The Swaminarayan School in London, Europe’s first independent Hindu school, was inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in early October. The school was judged to be “excellent” in all areas, confirming its position as one of the best independent schools in the country.
The Swaminarayan School, located opposite BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London is an independent day school for boys and girls aged between two-and-a-half to eighteen years with 496 pupils. The School was founded in 1992 by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj to provide the very best of British education while reinforcing Hindu values and traditions.
ISI, the agency responsible for the inspection of all accredited independent schools, examines and reports on all educational provision for pupils, including those less than five years of age. After spending almost a week at the School, the team of seven ISI inspectors reported on the School’s excellent standards, highlighting the success that has been achieved not only through exceptional academic results, but also in providing spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in addition to excellent pastoral care and links with parents and the wider community.
Some key excerpts from the official report include the following:
The Swaminarayan School enables pupils to obtain excellent standards in their work and to develop outstanding qualities as young people. They combine this with achieving excellent results in public examinations throughout the school. Pupils in the EYFS receive an outstanding preparation for the move into Year 1. Excellent teaching throughout the school supports pupils’ academic progress, and provides a good focus on meeting different pupils’ needs.
The quality of the pupils’ learning and achievement is excellent. Results in national tests at age 11 were exceptional in relation to the national average for maintained primary schools. In class pupils show exceptional perseverance and application.
At GCSE pupils achieve three times as many A*/A grades as the national average. At A Level the proportion of pupils gaining A*/B was higher than the national average for maintained schools.
The contribution of curricular and extra-curricular provision is excellent.
The quality of leadership and management, including links with parents, carers and guardians, is excellent. The leadership of the school provides a clear moral compass, which guides every aspect of school life. The quality of governance is excellent. Governors bring considerable commitment and expertise to their work.
The EYFS [Early Years Foundation Stage] setting makes outstanding provision in meeting the needs of the range of children who attend. The contribution of the early years provision to children’s well-being is outstanding. The overall quality and standards of the early years provision are outstanding. Staff provide excellent role models by their considerate, caring behaviour, and relationships between staff, children and parents are excellent.
Headteachers Mr Manani and Mr Raja attributed the ISI’s findings to the collective efforts of everyone involved with the School. “The credit for this success goes to our teamwork – committed and dedicated staff supported by governors, trustees, hardworking pupils and parents who recognise the value of education. But above all, we are grateful for the blessings and continual guidance of the founder of our school, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.”
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