Posted: 25th January 2023

Pitsford School were visited by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in November 2022 for a full integrated inspection. The final report has been published and can be found here on our website.

The Executive Summary

The inspection was integrated which means that it examined three things: 1) compliance, 2) academic and 3) personal development.

The inspection found us compliant. For academic we were deemed good with some aspects singled out as ‘excellent’. For personal development we were deemed excellent – indeed, the inspectors were extraordinarily complimentary about the School’s successes.

If you compare this with our previous integrated inspection in 2014, improvements have been secured in every aspect of the school and comparing the two reports makes for interesting and heartening reading.


Overall the inspection team felt that we were more than compliant. As this is overwhelmingly the most common failure for schools, and has seen many other schools fail this year, we were delighted by how satisfied with the school the inspectors were; we are more than ‘compliant’. This was very rewarding to hear as the investment of effort and time over the last few years by everyone in the school was substantial.


Some quotations from the Academic report:

  • Pupils in all sections of the schools are articulate, self-confident and assured in communication, including with each other and adults
  • Pupils have excellent attitude to learning and considerable willingness to participate across all areas of learning
  • Most pupils, in particular the Sixth Form, demonstrate strong initiative and independence in their approach to their learning
  • Pupils achieve well in a range of extra-curricular activities and sporting activities with a number achieving success in national competitions
  • Pupils are adept at reflecting on their learning and felt that failure was an opportunity to improve their learning skills
  • [Students with SEND or EAL] ‘make good progress because they receive well targeted support within the school
  • Many pupils commented on the help and encouragement they receive from supportive, experienced and dedicated staff when they encounter problems and need help with their work
  • Pupils’ achievements in external competitions, in gaining other academic distinctions beyond examinations, and their success in art, music, drama and the arts are excellent across both schools
  • Pupils’ attitudes to their work are excellent and benefit from the very positive teacher-pupil relationships and relatively small class sizes that help support the pupils’ academic success

Personal development

A selection of quotes from the Personal Development report:

  • The pupils are highly successful in achieving the school’s aims to create a supportive and caring community
  • Pupils demonstrate excellent self-confidence and self-understanding and are highly effective with others in achieving common goals
  • Pupils willingly accept responsibility for their actions and demonstrate excellent behaviour
  • Pupils are highly effective in fulfilling their responsibilities and contributing positively to the lives of others within school, the community and the wider society
  • Pupils throughout the school make excellent decisions fully appreciating how their actions can affect both themselves and other people
  • The school is highly successful in meeting its aim to recognise each pupil as an individual. It places a premium on the importance of kindness in its pupils, whilst developing its pupils’ strong personal and moral qualities
  • Pupils of all ages explained to inspectors that they are encouraged to succeed by using a ‘can do’ attitude where it is okay to make mistakes
  • Pupil discussions highlighted the value of the many extracurricular clubs and societies which supported both their sporting and academic progress and in turn raised self-awareness, self-understanding and their own self-belief
  • Pupils across the school were keen to report that their voice is heard by the school council and eco-committees, and that changes happen as a result
  • Children in the EYFS are also good decision makers and are confident about which types of imaginative play activities they wish to pursue as illustrated by a group of pupils studying rockets expressing a desire to have a picnic on the moon
  • The spiritual value of togetherness is highly valued in the school in which year group size means that pupils know each other well
  • The increasing ethnic mix of pupils attending the school and the cultural blend of the pupils… incorporated in the school has significantly contributed to the pupils’ appreciation of different cultures and faiths by the rules that exist for the benefit of the community as a whole and as a result pupils seen during the visit behave extremely well toward each other and treat others, including visitors, with very high levels of respect and consideration

The School, students, staff and parents should be proud that a painstaking, rigorous inspection carried out by the leading and experienced educationalists deemed Pitsford School so praiseworthy – such external validation is a most satisfying endorsement of everything that we do every day.

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