About Elizabeth College

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Elizabeth College, founded in 1563 by Queen Elizabeth I, is a selective day school located in St Peter Port in Guernsey. One of the earliest members of the Headmasters’ Conference, it provides a challenging and stimulating academic and extra-curricular programme for children from two through to 18 years of age. There are 500 boys and 70 staff at Elizabeth College and 290 boys, 73 girls and 50 staff at Elizabeth College Junior School (ECJS).

Younger children are well-served by the co-educational Elizabeth College Junior School (ECJS), which is located on a site half a mile away from the main Elizabeth College campus. The Pre-School and Pre-Preparatory School are situated at Acorn House. Children from the ages of two and a half through to seven attend these departments of the Junior School. The Preparatory School, Beechwood, prepares pupils for entry to the Upper School or the local girls’ schools, as appropriate, at the age of 11.

Between the ages of 11 and 16, the Upper School is boys only. The school offers a broad variety of subjects and most boys take nine, ten or eleven GCSEs. Beyond the classroom, there are extensive opportunities for pupils to become involved in sport, music, drama, the CCF, the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme and a host of other activities. Elizabeth College delivers a sixth form curriculum in partnership with our neighbouring girls’ school, The Ladies’ College, allowing pupils a wide choice of AS and A2 courses in a co-educational environment.


‘The strongly pupil-centred College ethos enables pupils of all ages to achieve
high academic standards and develop excellent personal qualities’

‘The College offers an attractive enrichment programme fulfilling the school’s aims of
encouraging pupils’ participation and developing the whole child strongly.’

‘Excellent pastoral leadership and management oversee comprehensive care and support
so pupils develop into confident and well-rounded members of the community’

ISI inspection October 2015

Elizabeth College was inspected by a team of inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in October 2015. The inspection covered the whole of Elizabeth College, from the Pre-School at Acorn House to the Sixth Form.

Assessing the quality of College’s educational provision, the ISI awarded Elizabeth College the highest rating of “Excellent” in eight aspects and “Good” in the other two. The report is available here.

ISI inspections allow Elizabeth College to be compared to the best independent schools in the UK.  Inspection reports include judgements on pupils’ achievements, the curriculum, extra-curricular provision, teaching, pupils’ personal development, pastoral care, welfare, health and safety, governance, leadership and management and links with parents. Aspects are rated at one of four grades: excellent, good, sound and unsatisfactory.

The inspection report is fulsome in its praise of the overall quality of the education provided by the College as exemplified by the following excerpts:
•    “The strongly pupil-centred college ethos enables pupils of all ages to achieve high academic standards and develop excellent personal qualities”
•    “Pupils’ excellent attitudes to their studies and their commitment to high standards and activities contribute strongly to the high standard of their achievements”

The report also reflects on the excellent curricular provision and high academic standards which the whole College achieves from its broad intake of pupils:
•     “Pupils’ academic achievements are supported by an excellent curriculum, carefully planned and sufficiently adaptable to meet well the needs of individual pupils”
•    “The college offers an attractive enrichment programme fulfilling the school’s aims of encouraging pupils’ participation and developing the whole child strongly.”

Pastoral care and the quality of relationships throughout the school are particularly highly praised:
•    “Relationships between staff and pupils, and amongst pupils themselves, are particularly harmonious.”
•    “Excellent pastoral leadership and management oversee comprehensive care and support so pupils develop into confident and well-rounded members of the community”.

The College’s excellent communication with parents and links with the community are also highlighted:
•     “Links with parents and the community are excellent. Parents were especially pleased with the college’s academic provision, pastoral care and breadth of all-round opportunity.”
•     “Parents report that the college handles concerns particularly well….and that they felt listened to and welcome in both the junior and upper schools.”

With the overriding objective of helping schools to build on their strengths and identify areas for further improvement, the report includes recommendations to ensure that all teaching across the school provides appropriate challenge and focus and to ensure that teaching is consistently monitored and supported.  These areas are already being addressed through the College’s Development Plan.

Principal of Elizabeth College, George Hartley, is delighted with the outcome of the inspection.  “This comprehensive and external review puts us on a par with the best schools in the UK and fully endorses the many improvements we have made over recent years as well as the excellent, all-round and value-added education we provide for our pupils, from Acorn House right up the Sixth Form.  It also provides a thoroughly well-deserved pat on the back for our exceptionally committed and talented staff. It is extremely pleasing to receive such a strong vote of approval during the review of secondary education on the island. It is also really helpful to be guided in what we can do to improve still further, something we have already made a start on.”

A full copy of the report is available here or on the ISI website at www.isi.net.