Epsom College receives ‘excellent’ ratings in ISI report

22 Apr 2013

Epsom College has received a glowing report from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) following an integrated boarding inspection carried out at the end of January 2013.

ISI is a Government-approved inspectorate responsible for the inspection of independent schools. A team of inspectors spent four days at the College during which they examined samples of pupils’ work, observed lessons, visited Boarding Houses and conducted formal interviews with pupils and staff.

They also held discussions with a range of teaching and non-teaching staff, the Chairman of Governors and other Governors, and observed a sample of the co-curricular activities that occurred during the inspection period.

The Inspection team especially acknowledged and appreciated the level of self-evaluation and careful reflection that the College has been through, noting that there is now a clear set of objectives and a strategic direction, based on an effective School Development Plan.

“A strengthening culture of self-evaluation and positive self-criticism is evident within the school. Senior leaders and governors have a sharp awareness of the school’s strengths, weaknesses and areas for further improvement.

“New priorities to guide the next stage of the school’s development have been identified and have benefited from consultation with, and input from, staff and parents. These will form the basis of the school’s new strategic plan.

“Senior staff and middle managers demonstrate a very strong sense of purpose and are clear about strategies and priorities to guide the school’s future development, while ensuring effective implementation of day to day policies and procedures to enhance the welfare and well-being of the pupils,” the Inspectors said.

In their report, the ISI Inspectors concluded that Epsom College is highly successful in fulfilling its mission and achieving its stated aims. They drew particular attention to pupils’ exemplary attitudes to work and the great enthusiasm shown for the subjects they study and the activities they pursue outside of class. “The excellent curricular provision and good teaching, much of which is excellent, contribute strongly to the achievement of these standards,” the report said.

The Inspectors noted the excellent personal development of both day pupils and boarders throughout the school and the highly effective governance and quality of leadership and management at all levels that ensure that Epsom College provides an excellent education for pupils of all ages.

The report found that the school fully meets its aims to provide pupils with a modern and stimulating academic curriculum and to offer a wide range of co-curricular activities that give pupils the opportunity to develop their interests in a variety of contexts.

“Provision for sporting participation is a strong feature of the school and there are myriad opportunities for pupils to take part in music, drama, debating, ballet and other performance activities,” the report said.

The report described the spiritual, social and cultural development of pupils as excellent and moral development as exceptionally strong. The quality of pastoral care was similarly rated excellent, with pupils valuing “the harmonious and cohesive communities promoted by the strong House system, with its sense of family and unity that lies at the heart of the school.”

Also highlighted was the quality of boarding at Epsom College. “Boarders feel valued and have a strong sense of House loyalty, which is promoted by the outstanding support and care received from dedicated boarding staff and tutors,” the report said.

“I am pleased for pupils and colleagues on the outcome of our latest ISI report. To have been rated highly across so many aspects of the inspection is commendable and it provides a strong commentary on the performance and relationship of staff and pupils within this vibrant community,” said Headmaster, Jay Piggot.