A day and boarding school for girls and boys aged 4 to 18 in Shebbear, Devon

ISI Inspection


Double Excellent and Fully Compliant


When considering which school to send your children to, it is important to look at a school's ISI Inspection Report (the Ofstead equivalent for Independent Schools). We are extremely proud to have achieved Double Excellent and Fully Compliant in our last Inspection. 

The Quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is Excellent.

The Quality of the pupils’ personal development is Excellent.

The school met every single standard set in the Regulatory Compliance Inspection.

Following a full Focused Compliance and Educational Quality Inspection with the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), we are delighted to have been graded ‘EXCELLENT’ - the highest possible grade – in both key outcomes: the pupils’ academic and other achievements; and the pupils’ personal development as well as being fully compliant. This is an extremely impressive achievement for Shebbear College and places us as the top Independent School in the local area based on ISI ratings.

Throughout the school pupils generally have outstanding attitudes to their learning and are determined to succeed. They respond positively to teaching which aims to help each child make progress, discover their own passions and have aspirational goals.

The Inspection Team spent four days at the school, when they observed a wide range of lessons, interviewed a large number of pupils and staff and sent out questionnaires to parents, staff and pupils. Pupils’ work was submitted for scrutiny and the school’s policies and procedures were assessed in detail.

The Reporting Inspector remarked that it was extremely rare to see such overwhelmingly positive questionnaire responses from parents, pupils and staff . 

The ISI framework changed in 2018 when the regulatory body merged the then nine key outcomes to just two, meaning it is increasingly difficult to achieve Excellent in both and making the Shebbear College report even more significant.

The key findings of the report are:

The Quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is Excellent.

  • Pupils make very good and rapid progress throughout the school and this is reflected in their attainment in examinations enabling them to secure entry to universities, apprenticeships and work of their choice.
  • Pupils secure excellent achievement in their academic and co-curricular activities through strong collaborative skills and very high levels of perseverance.
  • All pupils develop and demonstrate the necessary key skills and knowledge enabling successful transition to the next stages of their learning.
  • Pupils’ progress is strongest if the level of challenge is high and when they have independent responsibility for their own learning.

The Quality of the pupils’ personal development is Excellent.

  • Pupils demonstrate excellent relationships with peers and adults and exhibit a strong sense of community through the school values.
  • Pupils demonstrate a strong appreciation of the non-material aspects of school life through the school’s ethos of challenging and expanding young minds in teaching both personal and social responsibility.
  • They show excellent spiritual awareness and respect for religious and cultural difference.
  • Pupils of all ages, including boarders, show excellent self-confidence, self-discipline, moral understanding and are strongly appreciative of diversity.

In addition, the school met every single standard set in the Regulatory Compliance part of the Inspection, with no action points to follow up on and no improvements needed. This section covers all aspects of school compliance, looking closely at the safeguarding, health and welfare of pupils, the quality of education provided, the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, the safe recruitment of staff, the boarding accommodation and the quality of the Leadership and Management to name just some of the requirements and standards set.

Pupils believe in their ability and take every opportunity to praise each other, thus increasing the self-esteem of their peers. In doing so they respond well to the college’s culture of mutual respect and celebrating success.


You can read the full report below:


Inspection Report September 2021

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Curriculum Overview
Curriculum Overview

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