Elmhurst Ballet School Celebrates Outstanding Ofsted

Monday November 27th 2023

Elmhurst Ballet School students, staff and governors are celebrating after being graded ‘Outstanding’ in its latest Ofsted report.

The three-day inspection in October, involving two inspectors from Ofsted, was comprehensive and rigorous, and the result is a glowing report on the work of all areas of the school.

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It inspects services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. It also inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people. Elmhurst was one of the first schools to be inspected under the new framework introduced in September.

The inspectors visited between 10-12 October, scrutinising compliance at Elmhurst and assessing the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, safeguarding and leadership, and management. Inspectors carried out a number of activities including lesson observations, meetings with students, key members of staff and Governors throughout the inspection days. Both accomplished and well-respected educationalists, the inspectors observed a range of artistic and academic classes to endorse and validate the outstanding work of staff and students.

The report, released today, describes the high-quality provision at the school, as well as the excellent support and exceptional facilities. It states that students “become highly proficient dancers while also developing their academic skills and knowledge” and that they “are very well prepared for the pace, challenge and pressure of auditioning for professional work in ballet companies around the world.” The report highlights the “outstanding attitudes and resilience” of the students, and also confirms they “develop the skills, knowledge and professional behaviours they need to be successful.”

Jessica Ward, Principal said, “I could not be prouder of our entire school community in the year we celebrated our centenary, as we go from strength to strength and look forward to the next 100 years. Elmhurst Ballet School aims to provide every student with the highest standard of dance training, combined with a strong academic education in a nurturing environment and this report highlights that and more. Our students are fantastic, and inspectors noted this when they visited. Throughout the report, praise is quite rightly given to them as they are the ones who make the school such a wonderful place in which  to live, dance and learn.

The report also recognises the high quality of our staff, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone in the Elmhurst team for their hard work. Time and time again, they go above and beyond the call of duty in order to create an environment where students flourish and feel cared for. I am incredibly lucky to work with such an incredibly passionate and dedicated team of professionals. Finally, I would like to thank our Governors for the invaluable support they give the school, allowing us to focus purely on the wellbeing, training, and education of our young people’.

Jim Harris, Chairman of the Governors added, “I would like to congratulate everyone at the school on this glowing report. Elmhurst’s mission is to develop ‘exceptional dancers, exceptional people’. The report describes just that and is the result of talent, hard work, and dedication on the part of students and staff every day. I know how hard everyone works, and how committed the staff are to providing the best education, dance training, and life experience for every student at the school. I also know how wonderful the students are. I am delighted for everyone that their work has been recognised in this way and I am extremely proud of each, and every individual involved in the school.”

The full report can be found on the Ofsted website here.

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