Ofsted Accreditation

Ashbourne was judged as outstanding in all areas in its latest Ofsted report, 2021.

Outstanding in all areas

Ashbourne, like all UK schools and sixth form colleges, is subject to regular Ofsted inspections. The most recent inspection was conducted 7-9 December 2021.

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.

Ofsted rating for Ashbourne College, 2021

Area Rating
Overall effectiveness Outstanding
The quality of education Outstanding
Behaviour and attitudes Outstanding
Personal development Outstanding
Leadership and management Outstanding
Sixth-form provision Outstanding

What is is like to attend this school?

  • Pupils enjoy being part of a diverse community of people from all over the world.
  • Teachers encourage them to be confident and independent, while providing a safety net of support.
  • Staff have high aspirations for all pupils. In return, pupils are ambitious and driven to achieve the best possible results.
  • They receive tailored and individual support with applications to top universities and apprenticeships.
  • Pupils feel safe at school.
  • Their mental health is given high priority.
  • Behaviour is exemplary.
  • Staff do not tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind.
  • Staff provide many extra-curricular and educational opportunities for pupils outside of lessons. These take advantage of the college’s location in central London.
  • Sixth-form students visit museums, art galleries and the theatre as part of their studies.
  • They can choose from a huge variety of lunchtime and after-school clubs.
  • Some of these are subject based to further develop students’ love of learning.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

  • All pupils experience a broad and flexible curriculum.
  • Sixth-form students can choose any combination of A levels, selected from a large range of subjects.
  • Teachers are experts in their subjects.
  • They go above and beyond the examination requirements in lessons. Pupils typically said this makes their learning ‘three dimensional’.
  • Teachers make adaptations to the order in which they teach the examination course. They do this to give pupils the building blocks of knowledge to help them progress to more-complex topics.
  • Staff achieve a balance between encouraging pupils’ independence and offering support.
  • Teachers are always there to help them. They provide subject ‘clinics’ each week.
  • Small class sizes help to ensure all pupils make excellent progress.
  • Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) also benefit from this.
  • Leaders of SEND work with teachers to help them plan for specific needs.
  • Staff work hard to expand sixth-form students’ learning beyond the academic.
  • There is a vast and well-planned programme of enrichment activities.
  • The development of leadership skills is a focus within the school.
  • Many sixth-form students take part in the student council.
  • Students in the sixth form take on mentoring roles to support each other with academic work.
  • Pupils respect the views of others.Their behaviour is excellent. They are polite to each other and to visitors.
  • Lessons have no disruption to learning.
  • Pupils are well prepared for the next stage in their education.
  • They receive expert and individual guidance.
  • Students in Year 13 have a tutor dedicated to the university application process. This helps them gain places at top universities.
  • The proprietor and director of studies work hard to meet legal requirements. As a result, the independent school standards are met in full.
  • Leaders seek ways to make the school better.
  • Leaders are approachable and supportive of staff workload. They provide opportunities for professional development that take teachers beyond their subject areas.
  • Leaders ensure that the school complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010.


  • The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
  • Several staff are mental health first aiders.
  • They know how to recognise issues and provide appropriate help.
  • All staff have had up-to-date training, including for online safety and peer-on-peer abuse.
    They subscribe to the school’s ‘five golden rules’ of safeguarding.
  • The safeguarding policy is published on the school’s website and reflects current guidance.

School details

Name of school: Ashbourne College
DfE registration number: 207/6348
Unique reference number: 100537
Local authority: Kensington and Chelsea
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): 218
Of which, number on roll in sixth form: 202
Number of part-time pupils: Not applicable
Proprietor: Michael Kirby
Head teacher: Michael Kirby
Annual fees (day pupils): £28, 500
Telephone number: 020 7937 3858
Email address: [email protected]
Date of previous inspection: 31 January-2 February 2018

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