8 June 2023
During their three-day visit, ISI inspectors observed a variety of lessons, extra-curricular activities, form meetings and assemblies in both schools, meeting pupils of all ages and examining samples of their work. They also spent time talking with Governors, canvassed the views of parents, staff and pupils through a questionnaire, and reviewed a host of documentation provided by the two schools.
The inspectors used these observations to assess the quality of the education provided and the schools’ compliance with various regulatory standards. All of the latter standards were unequivocally met, whilst the inspectors determined the quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements and of their personal development to be “Excellent”.
Key findings from the report were that:
- Pupils attain at exceptionally high levels in public examinations and achieve consistently high levels of knowledge, skills and understanding at all ages;
- Pupils are highly articulate and demonstrate excellent communication skills;
- Pupils are highly motivated and have outstanding attitudes to learning;
- Pupils achieve exceptionally high levels of success in diverse extra-curricular activities;
- Throughout the two schools, pupils demonstrate notably high levels of self-confidence, self-awareness and self-discipline;
- Pupils are empathetic, respectful and tolerant; they value and celebrate the school’s rich diversity;
- Pupils’ social development is excellent; they collaborate extremely well to achieve common goals;
- Pupils have an exceedingly strong sense of community, showing a deep commitment to service and contributing positively to the lives of others within school and beyond.
Bolton School’s Head of Foundation, Philip Britton MBE, commented:
“I am delighted that during their visit, the ISI inspectors found such an abundance of evidence to document what we already know to be true, regarding the excellence of the Foundation’s Girls’ Senior and Junior Schools. This outstanding inspection report documents the high academic standards and marvellous extra-curricular opportunities the Foundation strives to provide for its pupils, as well as the remarkable strength of community that exists at both schools.
The successes and achievements outlined in the report are testament to the hard work and dedication of the two schools’ staff and leadership teams – many of whom have only been in post for 18 months or less – reflecting their wholehearted commitment to ensuring every pupil is supported to achieve their potential.”
Lynne Kyle, Head of Girls’ Division, noted:
“I am extremely proud of this inspection report, which perfectly reflects all of the hard work and achievements of the pupils in the Girls’ Division and of my colleagues. I am particularly delighted by the inspectors’ comments regarding the quality of the pupils’ personal and social development, and their recognition of our ‘happy and well-ordered community’, as well-being has been a key focus for the Girls’ Division post-Covid. Our ongoing desire to understand and cater for each pupil’s needs and to develop their individual talents has led to the implementation of a range of new and successful initiatives in our pastoral provision this year, including the creation of The Hive. I am genuinely overjoyed that the inspectors have recognised the positive impact of this work upon our pupils.”
Sue Faulkner, Head of Primary Division (which includes Hesketh House), added:
“I am delighted that the efforts of Carol Laverick and her colleagues have been recognised so fulsomely in the inspectors’ report. The inspectors’ observation that our Junior Girls’ pupils ‘develop a depth of understanding which is often well beyond that expected of their age’ is testament to their collective dedication and commitment, whilst the inspectors’ recognition of the positive impact of the ‘Hesketh House Habits’ – curiosity, creativity, compassion, collaboration, commitment, challenge, communication and celebration – upon the girls’ academic and social development, is also particularly heartening.”
Ian Riley, the Foundation’s Chair of Governors, concluded:
“I am incredibly pleased that the ISI’s inspectors found both the Girls’ Division and Hesketh House to be wholeheartedly achieving the Bolton School Foundation’s wider aim, which is to develop self-confident young people equipped with the knowledge, skills and attributes to allow them to lead a happy and fulfilled life and to make a difference for good in the wider community.
For over a century, Bolton School has been a key driver of social mobility in the town, enabling generations of local children to achieve their full potential. The inspectors’ comments upon the diversity of our pupil community, which, through the impact of our bursary scheme, includes young people from a wide range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds are therefore a point of particular pride to us all, as too is their recognition of the ‘outstanding contribution [pupils] make to the lives of others, both within school and in the local community’.
On behalf of the entire Governing Body, I would like to pay particular tribute to Philip Britton, MBE, Head of Foundation, Lynne Kyle, Head of Girls’ Division, Sue Faulkner, Head of Primary Division and Carol Laverick, Head of Hesketh House, whose outstanding leadership of the two schools has resulted in this exceptional inspection report and whose dedication to their pupils and colleagues is evidenced throughout.”