

In their findings, the inspectors noted:
“The quality of academic and other achievements is excellent.   Pupils develop excellent knowledge, skills and understanding.”
“The curriculum is appropriate at all stages and offers flexibility which meets the needs of the wide range of pupils in the school.”
“Pupils are willing learners, eager to please and hardworking.”
“They benefit from excellent teaching as a result of clear lesson objectives and strong planning.”
“Relationships between teachers and pupils are excellent.”
“Pupils are mature, articulate and confident by the time that they leave the school.”
“They are supported by excellent pastoral care and excellent provision for boarders.  The school is a safe and healthy place for pupils to grow up, and their welfare is central to the school’s life and work.”
“The governance, leadership and management of the school are excellent, and work together creatively and harmoniously to improve outcomes for pupils.”

On pupils’ achievements and learning:

“The quality of the pupils’ achievement and learning is excellent.”
“The promotion of an ethos of achievement, for example through archiving especially meritorious work, is consistent throughout the school.  As a result, it meets its aims of nurturing the talents of the pupils, and striving for excellence.”

On Curricular and Extra- curricular provision:

“The curriculum meets the needs of the range of the pupils who attend and provides highly effective coverage of all areas of learning.  It supports the aims of the school and makes an important contribution to the high standards which the pupils achieve.”
“Pupils and parents value highly the extra-curricular activities on offer.  The pupils’ success is well recognised and reported to parents.”

On Teaching:

“Teaching across the school is effective in promoting pupils’ progress and supports the aims of the school in helping the young people to achieve their greatest potential and to grow intellectually.”

On Personal Development and Pastoral Care and Boarding:

“The pupils’ social awareness is outstanding; their very strong affection for their school community is profound and was very strongly evident in the pupils’ interviews.  For example, they were drawn into the School as it felt like a family.  Older pupils express very positive attitudes and take seriously their responsibilities.”
“By the time they leave school, pupils’ personal development is excellent, in line with the school’s aims.  They develop their gifts and talents and equip themselves to become responsible and useful members of society.”
“Pupils say that they feel confident about speaking to a member of staff about concerns they may have.  Relationships among pupils are similarly positive.”
“The school is very effective in promoting tolerance and good behaviour.”
“The boarders’ personal development is clearly evident in their confidence, independence and tolerance.  They are very thoughtful of the needs of others. Boarders say that they share a great sense of community.  This sense of community permeates the school at all levels.”

On Governance, Leadership and Management:

“The governors are passionate and committed to the life and prosperity of the school.”
In discussion with inspectors, parents spoke warmly of the “availability of staff and the successful balance between an academic focus and all-round care for their children”.

Headmaster, Mr Gareth Lloyd, said: “Needless to say, we were delighted to be judged ‘Excellent’ in every single category, a remarkable achievement. It is both a true reflection of the exceptional teamwork, collaboration and commitment of all stakeholders, and a just endorsement of the teaching and learning, in the deepest sense, that distinguish Ratcliffe College and the values that we hold dear.  Of course, there is always room for improvement, and under the guidance of the Senior Leadership Team, we shall be addressing recommendations in a timely and appropriate manner.”