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ISI Reports

EQI 2019 and RCI 2022

The inspection is broken down into two components: A Regulatory Compliance Inspection (RCI) and an Educational Quality Inspection (EQI).

At the end of September 2022, the school was inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). It was a Compliance Inspection (CI) which focused entirely and exclusively on whether the School met the regulatory requirements of the inspectorate. In January 2019 Blundell’s had an Educational Quality Inspection (EQI) which looked at both the regulatory requirements as well as the quality of the educational experience of pupils.

In the CI report below you will see that there were aspects of the regulations that the School failed to meet. Specifically, there were administrative issues with the Single Central Register (SCR), the database that records all aspects of recruitment in schools. Being an educational setting, the regulations for recruitment are understandably very stringent. The SCR did not have the required level of evidence to meet the regulatory standards in several areas as you will read in the report. This is a great frustration to us because the inspectors were effusive in their praise of the school and the experience that pupils have at Blundell’s. In fact, the inspectors told us that the response from parents in the questionnaire that they completed were extraordinarily positive. Due to the importance of the recruitment procedure in schools, a lack of rigour in the SCR automatically triggers a failure in THREE of the EIGHT parts that are inspected: PART 3: Welfare, health and safety of pupils, PART 4: Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors, and PART 8: Quality of leadership in and management of schools. The report goes into more granular detail regarding the shortcomings in our procedures and I would like to reassure you that Blundell’s has already addressed all the action points set out in the report, some before the inspectors had even left the site. I have absolute confidence that the School has now introduced a revised procedure that is rigorous, robust, and secure.

The Governance Committee of the Governing Body is reviewing the inspectors’ findings, the school's action plan and its own oversight process, to ensure that the issues that have been highlighted do not recur in future. I also want to reiterate that the issues were predominantly of a procedural nature and whilst I do not intend to minimise the seriousness of these, I do want to reassure you that at a material level, pupils have never been at risk. Nonetheless, these are important matters, and our failure in compliance is a bitter disappointment to all of us who carry responsibility for the school and for the safeguarding of pupils here.

We will learn from this, and we look forward to a return visit from the inspectors when they will expect to see their action points addressed to their complete satisfaction. This term I have spoken to the school on numerous occasions about resilience and we emphasise the importance of how we respond when things go wrong. It’s time for us to put that into action: we are determined to learn from our mistakes, to embed the very best practices, and to get on with the job of inspiring and educating our pupils.

Mr B. Wielenga
Head
Blundell's School

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