Ofsted College Accreditation

Ashbourne, like all schools and sixth form colleges, is subject to regular Ofsted inspections. The last inspection was conducted 31 January – 2 February 2018.

This inspection was carried out under section 109(1) and (2) of the Education and Skills Act 2008, the purpose of which is to advise the Secretary of State for Education about the school’s suitability for continued registration as an independent school.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

Outstanding sixth form provision. Good overall effectiveness.

The proprietor and director of studies are dedicated to providing a positive and successful experience of education for all their pupils.

Leaders review policy and practice in response to their own evaluations, as well as to feedback from pupils. They are strongly committed to maintaining high standards and demonstrate a continuous drive for further improvements.

Pupils are motivated by their teachers’ strong subject knowledge and the high-quality teaching they receive. They have a diligent and ambitious attitude towards their studies and achieve very well.
Pupils benefit from an individualised programme of academic and pastoral support. Staff are readily available to help pupils with any difficulties.

Pupils study and socialise well together. They gain in confidence and self-esteem and become increasingly independent in their living and learning. They are well prepared for the next steps in fulfilling their aspirations.

Sixth-form students’ personalised careers guidance and high levels of achievement mean that they take up successfully the higher education courses of their choice.

There are a few inconsistencies in the quality of teachers’ questioning and use of assessment so that the most-able pupils are not sufficiently stretched.

Leaders’ work to improve the attendance of some pupils has been effective. However, levels of pupils’ absence are too high.

New and refined systems, such as those to improve attendance and the role of middle leaders in monitoring the quality of teaching, are in the early stages of having an impact.

The school offers a range of subjects that enable pupils to be well qualified to pursue the courses and careers of their choice. However, pupils’ uptake of extra-curricular activities is low.

The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

Ensure that good practice is shared and is evident consistently across the school by:

  • continuing to develop the strengths in middle leadership so that regular monitoring 
informs whole-school training and support for individual teachers
  • teachers improving their practice where needed in response to leaders’ expectations and feedback the quality of questioning and assessment being of a consistently high standard across all subjects so that more pupils attain the highest grades
  • teachers checking that their explanations are sufficiently clear, especially for those pupils who speak English as an additional language.
  • Embed the new policies and procedures for monitoring attendance so that levels of absence fall swiftly.

    Develop the extra-curricular and personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education programmes so that all pupils maximise their opportunities to pursue interests and activities beyond their academic studies.

    School details

    Name of school: Ashbourne College

    DCSF number: 207/6348

    Unique reference number: 10020765

    Type of school: Other independent school

    Category: Independent school

    Date college opened: 1981

    Age range of students: 13-21

    Gender of pupils: Mixed

    Gender of pupils in the sixth form: Mixed

    Number on roll (full time students): 295

    Of which, number on roll in sixth form: 264

    Number of part-time pupils: Not applicable

    Proprietor: Mr M Hatchard Kirby

    Chair: Mr M Hatchard Kirby

    Head teacher: Mr M Hatchard Kirby

    Annual fees (day pupils): £25, 000

    Telephone number: 020 7937 3858

    Website: www.ashbournecollege.co.uk

    Email address: admin@ashbournecollege.co.uk

    Date of previous inspection: December 2010

    Full Ofsted reports