On 27-28th September 2016 we received a scheduled inspection from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).
This was a two day regulatory compliance (as opposed to a quality of education) inspection carried out by a team of three inspectors. During their visit the inspectors held a range of meetings with staff, pupils and governors, and scrutinised a sample of pupils’ work. They observed a number of lessons across the age range and analysed school policies and practice.
As indicated above, such inspections do not make qualitative judgements on the school, but rather assess us against the independent school standards we are required to meet. These standards fall into eight areas which are outlined in the report. The final report from ISI found Hulme to be fully compliant in all areas.
It is the nature of regulatory compliance inspections that the wording in the reports is generic. However, what was not generic was a number of positive comments the reporting inspector made to me during the inspection:
- He commented that the pupils the inspectors met were impressive. They expect to find pupils who are loyal about their school when meeting inspectors; but even allowing for this, the students’ sense of pride in their school was striking.
- He noted the professionalism of the staff they met on their visit and the warmth of welcome they received.
- When discussing the results of the parental survey issued at the beginning of the process, he said that he had never seen such high levels of parental satisfaction on a survey.
- The reporting inspector commented that he felt the character of the school to be typified by “belonging, ethos, and family atmosphere”. A copy of the report can be found below.