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National Boarding Week. Queen Margaret’s Judged “Excellent” in Independent Schools Inspection
18th June 2019

A recent inspection of Queen Margaret’s, York, by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) has found the School to be “excellent” in all categories assessed.

The report confirms how the all-girls School is fulfilling its own aim of pupils achieving excellence both inside and outside of the classroom. Having observed lessons during their time at Queen Margaret’s (QM), Inspectors agreed that “pupils develop outstanding study skills during their time at the School”. They commented on how QM girls display very positive attitudes towards learning and are highly motivated to succeed. Importantly, the report highlights that “in lessons pupils answer questions confidently, without any fear of getting answers wrong, because the small class sizes and the excellent relationships within the class encourage the sharing of ideas.”

The ISI Inspectors spent time with QM girls who told them that “the school does not expect them to fit a particular mould, but that they have the freedom to ‘find their own niche’ and flourish as individuals”. The report also points out that at GCSE and A Level, QM’s performance has been above the national average and similarly, QM’s results in international GCSEs have been higher than worldwide norms.

The inspectors’ findings from outside of the classroom are just as pleasing to read as they identify that students at the Escrick school show a well-developed appreciation for the non-material aspects of life; they saw first-hand how girls participate wholeheartedly in Chapel and Assemblies and how much they enjoy their tranquil rural surroundings just a stone’s throw from York.

The benefits of boarding to girls at QM are highlighted a number of times in the report with Inspectors finding that “boarding makes a very positive contribution to pupils’ overall academic success”. The QM girls agree, having told Inspectors that they feel increasingly confident as a consequence of their boarding experience. The report also acknowledges the strong sense of community which is fostered at QM, it reinforces how seriously the older girls take their responsibility of acting as role models to the younger ones - the supportive roles they adopt often develop into lifelong friendships.

Commenting on the report, Acting Head, Lars Fox said “Our recent inspection formally recognises the superb quality of education we provide here at Queen Margaret’s, as well as the substantial benefits of boarding to the academic and personal development of the girls. The staff here work diligently to provide a holistic education and it is wonderful to hear from both the Inspectors and from the girls themselves that this is being achieved.”