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School where students call teachers by their first name and wear “what they want” gets top marks – South London News

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By Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter

A London school where kids can have blue hair and call teachers by their first names has been given a top score by Ofsted inspectors.

Ashbourne College, an independent sixth form in Old Court Place, Kensington, has been rated “outstanding” after Ofsted visited the school in early December.

Head of sixth form Sean Pillai said the sixth form stands out because students are taught to be independent and build a strong bond with teachers.

He said: “We’re very much half way between a normal school and university. It’s a really nice setting. It feels very relaxed, everybody wants to be here.”

Sean Pillai

Ashbourne is a family-run school, which opened in 1981. Fees cost £28,500 a year and there are currently around 220 pupils.

The school was previously ranked “good” by the education watchdog in 2017, but the latest inspection gave it the highest rating in every category, including the quality of education, behaviour and leadership.

A report by inspectors said: “Pupils enjoy being part of a diverse community of people from all over the world. Teachers encourage them to be confident and independent, while providing a safety net of support. Pupils respect their teachers.”

Mr Pillai, who has worked at the school for seven years, said: “There is no uniform. The students speak to us in a pretty informal way, like they call me by my first name. They can come in wearing whatever they want pretty much, they can have blue hair, it doesn’t matter.”

Pictured top: Ashbourne College

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