ISI report highlights KEHS “culture of scholarship underpinned by sensitive pastoral care”

King Edward VI High School for Girls is celebrating the publication of an exceptional ISI report that shines a light on all parts of the wide-ranging education it offers to its pupils.  

Pupils are praised as “enthusiastic learners who take pride in their work and are keen to do well” and are described as being “extremely proud of their school”.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), which visited the school in October, reports that school leaders are “committed to ensuring that pupils find joy in their learning and that pupils realise their full academic potential” and that a range of academic initiatives aimed at developing scholarship and encouraging independent thinking have been well received by pupils.

Extra-curricular provision comes in for particular praise, being identified as a “significant strength” of the school, enabling all pupils to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding across a wide range of activities. The ISI rarely ascribes a significant strength in its reports, and the bar is set extremely high – any such provision must result in clear, demonstrable and highly-beneficial impact for pupils.

The active promotion of the wellbeing of pupils is a thread that runs throughout the report.

KEHS was one of the first schools to be inspected under a new ISI framework. The ISI no longer gives single-word judgements, but instead looks at whether its standards have been met in the following areas, and provides commentary to support its findings:

  • Leadership and management, and governance
  • Quality of education, training and recreation
  • Pupils’ physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Pupils’ social and economic education and contribution to society
  • Safeguarding.

KEHS was found to have met the standards in all areas.

The House system, form prefects, anti-bullying ambassadors, an independent study programme (Athena) and a Lower Fourth homework initiative are among the areas of school life highlighted in the report.

Findings referenced in the ISI report include:

  • In consultation with school leaders, governors have created an ambitious school development plan with clear strategic targets. These are linked directly to the school’s aims of enabling pupils to experience joy in their learning, to develop strong character and to inspire the confidence to serve others.”
  • “Leaders and managers provide pupils with an education which is challenging, wide-ranging and meets their needs. Leaders actively promote the wellbeing of pupils by creating an academic culture of scholarship underpinned by sensitive pastoral care.”
  • “Teachers have good subject knowledge, plan well and convey clear expectations. As a result, pupils respond positively and learn effectively.”
  • “All pupils make good progress and attain grades at GCSE and A level above those expected for their starting points.”
  • “Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) make progress in line with their peers as a result of the individual support offered by the learning support team and by their subject teachers.”
  • “Leaders have created a culture where pupils from diverse backgrounds mix well and respect and value each other’s cultural heritage and identity so that pupils enjoy positive relationships with their peers and with staff.”
  • “High expectations from leaders and staff ensure that pupils are quick to settle, eager to engage and very well behaved. Pupils are encouraged to be highly articulate. They communicate clearly in class and in their written work.”
  • “All pupils are involved in extra-curricular activities. Participation is viewed as a natural and healthy complement to academic work.”
  • “Relationships among pupils and between pupils and staff are extremely positive. Recent initiatives by school leaders to promote stronger relationships between year groups have been successful.”
  • “Pupils are keen to serve the school community in a variety of ways… Pupils of all ages run or help to run clubs and societies, developing teamwork and their ability to manage others tactfully and successfully.”


Kirsty von Malaisé, KEHS Principal, said: “We are delighted to have received such a positive ISI report. The inspection team had been glowing in its verbal feedback immediately after the inspection, and to now see the findings in writing, and to be able to share them with the whole school community, is a moment of tremendous pride. An inspection is a huge undertaking and I want to thank everyone – governors, staff, pupils and parents – who contributed to our preparations and welcomed the inspection team so warmly.

“We are pleased that the report recognises the balance between all parts of school life, and that not only were our students found to excel in their studies and contribution to the school community, but to the wider community outside of KEHS too. It is also a matter of particular honour that our extra-curricular provision has been identified a ‘significant strength’. The ISI rarely designates a significant strength in its reports. Only one can be ascribed per school, and the bar for this is set extremely high. It is testament to the enthusiastic contribution of pupils and staff that our extra-curricular programme has been rated thus.”

The full report is available at

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