Bootham School has just received the findings from its latest school inspection, carried out by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. A team of eleven inspectors spent a full week examining every aspect of the School’s activity, from Early Years Foundation to the minutiae of regulatory compliances.
Headmaster, Jonathan Taylor, said of the report:
It is a thorough endorsement of the work of all the staff at the school, and a recognition of the delightful qualities of the children. While I have serious reservations about the inspection process and methodology, the Report responds clearly to our radical and ambitious educational programme.
What shines through the Report is the praise for the particular qualities of the school and the children. Comments such as: ‘The pupils’ personal development is excellent at all ages. Their spiritual development is outstanding…. They take seriously the need to play their part in working towards a better world, in line with Quaker testimonies….By the time they leave school, pupils have an excellent standard of personal development. Confident, reflective and outgoing, they are very well prepared for the challenges in an increasingly global world.
As we would expect, the academic aspects of the school are highly commended, supported by what is described as the ‘excellent curricular and co-curricular provision’. Boarding, too, is well judged: ‘The quality of boarding is excellent’ and the report goes on to note that ‘the school has engendered a powerful sense of community and there is a high emphasis upon contributing to society.’
For those familiar with the language of Ofsted, it should be noted that ISI’s judgements are classed from ‘excellent’ to ‘unsatisfactory’; there is no use of the word ‘outstanding’ as a category, and there is no single, over-arching judgement of the school. We’re pretty pleased with our ‘excellent’ judgements!