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As an independent boarding school, Shiplake College is visited by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) to ensure that we are meeting statutory requirements, including the Independent Schools Standard Regulations and the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools. Schools may go up to six years between a Standard Inspection, if regulatory requirements are judged to be at least ‘good’ in all aspects.

The current types of inspection are educational quality inspections (which include a focused compliance inspection) and regulatory compliance inspections. Educational quality inspections report on the two main outcomes for pupils: achievement and personal development. Reporting is with reference to contributory factors such as the curriculum, teaching and pastoral care. Regulatory compliance inspections report on a school’s compliance with the Independent School Standards Regulations, and where applicable the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Previous inspection types included integrated inspections, standard inspections and interim inspections.

Please see below for more information about recent inspections at Shiplake College.

ISI Compliance and Educational Quality Inspection, May 2022

It is with great pleasure that we share with you the report from our recent ISI inspection. The key findings show that we meet all the standards in the Regulatory Compliance and that both achievement and personal development have been judged as 'excellent'.

The quality of the pupils' academic and other achievements is rated as excellent

  • Pupils make excellent progress, often exceeding expectations in relation to their starting points
  • Pupils achieve highly in a range of areas including within the arts, academic subjects and sports, particularly rowing
  • Pupils' information and communication technology (ICT) skills are extremely accomplished
  • Pupils have excellent communication skills

The quality of the pupils' personal development is rated as excellent

  • Pupils display a very high degree of self-confidence and resilience
  • Pupils are highly aware of right and wrong and understand the impact of their own actions on others
  • Pupils' collaboration skills are excellent, and they work towards shared goals very naturally
  • The extent to which pupils know and understand how to stay safe and physically and mentally healthy is excellent

This is the highest possible rating that an independent school can achieve within the ISI framework. The inspection also served as a 'material change visit' to assess our proposal to increase our capacity (over the next five to ten years), as we begin to welcome girls into Year 7 from 2023. The visit confirmed that this has been approved.

ISI Inspection Report

The inspection was an incredibly rigorous process but the Reporting Inspector and the team appeared to enjoy their time in the College, immersing themselves fully in Shiplake life, attending lessons and activities and speaking to many groups of pupils. The inspectors commented on how pupils make excellent progress, achieve highly in a range of areas, have extremely accomplished ICT and communication skills, display a very high degree of self-confidence and resilience and demonstrate high levels of social awareness. Our thanks to all Shiplake staff for the huge amount of preparation and their contribution to the successful inspection outcomes. 

We urge you to read the report in full as it sums up what makes Shiplake so special. It is a terrific endorsement for the College.

Schools are requested not to alter the appearance or content of the report, including redesign, but may publish excerpts, so please enjoy just some of the standout quotes in the gallery below.

Flickr album: ISI Inspection Quotes 2022 | Height: auto | Theme: Default | Skin: Default Skin


The quality of pupils' academic and other achievements is excellent... the quality of the pupils' personal development is excellent.
ISI Inspection, May 2022