What about boarding schools?

About Boarding

What about boarding schools? Barnaby Lenon, headmaster of Harrow School, 1999–2011, and chairman of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) Boarding schools continue to be popular in the twenty-first century, offering exceptional education and extra-curricular activities with round-the-clock pastoral care. The 2018 ISC Census showed that 69,979 pupils board at ISC schools, making up 13.2 per […]


Parents’ guide to surviving the school marketplace


Parents’ guide to surviving the school marketplace Antony Spencer, Principal of St Lawrence College Whenever the time comes to trade in the family car, my whole tribe embarks on the collective project. I start reading car magazines in the barber’s shop, scroll through endless car websites, and my wife – who has only a passing […]


Inspections of accredited independent boarding schools


Inspections of accredited independent boarding schools Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) All English accredited independent boarding schools are inspected on a three-year cycle. This current cycle started in April 2016. If the boarding school is in membership of one of the five independent school associations (GSA, HMC, IAPS, ISA, Society of Heads) and thus accredited by […]


Ofsted inspection of boarding schools


Ofsted inspection of boarding schools Dale Wilkin, Head of Safeguarding and Standards, Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) Much of the material in the previous article Inspections of accredited independent boarding schoolsis relevant to Ofsted’s inspection of boarding schools and I would recommend reading this article as well. The material has not been repeated here as it […]


Turning Minimum standards into excellence


Turning Minimum standards into excellence – Andrew Lewin, Director of Training, Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) The official guidelines for boarding staff in England are in the Boarding Schools – National Minimum Standards (NMS) (revised April 2015). Standard 15.1 identifies the levels of staffing and supervision – in essence the care – that parents can expect: Any staff […]


School visits: questions and answers

School visits

School visits: questions and answers – Adrian Underwood, Education Consultant School visits can take many forms. They can involve meeting the Head or perhaps attending an open day. Whatever the format, the first meeting is crucial so if possible always try to visit a school on a normal day. If it goes well, follow it […]


League tables – just one measure of success

League Tables

Emma McKendrick, Headmistress of Downe House School One of the great joys and benefits of a boarding education is the fact that there is the time and the space to offer a rich array of opportunities which enable young people to grow and develop and explore the person they are. They develop passions and interests, […]


Faith in our schools

Faith in our Schools

Faith in our schools Graham Able, Group Deputy Chairman, Alpha Plus Faith schools have often been – and continue to be – controversial. People opposing faith schools express concerns about the possible indoctrination of developing minds whereas supporters point to the strong moral compass they provide in a world which provides so many temptations and […]


The importance of good governors


The importance of good governors Graham Able, Group Deputy Chairman, Alpha Plus Many parents do not research closely the composition of the governing board when they are considering a school for their child. Yet the role of governors is critical to the success of a school In most independent schools, the governing board appoints the […]


Specialist schools – arts, drama, music


The specialist schools programme is a UK government initiative that encourages secondary schools in England to specialise in certain areas of the curriculum to boost achievement. The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust is responsible for the programme. Currently there are nearly 3,000 specialist schools, or 88% of the state-funded secondary schools in England. The Government […]


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