Excellent ISI Report for Guildhouse School Published

Recent ISI report for Guildhouse School highlights a welcoming, supportive school community that facilitates student success.

Carmel O’Dolan, Head, Guildhouse School London

I am very pleased to share that our recent ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) inspection in Autumn 2023 was overwhelmingly positive. Recognising our staff’s hard work and commitment, the inspectors highlighted our engaging, high-quality lessons, university preparation and careers provision and wellbeing support as particular strengths. We are exceptionally proud of our work so it is encouraging to have this formally acknowledged. 

Carmel O’Dolan, Headteacher, Guildhouse School

ISI inspects all independent schools in England on behalf of the Government. Our inspection took place in late Autumn 2023. The report has been published in line with the new inspection framework.  In previous years, ISI reports have been published within six weeks but under the new inspection framework reports are being checked for a longer period before publication.  

Before sharing some positive highlights from the report, I would like to thank the Guildhouse School SLT, teaching and support staff who all contribute to our successful school. Their dedication has created a warm, welcoming environment where every student and staff member is valued and supported to achieve. They receive high quality learning experiences tailored to their educational needs and excellent pastoral support that readies them for the challenges of university and beyond. Our success as a school, as showcased in this ISI report, is a shared achievement. Thank you for your hard work and support.  

Under the new framework, schools are no longer being graded. No independent schools in England will now be rated as good or excellent. The inspectors’ positive comments about Guildhouse School therefore hold a lot of weight as they highlight our strengths and achievements.   

We would be delighted if you read the full report which is available here. It paints a hugely positive picture of the school, its staff, students and sense of community, However, I’d like to highlight particularly positive points.  

Effective Teaching and Learning

At Guildhouse, we pride ourselves on delivering engaging lessons that progress learning. Our teachers tailor lessons to address student needs. The report states “Teachers know their pupils well, and plan activities that engage pupils so that pupils are well motivated, and they engage with their studies with enthusiasm. This helps to promote positive learning and progress.”   

Speaking about specific lessons, inspectors said that they enjoyed a Sociology lesson, seeing the strong relationship between teacher and students with effective use of individual feedback. In a Biology lesson, they noted impressive classroom discussion, engagement, high level thinking and analytical skills. 

These positive comments were also echoed in the student survey results, which “showed pupils enjoy their lessons, with feedback that they are making good progress”. 

Higher Education and Careers Support

The inspectors noted that our students’ achievement is well above the national average with an excellent university progression rate. Our “wellstructured careers education programme, including university fairs which occur twice annually” was highlighted as a strength. The inspectors stated that the programme results in students being “well prepared for taking decisions about university and other courses, and for life beyond school”.  

Guildhouse students are ambitious, determined and hardworking with many aspiring to top university destinations and successful careers beyond. To support these aspirations, we offer tailored university and careers guidance to all students. Regular events on careers and university choices help students to make informed decisions about their futures. Every student also receives one to one support with their university applications to ensure they are as strong as possible.  

Many Guildhouse students pursue degrees and careers in business and finance. The inspectors’ report highlights that the careers programme of “subject specific talks and masterclasses follows the school’s vision of educating pupils to acquire entrepreneurial spirit. Learning opportunities with a focus on business and enterprise include specific topics on finance and economics”.  

The report also noted that “pupils are ambitious for their futures and go on to study across a wide range of areas including science-based courses, the creative arts, architecture and the film industry”. Our teachers and Higher Education Officers prepare every student to pursue their goals and ambitions in a wide range of professional and academic fields.

Cohesive Community

Guildhouse School is a diverse, international community with over 50 nationalities represented. Our School is a happy one where every student is welcomed and their cultural heritage celebrated. The ISI inspectors noted that “the school community is cohesive and supportive” and praised our extensive English as an Additional Language (EAL) provision. English is the shared language at Guildhouse School and we ensure that every student is a confident, capable speaker through high quality EAL teaching. Our students are encouraged to embrace every lesson as it is also an opportunity to develop English skills, which supports their language skills and confidence.  


As Head of Guildhouse School, I am really pleased with this positive ISI report. It is an excellent reflection of Guildhouse School and showcases the strengths that I see every day. The inspection report reinforces that our teachers and support staff are dedicated to student success and collaborate to create a supportive, engaging educational experience for our students.  

You can find the report here.

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