Support and care for young people at Steyning Grammar School’s boarding provision judged Outstanding by Ofsted 

Posted: 6th February 2023

Students and staff at Steyning Grammar School’s boarding provision are celebrating today after receiving a glowing Ofsted report praising the protection of students, student progress and culture of high expectations.

Ofsted recognised the boarding provision’s work to help and protect students as ‘outstanding’ and noted how students feel safe and well cared for whilst at school, with boarders forming positive friendships across year groups. Watch the Boarding Life video for more information about the provision at Steyning Grammar School.

State Boarding Schools are inspected under Ofsted’s Social Care Common Inspection Framework (SCCIF) where the vision, provision and impact of care for students is of paramount importance. The report is SGS boarding provision’s first Ofsted inspection under the new National Minimum Standards (NMS) which came into force in September 2022 and is more rigorous in terms of safeguarding expectations and the impact of how students are cared for.

The report commended Director of Boarding, Mr Tom Leighton, for being regarded as a ‘role model for sensitivity, making people feel important and understanding.’ The inspectors also praised the significant impact that the boarding environment has on educational attainment and the ‘exceptional’ monitoring of boarders’ care and wellbeing.

The report praises the leadership team for having detailed knowledge of each student and ‘suitably challenging ambitions for what they can achieve.’ Whilst the inspectors also recognised that staff have ‘created an environment that is relaxed and flexible but has expectations and boundaries that most boarders accept and follow.’

The report also highlights that:

  • Boarders make significant, sometimes exceptional, progress across education, social and psychological areas of their development.
  •   Boarders greatly appreciate the all-round education they receive and attribute this to the ethos of those who work with them.
  •   Students who are boarders and may have arrived with weaker educational experiences are demonstrating proportionately greater progress than students of the same age who do not board.
  •     Managers and staff know the progress that each boarder is making.

During the inspection, Ofsted also collected parent feedback which highlighted high levels of satisfaction with the boarding provision, including:

  •       100% of parents said they would recommend the school to another parent.
  •       100% of parents strongly agreed or agreed that their child is happy at school.
  •       100% of parents strongly agreed or agreed that their child feels safe at school.

We are keen to celebrate all the positives in the inspection report, whilst being clear that there are areas we still want to work on to improve further. We have reviewed our CCTV procedures and have taken steps to ensure that these issues are addressed together with responding to the helpful recommendations.

Headteacher at Steyning Grammar School, Adam Whitehead, said:

“I am thrilled that Ofsted has recognised our boarding provision’s work to promote students’ relationships, progress and wellbeing, and noted how students feel safe and well cared for. I would like to thank everyone in our local community for their hard work, dedication and commitment to making Steyning Grammar School the superb learning environment it is today. We look forward to continuing to build on the successes already achieved in years to come.”

Chair of Governors, Rod Scott, said:

“We are very pleased with Steyning Grammar School’s boarding Ofsted report today. It highlights the high-quality leadership, student progress, safety, culture and personal development that we are so proud to deliver for students at our school.

“The governors, leadership team and the whole school community are committed to continuing to drive the improvements and successes recognised by inspectors and look forward to doing so.”

Neil Strowger, Trust Leader of Bohunt Education Trust commented:

“Steyning Grammar School has gone from strength to strength since its fascinating beginning in 1614. Today, it is rightly a school with a strong reputation in the local area and well beyond, for delivering high quality education and opportunities to all its students.

“We are delighted that Ofsted has judged the support and care provided to young people as Outstanding in our boarding provision and we look forward to working closely with the school as it continues on its journey.”

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