Inspectors full of praise for Longridge Towers

Ian McCreath and Tim Manning. Ian McCreath is to retiring as Chair of Governors from Longridge Towers
Ian McCreath and Tim Manning. Ian McCreath is to retiring as Chair of Governors from Longridge Towers

LONGRIDGE Towers School, near Berwick, has an excellent curriculum that well meets its aim to educate the whole person.

That is the key judgment from the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the independent schools equivalent of Ofsted, which visited and inspected the school last month.

The inspection team rated the school as good with many excellent and outstanding features.

Headmaster Tim Manning said he was delighted with the report which helped confirm the ethos and character of the school.

He said: “For us, an inspection enables us to improve where necessary, and highlights the successes which we have achieved since the last inspection.

“For example, our report highlights the way we have addressed school leadership. Leadership at the school is now described as outstanding.”

The report congratulates the school for study programmes which are broad and appropriate to the pupils’ needs. Across the whole school, pupils achieve well.

It sees its enrichment programme of activities as excellent and popular, giving pupils opportunities to show a range of skills and achievement in sport, music and much else. Committed and effective teaching and coaching are a major contribution to the pupils’ success.

Teaching throughout the school is broadly described as good, also with some outstanding features.

Throughout their visit, inspectors found a positive learning environment that values mutual respect, independence, consideration and personal responsibility.

They rate the quality of the pupils’ personal development throughout the school as outstanding. Children enjoy taking on responsibilities at a young age inside a happy community where they feel valued, safe and supported. Pupils’ behaviour and manners are impeccable.

The report describes boarding at Longridge Towers School as excellent. The boarding element has a marked influence on the ethos of the school. It has an effect on the shape of the day and strongly supports the sense of community in the school, as well as enhancing its cultural mix. Pupils say that they feel part of a multinational family within the school.’

Development recommended for the future includes continuing to apply the new management and monitoring framework, which was launched at Longridge Towers in 2010, to strive for consistency in all teaching, learning and marking, mainly in the senior school. Recommendations also include always sharing best practice and improving the quality of learning support for weaker and gifted students.

In approximately two weeks a full copy of the report will be available on the Independent Schools Inspectorate website (isi.net) and on the school website www.lts.org.uk.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) arranges and carries out the inspection of any school which wishes to be accredited by the Independent Schools Council (ISC), thus enabling its head to become a member of one of the ISC’s affiliated associations of schools. The ISI also inspects every school whose head is already a member of one of these associations. At Longridge Towers School this association is SHMIS.

The ISI inspects schools according to a standard framework for inspection which it has laid down for the purposes of ensuring that standards are maintained and that the school complies with relevant legal requirements. This framework has been agreed with the DCSF and they have recognised the ISI as the body responsible for the regular inspection of schools in England which are affiliated to the ISC.