‘Outstanding’ rating for Stonyhurst College

Stonyhurst College at Hurst Green. (s)
Stonyhurst College at Hurst Green. (s)

Stonyhurst College and its prep school, Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall, are celebrating an excellent Independent Schools Inspectorate report.

Described by the Headmaster Andrew Johnson as “absolutely glowing” following a full inspection of Stonyhurst in March, from the nursery to the sixth form, the inspectors found “the outstanding personal development of the pupils is a clear indicator of how the school prepares them spiritually and emotionally to provide leadership”.

They reported that teachers’ subject knowledge is excellent and their enthusiasm encourages pupils to do their best and that pupils are encouraged to think for themselves from an early age, and develop strong skills of logical thought and argument.

They also described the leadership and management at the college as excellent, setting an excellent example to the pupils, being strong, energetic and highly attentive to the needs of individuals.

The inspectors observed that pastoral care is meticulous and well co-ordinated across all sections of the school and the pupils’ excellent spiritual development is nurtured by the powerful Christian ethos which pervades the school.

Academically, Stonyhurst is going from strength to strength, and last summer’s examination results were the best ever, with 71% A*-B at A level, 51% A*-A at GCSE and a top IB score of 39 points (equivalent to 4 A*s at A level).

Andrew Johnson, who leaves Stonyhurst this summer after 10 years at the college to become headmaster of St Benedict’s School in West London, said: “These excellent outcomes are testimony to the hard work and enthusiasm of the teaching and support staff, and to the strong commitment our pupils and their parents have to Stonyhurst.”

All independent schools are inspected every few years by the ISI, according to a framework agreed with the Department for Education.

The body is approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to the Independent Schools Council.

Inspectors pointed out that the success of the school lies in the fulfilment of its aim to prepare young people intellectually, spiritually and emotionally to provide leadership in facing problems in the modern world and the students’ outstanding personal development of the school’s success.

Inspectors would like to see that the challenge which extends learning for more able pupils in some of teaching is provided for all. They also want to see younger children have more opportunities to learn technology.