Inspection Reports

For a full copy of the Integrated Inspection Report (February 2012).

For a full copy of the Regulatory Compliance Inspection Report  (February 2017).

ISI report following the visit in July 2017

Chair of Governors' and Headmaster's Letter (14 March 2017) regarding Regulatory Compliance Inspection Report:

We have now received the Inspector’s report following the inspection in February. The inspection format is new this year. There are now two types of inspection: a Regulatory Compliance Inspection which takes place every three years and an Educational Quality and Compliance Inspection which takes place every six years. Both inspections are designed to give schools a robust template to help them continually improve their offering to their pupils, staff and parents. 

Our inspection was a Regulatory Compliance Inspection which focuses on eight strands of a school’s operation and is measured against a raft of standards and strict criteria drawn from government legislation. There is little or no qualitative assessment involved: the school is judged compliant or non-compliant in each of these areas. The inspectors judged that due to administrative and reporting systems our school was non-compliant in one area: Welfare, Health and Safety of Pupils. It has been made clear to us, however, that our critical front line delivery for pupils in this area is fully compliant. A failure to be compliant in any area automatically results in non-compliance in Leadership and Management. 

The report sets out 5 action points for the School to address. For the most part, the issues that were identified involved the lack of a sufficiently detailed historic audit trail to demonstrate the School’s compliance. These were actually rectified during the inspection but they appear in the report nonetheless. There was also an issue involving the interpretation of what are new regulatory requirements whose introduction has been a cause for some confusion amongst schools. We are pleased to report that these have already been fully addressed. We have recommendations for improvement in staff training and record-keeping in specific areas that we are implementing as a matter of priority. Birchfield will be tested again in these areas later in the year and we have an action plan to demonstrate compliance that we will submit shortly to the inspectors. 

We are disappointed to receive these results but we welcome any opportunity for feedback and improvement. We wish to reassure parents that the safeguarding of the children in our care is our highest priority and that is ingrained in all the staff and Governors at Birchfield. The inspectors did not conclude that our practical daily implementation of legislation as it affects the safeguarding of the pupils was deficient in any way. We have the necessary and required processes in place for safeguarding but it was our failure in certain areas to document what we were doing in practice where improvement is needed. 

The relationship between teachers and pupils at Birchfield is one of mutual respect and the inspectors saw this in abundance during their two days with us. They noted that pupils are treated with tolerance and understanding at all times and highlighted the strong rapport that exists within our school. Our core activity - the quality of education provided (Curriculum and Teaching) - was reported as fully compliant and whilst we have challenges to overcome in one area we remain hugely proud of our achievements as a school. 

The Headmaster would be pleased to discuss the findings of the Inspection report with any current and prospective Birchfield parents and he may be contacted at