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Ladies' College gets glowing report

Ladies' College gets glowing report

Thursday 12 May 2022

Ladies' College gets glowing report

Thursday 12 May 2022


The new Principal of The Ladies' College said that independent inspectors who visited the school over four days in March were "bowled over by what they encountered at The College".

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) awarded The Ladies' College its highest ranking of excellent in all categories and made only a very small number of recommendations for improvement.

Daniele Harford-Fox, who became Principal after the inspection, told Express that the report published yesterday was "full of superlatives" which reflected the work of her predecessor, Ashley Clancy, and the whole school community.

"I have read a lot of inspectors' reports. The ISI do say excellent quite often. Though this report stands out," said Ms Harford-Fox.

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Pictured: Daniele Harford-Fox, who was appointed Principal very recently, said she could not take credit for The Ladies' College receiving a glowing inspection report but that it confirmed that the College was "an exceptional place".  

"It's not just about conforming and compliance. The inspectors met dynamic, articulate, ambitious, kind and thoughtful girls.

"I think I have come to a school where the culture is already exactly how I would want it to be.

"I'm not sure Guernsey always realises what a gem it has in the College. I think part of my job is to share and communicate what an exceptional College this is."

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Pictured: Inspectors spent four days assessing all phases of The Ladies' College from pre-prep to sixth form.

The inspectors were highly complimentary of students' effort and academic standards throughout the phases of the school, which educates 561 girls between the ages of two and 18, and which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. 

"Pupils’ attitudes to learning are a significant strength and a testament to the school’s successful achievement of its aim to enable pupils to appreciate scholarship. Whatever their ability, pupils are determined to give of their best," said the inspectors.

They found that younger children were "happy, conscientious and purposeful" and "showed tremendous initiative and strong organisational skills" and that secondary-age students had "an outstanding attitude to learning, regardless of ability".

"They are intellectually curious and ambitious to achieve successful outcomes. They show a great thirst for knowledge and a desire to acquire a deeper understanding of difficult concepts. They approach their work with great diligence and enthusiasm, eager to please their teachers because of the excellent rapport they enjoy.

"Pupils’ achievement shows that their ambitions to reach successful outcomes are fully realised, fulfilling the school’s aim for them to be the best they can be. Throughout the school, the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills across all areas of learning is excellent." 

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Pictured: Inspectors commended the aptitude and effort of students inside and outside the classroom.

The inspectors also praised the school's efforts to care for students' pastoral needs and wellbeing.

"Pupils have a strong sense of fairness and not only appreciate the value of kindness but practice it in their everyday lives," they said.

"Pupils are strongly supported by a pastoral team that is available when needed and a curriculum which addresses mental and physical health issues well."

They also said that girls at the school "do not feel self-conscious or fearful" and speak "without inhibition or fear of making mistakes". 

Ms Harford-Fox said: "As someone who fights against the pressure for young women to be perfect or passive, I am delighted to see how brave and dynamic our young women are."

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Pictured: Inspectors made very few recommendations for improvement but identified that some students would benefit from being stretched and challenged more.

The report recommended that the school "may want to consider improving further pupils' investigative and problem-solving skills by ensuring that opportunities to use these are consistently provided across all age ranges and subject areas".

The inspectors also said that "on occasions it was apparent that some pupils needed more guidance" and that "some would make faster progress if they received greater challenge".

"We always have things to learn," said Ms Harford-Fox. "But I think for now I want to take a moment to recognise what a fantastic place the College is. I feel very lucky to be in my new post."

Dr Vanessa Mitchell, Deputy Principal (Pastoral), said: "I was particularly proud that the inspectors noted our pupils are highly accepting of and sensitive to anyone who is in any way different - with their comment that 'extreme views are not tolerated and pupils are very clear that individuals have a right to be who they want to be’.

"I think that speaks to the very special culture and community we have built at The Ladies’ College."

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