Highest Possible ‘Excellent’ by the ISI

Derby High School

Derby High School is delighted to announce that it has been given the highest possible ‘Excellent’ rating following a full inspection from the Independent Schools Inspectorate in January.

The inspection was focused on the pupils’ academic and other achievements, as well as their personal development, with the school being found to be excellent in every category.

After a three day rigorous process of interviewing staff and students, surveying parents and observing classes and daily life at the school, the inspectors commented that pupils at Derby High “develop an excellent range of knowledge, skills and understanding across all age ranges throughout the school, well supported by the strong school-wide culture of respect and nurture”. In addition they noted that “attitudes to learning are exemplary, demonstrating excellent initiative and independence, both individually and collaboratively”. As a consequence pupils “make excellent progress across the school, attaining A level grades significantly higher than expected for those of their ability.”

Along with excellent academic results at GCSE and A level, Derby High prides itself on being a supportive and nurturing school with exceptional pastoral care and this was recognised by the inspectors. The report concluded that “excellent moral awareness is deeply embedded into the ethos, values, policies and behavioural practices within the school; pupils readily take responsibility for their own behaviour and have a clear awareness of right and wrong,” and commented on pupils being “mature, insightful and perceptive beyond their years”. The inspectors remarked on “an excellent sense of community and responsibility towards others” and observed that “pupils are extremely tolerant and caring, and show sense and sensitivity to those from different backgrounds and traditions.”

Derby High Pre-School
Derby High Sixth Form Support With UCAS

You will find more detailed observations and conclusions by the Inspectors in Section 4 of the report under the heading “Educational Quality Inspection”.

Section 2 entitled “Regulatory Compliance Inspection” is written in formal language where the 8 categories of standards inspected represent minimum requirements and judgements are given simply either as met or as not met. I am pleased to report that “the school meets the standards in the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, and relevant requirements of the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, and associated requirements, and no further action is required as a result of this inspection”.

Section 3 “Recommendation with regard to material change request” refers to our application to the Department of Education to have permission to increase the maximum number of pupils to 665. Following a comprehensive assessment of facilities and resources, even before our planned new building work, the Inspectors concluded that “the leadership and management have prepared thoroughly for the proposed material change” and have agreed to the change with immediate effect. We will of course continue to ensure that class sizes remain low.

To receive “Excellent” ratings for both pupils’ achievements and personal development is testimony to the hard work and ongoing commitment from all the staff at Derby High as well as the students’ positive attitude to learning.

ISI Report January 2023 – read the full report here.