Outstanding! QE sweeps the board in Ofsted inspection

Outstanding! QE sweeps the board in Ofsted inspection

QE has been judged to be ‘outstanding’ by inspectors, with the School gaining this highest-possible rating in all five of Ofsted’s categories.

There is praise for every aspect of the School’s work, from the quality of teaching to the behaviour of pupils, and from the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities through to the work done to prepare pupils for university.

Headmaster Neil Enright said today: “I am naturally delighted with this report. It is a clear endorsement of the School, the quality of the education provided here and the direction in which we are heading.

“While we were quietly confident that the School was in a strong position, it has been 14 years since our last full inspection, and we did not take anything for granted. It is, therefore, deeply satisfying to read the inspectors’ positive verdicts on all facets of School life.

“My congratulations and thanks go to all in the QE community who have made such a marvellous result possible, including the Senior Leadership Team, other teaching and support staff, the Governors, parents, our old boys and our current pupils.”

The seven-page Ofsted report – QE’s first since it became an academy in 2010 and since Mr Enright became Headmaster the following year – gives QE its sixth consecutive ‘outstanding’ grading.

The inspection team gave outstanding ratings for: the quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; leadership and management, and Sixth Form provision.

The team of five inspectors visited a sample of subject lessons across the curriculum, while conducting a more in-depth inspection of five subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Technology and History. This ‘deep dive’ included holding meetings with teachers and pupils, visiting lessons and reviewing boys’ work. The inspectors also looked at the responses to Ofsted’s own surveys of the views of pupils, staff and parents.

Lead Inspector Annabel Davies and her team began their report with this summary: “Pupils flourish at Queen Elizabeth’s School. They love to learn. Pupils are happy and safe. They take great pride in their work. Pupils are determined to succeed in all aspects of their school life and are ambitious for their futures. Leaders ensure that pupils study a broad range of academic subjects. They make sure the highly academic environment of the school is also a nurturing one.” Borrowing from the language of the School’s mission (“to produce young men who are confident, able and responsible”), the report’s opening paragraph concludes: “Leaders strive to develop pupils into confident, able and responsible young people.”

The section headed What does the school do well and what does it need to do better? does not, in fact, mention any areas in which QE ought to improve. Instead, it notes approvingly that: “School improvement priorities are ambitious. Leaders and governors are determined to improve the school’s work. They engage staff, pupils and parents in evaluating the school’s current provision and in making plans for the future.”

Mr Enright said: “We were so encouraged to read an independent assessment that is not only highly positive, but which also recognises the breadth of education provided here and our determination to keep moving forward in line with the objectives set out in our current School plan, Building on Distinction.”

The inspectors also rated QE’s arrangements for safeguarding as ‘effective’ – a category for which the only possible outcomes are ‘effective’ or ‘ineffective’. The report states: “Staff are acutely aware of the pressures that pupils in the school may face. They prioritise teaching about mental health, managing stress and online safety…The school teaches them the importance of respecting others.”

Among many other highlights, the report includes the following:

  • “The behaviour of pupils is exemplary.”
  • “The school has a strong sense of community.”
  • “The school’s curriculum is academic, broad and balanced…[It] is highly ambitious in all subject areas. Pupils regularly complete work that goes far beyond what would normally be expected for their age.”
  • “Teachers are experts in their subjects. They check pupils’ understanding throughout lessons…They swiftly support pupils to catch up if they fall behind. They also offer a range of clubs and competitions for pupils who excel. These are popular with pupils. Élite clubs in mathematics, robotics and cricket are particularly noteworthy.”
  • “Leaders have high ambitions for all pupils. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities achieve exceptionally well here.”
  • “Leaders place great importance on pupils’ personal development. They ensure that pupils gain a deep understanding of the issues that affect wider society.”
  • “The school’s curriculum enrichment is extensive.” This section goes on to list diverse examples of lunchtime clubs – medical society, forensics, chess and drama clubs – while also noting pupils’ involvement in extra-curricular and competitive team sports.
  • “Teachers help pupils to develop sophisticated skills in analysis, evaluation and research. This supports pupils to be ready for their next stage of education.”

The report may be read in full here.