Brighton school inspection report shows highest grading possible in every category

Pupils from Brighton College Pre-Prep celebrate top marks for their school

Pupils from Brighton College Pre-Prep celebrate top marks for their school - Credit: Archant

Brighton College has achieved the very rare and highly sought-after “exceptional” grading in a report published this week by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) which also talks of a “philosophy of kindness” that is embraced by the pupils.

The Eastern Road school was inspected by the ISI, the independent school sector equivalent of OFSTED, before the half term break when a team of 13 inspectors visited to rate every aspect of pupil life.

After interviewing 120 pupils, interviewing 46 staff, observing 116 lessons and analysing 1396 questionnaires over four days, the ISI pegged the quality of the pupils’ achievement and learning in the “exceptional” category. This is the one area of school life where this accolade can be achieved.

The other eight categories that were scrutinised, including spiritual, moral, social and cultural life and pastoral care, each were graded “excellent”, the highest possible score.

Beyond scholastic accolades, the report found pupils to be “mature and articulate”, with their academic success combining with “self-deprecating humour and courtesy”. Girls and boys were “well educated, tolerant and intellectually curious”.

At the same time, Brighton College’s Prep and Pre-Prep schools were also inspected and scored a clean sweep of “excellent” gradings across the board. Due to the fact that these two schools do not do public exams, such as GCSEs or A-Levels, the prep and pre-prep schools cannot be ranked “exceptional”, as there is in no benchmark for achievement to be compared.

Inspectors at the pre-prep school remarked on the teachers’ abilities to “enthuse pupils with a love of learning” in the younger years, making them “secure, happy and active learners”.

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At the prep school, inspectors said “the pupils’ creativity was excellent”, and that they enjoyed a curriculum that was “rich in content, balanced and exciting”. Moreover, “a high level of personal attention [is] given, which helps pupils to fulfil their potential and gain in confidence.”

Brighton College headmaster Richard Cairns said: “I am obviously delighted for the boys, girls, teachers and support staff who work so hard to ensure that this school is the special place we believe it to be. This is first and foremost their achievement. Inspector after inspector commented on how delightfully positive the boys and girls here are, and how warm are the relations between teachers and pupils.”

Prep school headmaster Harry Hastings added: “I know that BCPS is a fabulous school with wonderful pupils, thoroughly professional and dedicated teachers, and supportive parents all round. But having this confirmed by an extremely experienced inspection team makes me even more delighted.”

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