Remote musings far from the Head’s Study – 3rd May 2013


As you may be aware I have not been in School since Wednesday. This has been because I am presently part of an ISI Team conducting an Inspection of another Independent School in a different part of the country. ISI Teams always comprise a mixture of ‘professional’ Registered Inspectors and ‘Team’ Inspectors who are usually serving or recently retired Senior Staff (characteristically Heads or Deputies) who have undergone, and passed, the rigorous selection and training needed to become an Inspector. The expectation then is that you will do an inspection at least once every two years. It is a real privilege to watch other professionals teach, and a great opportunity to pinch ideas as well, but there is no doubt that it is a substantial responsibility to be part of a group which is evaluating what a school does and making a judgement on the standards which it has reached. It also requires one to work very long hours, even by the standards of the average Head, and means that one tends to be very caffeine-driven by the time Day 3 of the Inspection arrives.

However this has not meant that I have been completely isolated from my own School, thanks to the glories of the Internet, hence this much shorter than usual blog post written in the early hours of Friday morning as a break from my ponderings on the nature of curriculum.  I have yet to see any photographs, or heard any reports, but I am confident that The Girl in the Blue Coat will have been a stunning success which showcased, as ever, both the talents of our girls but also those of our Staff. I was very pleased that I was able to delay my departure for Inspection on Tuesday night to be able to see the LVIth AS Drama (even though it meant a horrendously-early start the following morning). It was great to see two such contrasting pieces and I loved their devised piece – and not just because it had a happy ending (although not so very much so for the Wicked Witch and the Wicked Step-mother). I can well see why the pupils from Hill House were so enthusiastic and enjoyed it so much.

I will close with one, probably unnecessary, reminder that the School is closed on Monday because of the Bank holiday.

With the very best wishes for a relaxing and perhaps sunny Spring Bank Holiday weekend.


Robert Carlysle



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