The school is regularly inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) who are the body approved by the Secretary of State for Education for schools who are members of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and ISI is also approved to inspect the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
The whole school, from Nursery and Early Years (Kindergarten and Reception) through to Year 11, was visited by a team of seven inspectors over a three-day period towards the end of November 2017. The final report can be found on this page as a PDF file. What follows is a very brief and simple summary: please see the full report (see for a comprehensive account.
Regulatory Compliance Inspection (RCI): there are no judgements made in this area but there is a thorough and detailed inspection in accordance with the regulations of the Department of Education (DfE) and the Independent Schools Council (ISC). In every single area the School is compliant and there are no requirements for further action. (See pages 5-7 of the Report.)
The quality and standards of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): the School is a registered setting with Ofsted and so our youngest pupils within Pre-Prep are scrutinised separately and judged according to Ofsted’s four-point scale; outstanding, good, requires improvement, inadequate (See pages 8-10 of the Report.)
The main school was last inspected in November 2017 with the report issued in January 2018.
"The school is successful in its aim to provide education that extends beyond the purely academic."
Whole school report January 2018
"Generous levels of staffing ensure that standards of care are high and that each child follows a personalised learning programme."
EYFS January 2018
Recommendation for improvement: provide further opportunities to celebrate diversity across the curriculum [school comment: since the inspection, a great deal has already been done – we shall develop further opportunities]
Educational Quality Inspection (EQI): this focuses on the quality of the whole school’s work and focuses on two key outcomes (as below). The ISI terminology for judgements is different from that of Ofsted but remains a four-point scale: excellent, good, sound or unsatisfactory. (See pages 11-16 of the Report.)
The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent.
The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent.
Recommendation for improvement: enable all pupils, particularly the more able, to identify the next steps in their learning by sharing best practice regarding target setting and feedback.
Finally, I want to say that it’s a tremendous privilege working within the Ballard Family and it’s a joy to read in the report how much the inspectors recognised the outstanding qualities of our young people. Many quotations stand out but the following seems to me to be a very appropriate summary:
Whatever their starting point, pupils develop confidence and become determined to give their best. They feel positive about themselves and their places within the school community. Pupils are reflective and have high levels of self-esteem and empathy.