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Is Hill House facing closure?

(23 Posts)
H4dley Thu 12-Mar-15 14:49:35

As a Guardian reader I came across news of an horrific Ofsted report:

"School inspectors have handed down a damning verdict on the inadequacies of the private prep school Hill House in London, once attended by Prince Charles, which could result in it being closed over serious and significant safety concerns.

Ofsted inspectors found the £14,000-a-year independent school to be lacking in basic safeguards and roundly criticised it for poor quality of teaching and management."

How can that be????

AuntieStella Thu 12-Mar-15 14:55:18

Closure? Depends on whether there are (probably safety) failings that cannot be rapidly remedied. I don't know if private schools can be closed for failings such as inadequate teaching, though if enough parents vote with their feet, it'll have a major impact on the school and possibly quite quickly.

Needmoresleep Fri 13-Mar-15 12:06:33

I wonder whether recent issues at Southbank International and SPS is causing OFSTED to be more cautious about safeguarding in general.

Never an option for us....those knickerbockers, but we knew several children who went, were happy and went on to good schools. It was seen as less "hot-housey" than some of the alternatives, though always a few rumours about the use of "unqualified teachers".

It is a very large school, and would seem more attractive than some of the competitors, some of whom do seem to churn out over-pushed, anxious or arrogant children. It would be a pity if problems were so deeply ingrained that they could not sort problems out.

LocalEditorKensingtonChelsea Fri 13-Mar-15 19:43:25

Some interesting (if slightly heated) discussion about it on the MN local site for Kensington here for anyone interested.

babybarrister Fri 13-Mar-15 22:54:00

No it is not! It is a great school with a slightly lax view about box ticking which they will now have to remedy. The comments about the teachers and the teaching quality are wholly undeserved and I have never met any unqualified teachers there at all - in fact DS ' teacher has a PhD ....

MsShellShocked Fri 13-Mar-15 23:05:41

You can have a PhD and still not be a qualified teacher. confused

babybarrister Fri 13-Mar-15 23:21:48

Yes you can, but she is!

cartoonsaveme Fri 13-Mar-15 23:41:56

It makes good news but it would never close - where would they all go ??

JillyR2015 Sat 14-Mar-15 20:37:09

People pay see to avoid state school type boring same ness and box ticking. It's supposed failures are regarded by many as strengths actually. It would get my vote.

lorrylarouge Sun 15-Mar-15 10:30:09

I don't think a lax attitude to children's safety and welfare can be translated into a lax attitude to box ticking!
The teachers themselves were surveyed and more than half were dissatisfied.
Saying they lacked support or any ongoing training or feedback. I wonder who might regard a failure to keep children safe as a strength!

VikingVolva Sun 15-Mar-15 10:38:26

I don't see how inadequate fire drills, letting visitors into buildings without signing in, and only checking whereabouts of an absent pupil on the second day count as 'box ticking'

I expect that parents are happy with what they see of the curriculm (even though the school doesn't seem to have been able to tell inspectors what it is) but I wonder if they are as happy about the comments from the teachers about the gaps they see?

JillyR2015 Sun 15-Mar-15 14:27:54

Yes, they are very happy. So all is well. it is a popular school which turns out children heaps better than many a state school.

lorrylarouge Sun 15-Mar-15 14:50:01

Jilly the parents are definitely not happy about the teachers' disatisfaction. Or if they are happy about the teachers' disatisfaction then they shouldn't be. All is not well unfortunately.

babybarrister Sun 15-Mar-15 15:09:14

Can someone please link to teachers survey please

lorrylarouge Sun 15-Mar-15 15:18:20

I don't think we have access to the survey. The ofsted report states the findings of the survey but doesn't link to the actual survey.

BikeRunSki Sun 15-Mar-15 15:25:23

They'd have to pound the streets of Kensington and Chelsea forever cartoonsaveme. ��

babybarrister Sun 15-Mar-15 17:53:21

Thanks - I will reread

lorrylarouge Sun 22-Mar-15 07:44:07

Parents have been told by the leadership to engage with press and mp's so a few more positive articles have come out now.

VikingVolva Sun 22-Mar-15 08:20:22

Spin, after 5 years lacking action?

I think telling parents to go to the press to 'manage' the story demonstrates pretty neatly the difficulties in the school. Fixing things when raised, rather than doing the minimum, ignoring the rest for years is the way competent leadership woukd tackle stuff.

Especially as the school keeps parents very much at arms length normally, they don't know what goes on in the school, and unless they sent all their older DC to other London schools within the last 5 or so years, have no point of comparison anyway.

lorrylarouge Sun 22-Mar-15 12:19:44

I agree the school keeps the parents out so most have little idea of what goes on in there. And agree that asking parents to engage with the press and MP'S is slightly tacky when they should be addressing the issues the report raised rather than trying to manage their reputation.

thesaurusgirl Sun 22-Mar-15 12:37:02

I read this and am sad about it. Hill House is a London institution in some ways. I know loads of parents who send their children to this school and their kids are universally delightful. Always so bouncy and happy. I wish I could say the same about the ones I've met from Thomas's or Colet Court.

I agree with a poster upthread who says it's HH's lack of box-ticking and formality that appeals to many parents. That and the fact that it's much more diverse than most London private schools. A lot of the kids are there because of a parent's employer paying the bill, so it's not as affluenza-ridden as the press would like you to think.

jbkpsych Fri 27-Mar-15 17:54:49

I was walking in Hyde Park this week. There were a large group of Hill House girls playing in a field near the Holocaust Memorial. There were 6 teachers under a tree in a circle chatting to each other and not paying any attention at all to the their charges. Most of the teachers had their backs to the students. Four students were playing on the Holocaust Memorial - shocking. A group of students were trying to tear a large branch from a tree. There was no supervision, no interest in the students. My trainer and I stopped and told the girls not to mess with the tree and to get away from the Holocaust Memorial as it was not something to play on! It's no wonder this school has had such bad ratings.

Lon123 Thu 30-Apr-15 22:13:28

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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