Debate: HILL HOUSE International school is OFSTED FAIL BUT DC's won scholarships to Westminster, SPGS, Dulwich etc.

(6 Posts)
Cantfindaprepschool Thu 09-Jul-15 04:09:53

Clearly I missed the news earlier this year, and I'm surprised it hasn't come up on MN so far, but Hill House International School (famously attended by Prince Charles) failed their December 2014 OFSTED in every single section! Despite this children obtained scholarships to Westminster, Dulwich & places at SPGS etc.....

Anyone with personal experience of the school? I imagine current parents may not be that happy? Or do parents feel the report is totally unjustified? Does the OFSTED matter that much? Is the school doing everything important right or is there little value added and the DC's are doing so well for other reasons despite the school?

Hope these links work:

www.theguardian.com/education/2015/mar/11/hill-house-prep-school-prince-charles-damning-ofsted-report

www.hillhouseschool.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/HillHouseOfstedReport_Mar15.pdf

AnotherNewt Thu 09-Jul-15 06:52:37

There were threads about this at the time.

The weaknesses found in the school weren't related to the performance of a top few pupils. More about overall performance; we don't know how many parents (who stayed in London) moved their DC before 11/13 transfer. Also, the more representative schools - in terms of the two to which the highest number went are Francis Holland and Emanuel.

The number of scholarships, to the number of pupils, seems typical (at best) for London. And, for 13+ doesn't state if the pupils had been at HH most prep years, were post-11 joiners (most preps wouldn't publish that; but then again most preps aren't having to 'spin' their reputation).

And of course we'll never know if those children would have done differently if staff had been consistently aware of the learning of all, and were describing the school in terms of positive and supportive of teachers.

And of course some of the more serious issues were totally unrelated things, like fire safety and basic procedure of visitors to signing in.

MMmomKK Thu 09-Jul-15 09:34:59

I have friends with kids at HH. And my understanding is that main issues were around safety procedures. Also - seems that the school's HM is rather quirky and wasn't taking Ofsted comments from the last couple of years seriously enough, so Ofsted decided to teach them a lesson. And the last point - some of the Ofsted comments were about the paper trail/paperwork that Ofsted likes to see. Many private schools don't follow the same approach. And I am not sure that more paperwork = better school.

Kids in the exam years in HH are heavily tutored, which is not different from many other schools in the area. The school results seem normal for the non-selective school.

urbanstroller Wed 15-Jul-15 23:07:35

From my experience of other London prep school I wouldn't say that having 6 boys going to Westminster and another 6 to St Paul's is typical (at best) of other prep schools. I think there results are exemplary
www.hillhouseschool.co.uk/education/after-hill-house/
As for tutoring- school day at HH is very long, and I'm not sure that any child who leaves school at 5 or 5.30pm would be able to engage with any tutoring after school.

reckitwralph Thu 16-Jul-15 09:28:00

HH is much bigger than other London Prep Schools, so it can be hard to compare results accurately. The Ofsted report did talk about serious safeguarding issues, and that DC did not make as much progress as expected. I know several families at HH - trust me they find time to fit in tutoring and indeed the staff offer it on a Saturday morning (for an extra fee).

MN164 Thu 16-Jul-15 09:39:55

Interesting that Hill House show co-ed schools under Girls Day schools.....

Also, more importantly

Cravats - Are to be worn UNDER the polo shirt, simply turned over once to form a flat top edge.

Winter Socks - Should be worn over the knee band of the breeches.

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