Letter from the Principal dated 19 November 2018
As you will be aware, the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI) inspected The Royal School on 19-20 September 2018. Their report has now been published and we are very pleased to be able to share it with you.
The School was inspected by ISI under two different frameworks:
- Regulatory Compliance Inspection (RCI) which focuses entirely on standard relating to policies and procedures. This was applicable to the Whole School from Upper Sixth to EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). The National Minimum Standards for Boarding were also inspected as part of the RCI.
- EYFS Framework Inspection for registered settings, which focuses on both regulatory compliance and quality of education. This was applicable to EYFS only.
The RCI is a binary inspection, which means that the School is judged on the standards divided into eight parts and these are either ‘met’ or ‘not met’. The report follows set wording prescribed by the Inspectorate and does not provide quality judgements on the different parts.
As you read through the report, you will find that the Inspectors judged us to be fully compliant in almost all of the parts: those relating to the quality of education provided; the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils; the suitability of staff, supply staff and proprietors; the premises and accommodation; the provision of information and the manner in which complaints are handled. We were also judged to be fully compliant in relation to Schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010, which relates to non-discrimination and equality of opportunity in schools. However, we were not judged to be fully compliant in Part 3 which relates to welfare, health and safety, due to a very small number of discrepancies in the administration of three of our pre-employment checks. This non-compliance also impacted upon Part 8 relating to leadership and management, which, as a result, was also not found to be fully compliant.
Please let me reassure you that before the inspection was concluded, all pre-employment checks were complete; a late, but glowing, reference had been returned and the very few missing prohibition of teaching and management checks were in place. No pupils were ever endangered as the member of staff whose reference arrived late was fully DBS checked and was supervised at all times and was never left alone with the children. In addition, none of our staff are on the list of those prohibited from teaching or management.
Following the inspection, we have put in place an action plan relating to HR pre-employment checks. We are confident that this meets regulatory requirements and is suitably robust, now making our pre-employment recruitment process fully compliant.
With regard to the inspection of the registered setting of EYFS, we are delighted that the inspectors recognised the positive developments that have taken place in Little Sailors and absolutely thrilled that they judged the Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment to be ‘Outstanding’ and Outcomes for Children also to be ‘Outstanding’. This is a significant improvement on the last inspection and the teachers, nursery and daycare managers and practitioners should feel rightly proud of their achievements. Unfortunately, the small discrepancies identified in administration relating to our recruitment procedures had a detrimental impact on the three judgements of Overall Effectiveness, Effectiveness of Leadership and Management and Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare, which the inspection team judged to be in the category of ‘Requires improvement’.
Whilst the overall outcome is disappointing, especially to teachers and practitioners who have been proven to be outstanding in their practice, it is important that we keep the negative aspects of the report in perspective. When you read the report on the EYFS, you will see that the negative elements make up a very small proportion of the written content in comparison to the positive observations and comments made by the inspectors. With this in mind, I think it is important for us to celebrate the excellent work, quality of care and attention that goes on in the classroom, whilst behind the scenes action is taken to address the area for improvement, specifically in the business of HR and pre-employment procedures.
I should like to take this opportunity to thank the parents, staff and pupils who responded to the Pre-Inspection Questionnaires and provided the Inspection Team with such positive and honest feedback about the strengths of the School. Should any parents or guardians wish to discuss the contents of the inspection report with us further, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Daunter or myself.
Mrs Anne J P Lynch