Withington’s ‘Exceptional’ Inspection Report

Our most recent inspection took place from 24th to 27th September 2013.

The Inspection Team used evidence from the parents' and pupils'
questionnaires, as well as lesson and activity observations, pupils'
work scrutiny, analysis of public examination results, inspection of
accommodation, and interviews with staff, students and Governors to
reach their conclusions.

Independent Schools Inspectorate (‘ISI') reports do not provide a single
overarching judgement for the School but must instead give clear
qualitative judgements on eight specific aspects: pupils' achievements,
the curriculum, teaching, pupils' personal development, pastoral care,
welfare, health and safety, governance, and leadership and management.
These judgements must include one of the ISI descriptors (‘Excellent',
‘Good', ‘Sound' or ‘Unsatisfactory'), representing the four grades for

Withington Girls' School has been judged as ‘Excellent' – the highest possible rating – in every single category.

For schools where pupils' achievement is far above that usually found,
the descriptor ‘exceptional' may be used in place of that of ‘excellent'
as the top grade and it is a source of great pride that the quality of our girls' achievements and learning was judged to be ‘Exceptional', a category which has been awarded to very few schools in the whole country.

The School was found to be fully compliant with all the regulatory requirements.

Headmistress Mrs Sue Marks said "I am extremely proud of all our staff
and girls whose talent, dedication and enthusiasm has been recognised in
this report. It is very affirming that the inspectors noted that our
girls are ‘receptive, alert, articulate and highly motivated', as
well as being ‘confident, happy and self-reflective, with genuine
concern and respect for both their peers and staff'.

The inspectors were particularly impressed with the quality of the girls' personal development, which they described as
‘a distinctive feature throughout both junior and senior schools'.
Inspectors stated that ‘the quality of care provided by the school is
excellent and the standard of pupils' behaviour is exemplary'.

The ISI report noted numerous areas in which there has been improvement since our last inspection in 2007, including the quality of assessment, the provision of careers education and guidance, the provision of information and communication technology, the quality of governance, and the quality of leadership and management.

The full report is available here.