ISI, the body which inspects all independent schools on behalf of the Department of Education, inspected our school in the last week of the Spring Term. A team of three inspectors spent two full days carrying out a Focused Compliance Inspection, the purpose of which was to check whether the College meets the minimum standards set out in the Independent Schools Standard Regulations and the National Minimum Standards for Boarding. As you will see when you read the report, there are eight parts to the inspection which cover all three sections of the College: Nursery, Preparatory and Senior Schools.
Following changes to government legislation, the inspection model for independent schools changed in 2017. The previous inspection model was revised and independent schools now receive two types of inspection as part of the inspection cycle; a Focused Compliance Inspection (FCI) every three years, as well as an Educational Quality Inspection every six years. As Ratcliffe College received the equivalent of an educational quality inspection in March 2015, where we were judged to be excellent in all categories, we were scheduled to receive an FCI this year. An FCI is a binary process – schools are either compliant and meet a particular standard or they don’t. Therefore, there are no judgements attached to the most recent inspection but there will be for the next inspection in 2021. The inspection report is, therefore, rather bland in its style and content, merely reporting that the College was judged as being compliant in all areas. This is the same for all similar reports in other independent schools. While this is a type of inspection that all schools should expect to achieve compliance, it is very pleasing and reassuring to have this confirmed by ISI.
A great deal of hard work goes on, daily, to ensure that the College is well led and effectively managed so as to meet the appropriate standards in all aspects of the education we offer.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank the staff – teaching and support – the Governors, the Senior Leadership Team, the students and our parent body, for all your support of the College, to ensure that we continue to set the highest standards for our School.
Mr J. P. Reddin