Independent Schools Inspectorate Report January 2015

Message from John Green, Headmaster

IMG_0485 2webSeaford College had its inspection in November 2014 and the full report will be available on the ISI website this week. For your information I have attached a summary of the major findings.

After one year of leadership at Seaford I am very pleased with the outcome of my first ISI Inspection. Indeed, it is obvious from the comments in the report that we have, and are, making exciting progress at Seaford by implementing, as the inspectors say, “a clear and ambitious strategy for the school” combined with “high quality management and leadership.” Without question the whole ISI inspection process has become far more rigorous over the past couple of years, with the two top grades becoming more elusive to attain – hence I am really pleased that the report concludes that Seaford is either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in all of the areas assessed by the inspection team.

The main findings state that the quality of academic and other achievements is good; work is fluent, showing particular imagination and creativity in English. Students have well developed Mathematical Skills and produce work of outstanding creative quality in Art and DT. Students achieve a high level in Music and Drama and achieve success in Sport. The report states: “Throughout the school teaching encourages pupils to be happy and engaged in ways that develop their self-esteem,” and students gain the “confidence to tackle new challenges.” The quality of teaching is good: “teaching is lively and enthusiastic in many subjects,” and high expectations are generally set. Seaford provides many opportunities for the more able, gifted and talented to extend their learning outside the classroom.

Since taking up my role as Headmaster, I have always had a clear strategy and direction for what I want to achieve at Seaford. All my team have worked hard to implement the changes necessary to make Seaford a successful, modern and vibrant College. It is always good to have an independent inspection team to evaluate where you are and where you need to be and I’m pleased to say that there were no surprises in the report. We have made significant progress over the past twelve months and I will continue to make the improvements necessary to take Seaford to the next level. The report reflects what we are seeing in our increased student numbers and our waiting lists in certain year groups and boarding. Needless to say I am excited to be leading the College during this period of significant growth and improvement.

As I have stated time and time again, the core of Seaford’s ethos is that students should achieve their personal bests both inside and outside the classroom. The report reflects this and states that, “the contribution of curricular and extra-curricular provision is excellent with CCF and D of E providing leadership opportunities.” Boarding and the leadership and management of boarding are both excellent. In addition, one of the most important aspects in any school is the quality of pastoral care. Therefore, I am delighted (but not surprised) that Pastoral Care was given the top grade – excellent!

Perhaps one of the most heartening parts of the process was the universal and overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents via a questionnaire prior to the inspection. We are all very grateful for such support!

There are only a few recommendations for improvement; I am pleased to say we have already put in place measures to make sure our brightest pupils are extended by the recent appointment of John Doy as Head of Academic Enrichment. Our Assistant Heads of Year now have a clear role to monitor and academically track all pupils carefully via the Challenge Grade system to make sure nobody flies beneath the academic radar. A thorough positive classroom environment strategy has also been recently implemented. With regard to the senior management team, we are currently advertising for a new Director of Studies role which will further strengthen the academic core at Seaford.

Of course this is not the time to sit back and rest on our laurels; we are all determined at Seaford to continue on our exciting journey and to make our ‘strengths stronger’. I am immensely grateful to all staff, both support and academic, for the outstanding work they do to guarantee an excellent all round and inclusive education. Indeed as our school motto states: Ad Alta!

Independent Schools Inspectorate Report SummarySeaford Inspection Report Jan 2015


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