Quite simply, Halstead is excellent.
Earlier this year Halstead underwent a rigorous inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).
Schools are judged on eight key aspects: the quality of pupils’ achievements and learning; the contribution of curricular and extra-curricular provision; the contribution of teaching; the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development; the contribution of arrangements for pastoral care; the contribution of arrangements for welfare, health and safety; the quality of governance; and the quality of leadership and management including links with parents, carers and guardians.
On each aspect, the ISI can make one of four judgements: Excellent; Good; Sound; or Unsatisfactory. Following this inspection, in every single instance, Halstead was judged to be Excellent.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Kindergarten) is inspected under an OFSTED-style regime which requires slightly different language: Outstanding; Good; Satisfactory or Inadequate. Whilst the combined report only allows for use of the original ISI language, the Inspectors confirmed in their oral feedback to Halstead’s management team that on every aspect, the school’s EYFS provision was judged to be Outstanding. Our team was already confident that Halstead is a very good school indeed, but they are never complacent, so to have it so resoundingly confirmed under the minute scrutiny of the Inspectors is hugely welcome.
It is also pleasing that the three relatively minor (but still important) recommendations made by the Inspectors are matters that had already been identified by Mrs Austin and her team prior to the Inspection and are already being progressed - as the report acknowledges.
All this reflects very well on the leadership, commitment and hard work that Mrs Austin, her Senior Management Team and all staff give to Halstead, as well as that of Mrs Fellows, the previous Headmistress. Moreover, Halstead places great importance on the partnerships between the school and its families, and this is something the Inspectors also noted.
The Inspection report is a credit to everyone involved with Halstead today.