Ofsted - Raising Standards, Improving Lives
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Inspection Report for Boarding School
Unique Reference Number MAG1C51331
Inspector Charlotte Coster
Note - This is the first Ofsted Inspection carried out on the aforementioned school.
Brief description of the service
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is an independent coeducational boarding school accommodating girls and boys between the ages of 11-18, who all board. It has 4 boarding houses, housing a mixture of female and male children up until 6th form. Although grounds are extensive, all houses, living areas and the majority of the classrooms are located within one building. The school aims for children with a specific talent to discover their full potential and trains them to learn a specific set of skills, within a safe environment.
This was an announced inspection and the data was collected through a combination of school documents, discussions with staff and pupils, observations and guided tours of the school.
The senior management team at the school has a wealth of knowledge and experience to successfully support both staff and students at the school.
The staff team work effectively at gaining the trust of the students and advocate them in a positive manner. The children seem to enjoy the lessons they undertake and achieve the standards that are required within the school.
There are a number of key areas that require improvement. There are major concerns expressed regarding the recruitment process, the subject matter of the curriculum, and the safeguarding of the pupils attending. In addition there were issues expressed concerning the inconsistency of staff and the lack of supervision the pupils in terms of behaviour and routine.
The overall quality rating is inadequate.
Helping children to be healthy
The provision is satisfactory.
Boarders' health is maintained by one individual who is knowledgeable and efficient. Medical supplies are kept securely by this individual. No records are kept either of the supplies held or of pupils' known conditions and illnesses, although the matron was obviously proficient in these. Records should be updated and secured in time for next visit.
There is one dormitory for the use of sick pupils and staff alike. Consider expansion to separate males and females and staff.
No medical education is offered and there are no drug/alcohol/smoking policies accessible although there have been no breaches of the zero tolerance rule. Policies should be made available by time of next visit.
Boarders are offered an excellent choice of meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner and all pupils without exception enjoy the food. The catering staff were extremely welcoming and friendly, spoke highly of their relationships with the rest of the teaching staff and some pupils. The inspector sampled several meals over the course of the inspection and they were found to be truly excellent.
Sport is virtually unavailable. Only one sport - an unknown game named Quidditch - is offered and past the first year, an individual can only participate if they are one of the seven members of the house team. This is unacceptable and more physical education should be made available. Quidditch itself is enjoyed by those who play it but is highly dangerous. The inspector witnessed several pupils falling from great heights, almost swallowing the balls and being bludgeoned by other balls.
Protecting children from harm or neglect and helping them stay safe
The provision is inadequate.
Pupils and parents respect the skill of the staff who are charged with their care. There are high walls on all sides and only one entrance that remains locked at all times. Visits from outside persons are few.
However, most pupils have offered that they do not feel safe. Despite these precautions pupils have reported an inappropriate, dangerous individual who has managed to gain entry to not only the grounds but to one of the boarding houses. Despite there being an alert and further precautions taken with the removal of pupils from the house, he managed to escape and could not be found within the grounds. In addition, another dangerous individual has been reported to have gained access several times throughout one pupil's school career which resulted in the pupil being kidnapped once and injured multiple times. This is unacceptable. Security needs to be updated at the perimeters and at the castle entrance with security men and cameras by time of next visit.
There is an additional lack of safety within the curriculum taught at the school. This includes interaction with dangerous beasts, plants and some instances where they are encouraged to harm each other as part of a lesson. This is unacceptable.
Bullying has been reported to be common throughout the school, and individual have to endure both from other pupils and from staff. There are no bullying policies. The behaviour observed was generally good. The reward system of house points is well maintained but some pupils have reported that one house has an unfair advantage and lots of teachers are biased in their offer of points. Punishments are varied and inconsistent Corporal punishment was used by one teacher, one punishment put the pupils in mortal peril and most simply used lines. Consider revising and standardising.
The house system is well established although there seems to be little support of the younger pupils from the older and minimal form of induction offered. Only one teacher runs each boarding house and is rarely seen there, with rooms far away from their assigned house. There is a system of prefects and a head boy/girl although it is unclear how these are chosen and what their duties are. Some exhibit abuse of their power.
The houses themselves are adequate and secure with good accommodation that the pupils (without exception) felt was inclusive and comfortable. There are no fire policies or equipment throughout the entire school which is essential considering the wide use of fires and candles throughout the premises. This needs to be amended at the first possible opportunity.
Recruitment processes have been lacking in consistency and this has proved a risk to pupils when several unsuitable individuals were employed. Credentials need to be more thoroughly checked, qualifications strictly adhered to (none of the teachers hold qualifications, some did not finish school) and a policy of recruitment implemented as soon as possible.
Helping children achieve well and enjoy what they do
The provision is inadequate
Boarders receive an inconsistent level of support from teachers which is based on favouritism rather than policy. Although many pupils find (off their own volition) a teacher who can offer them the personal support they require, there are many others who do not. Consider revising.
There is a high regard for each boarder to be treated with equality. However there is no strict policy which is adhered to and some individuals are treated differently by both staff and pupils because of the nature of their birth.
Routines are not strictly enforced which means bed times do not exist and standards of work are not as high as should be expected. Quality of teaching is highly inconsistent, no planning documents could be offered at all and the curriculum content highly irregular. The teachers are all very specialised and do not adhere to the national curriculum or its standards.
Here concludes the results of the Inspection. Recommendations will be offered verbally and within another document. All recommendations should be carried out within 3 months, when a follow up inspection will be instigated.