Choosing and assessing schools


Choosing to board is a personal decision for parents to make with their child and the support and advice of the school. Every school is different and we look at ways to assess the schools available.

  • School

    What makes a good school?

    That in a modern and dynamic twenty-first century school there should be broad, if not identical, agreement between the teaching staff and the parents about the ethos and aims of the education on offer amounts to a revolution of stance...

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  • What About Boarding

    What about boarding schools?

    What is the Independent Schools Council? The Independent Schools Council (ISC) is a membership organisation that brings together seven associations and works on behalf of more than 1,300 independent fee-charging schools in the United Kingdom, which educate more than 500,000...

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  • Inspections

    Inspections of accredited independent boarding schools

    All accredited independent boarding schools are inspected under the ISI Inspection Framework which came into force in January 2017. Every three years, the inspection will be a Regulatory Compliance Inspection (RCI) which, in terms of boarding, will inspect the boarding...

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  • Ofsted inspection of boarding schools

    In England, Ofsted inspects all state boarding schools and also those independent schools not accredited by one of the five independent school associations (GSA, HMC, IAPS, ISA, Society of Heads). Unless a school requires improvement or there are immediate concerns,...

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  • standards

    Turning minimum standards into excellence

    Any staff member or volunteer employed or volunteering in a position working with boarders has a job description reflecting their duties, receives induction training in boarding when newly appointed, and receives regular reviews of their boarding practice, with opportunities for...

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  • School visits: questions and answers

    The initial look round is absolutely vital. It is where a parent and their child start to assess whether they fit the environment (and whether it fits them). It is where prospective parents and boarders decide whether they like the...

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  • League Tables

    League tables – just one measure of success

    League tables measure examination performance and, at first sight, it might seem they would and should provide an objective, simple and straightforward measure of academic success. But the first challenge for those constructing and reading league tables is the myriad...

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  • Faith

    Faith in our schools

    It is important to distinguish between majority faith schools where the curricular offering is very much mainstream and the very small minority of establishments where the curriculum is substantially reduced or distorted for doctrinal reasons. Our focus in this Guide...

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  • Governance

    The importance of good governance

    In most independent schools, the governing board appoints the head and will have a major input to the appointment of the bursar or equivalent: these appointments are key to the school’s performance, both academically and in terms of financial viability....

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  • arts

    Specialist schools – arts, drama, music

    Music and dance The Music and Dance Scheme (MDS) is a government-funded scheme to provide support for talented musicians and dancers. You can find out more at www.education.gov.uk. There are nine MDS specialist schools throughout the UK, committed to the...

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