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Abbey College Cambridge


Name Abbey College Cambridge
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 28 February 2017
Address Homerton Gardens, Purbeck Road, Cambridge, CB2 8EB
Phone Number 01223578280
Type Independent
Age Range 13-21
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 392 (56% boys 44% girls)
Percentage Free School Meals 0%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%

Information about this school

Abbey College provides international education and is part of the Alpha Plus Group Limited. It was founded in 1994 as Abbey Tutorial College. Until recently, the school was located on six sites in the centre of Cambridge. In June 2016, the school moved to a new purpose-built site at Homerton Gardens and includes on-site boarding accommodation for 120 students. The school is registered as an independent boarding school for boys and girls. It provides GCSE courses, A-level courses and a university foundation course for up to 580 students aged 13 to 21. There are currently 361 students on roll, the vast majority of whom are international students from 32 countries including China, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and from Europe. All students are boarders and live either independently, in residential accommodation owned by the school or in lodgings with host families. The school does not use any alternative provision. In October 2015, the Department for Education (DfE) commissioned Ofsted to conduct an emergency inspection following concerns about the welfare, health and safety of students. All of the independent school standards that were checked at that time were met. The DfE commissioned Ofsted to consider the proprietor’s request for a material change in August 2016. As a result, the DfE increased the school’s student admission number from 320 to 580, approved the move to the new premises and accommodation, and reduced the school’s registered age range from 14 to 21 years to 13 to 21 years. The most recent inspection of the boarding provision was in October 2016, when the overall progress and experiences of boarders were judged as outstanding. The inspection report for boarding can be found on Ofsted’s website.

Summary of key findings for parents and students

This is a good school All of the independent school standards are met. Leaders have created a culture of ambition and high standards. Recent initiatives are driving standards higher. Leaders provide a caring and nurturing environment. Students from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds quickly develop safe, trusting and productive relationships. Students are highly motivated. They listen intently, concentrate hard and are determined to be successful. Students’ behaviour is mature and self-disciplined. They are polite and respectful. Their conduct around the site is exemplary. Students feel safe and learn how to keep safe and healthy. They make a valuable contribution to the community during their time in Britain. Most students, including those in the sixth form, achieve extremely well and demonstrate good progress in their learning. The proportion of students achieving the top grades, especially at advanced level study, is extremely high. This enables most students to secure places at their chosen universities. A significant minority of current students, including some with special educational needs and/or disabilities, do not make rapid progress across all subject areas over time. Teachers have strong subject knowledge and explain difficult concepts well. Teachers do not consistently check students’ understanding well enough or provide them with precise feedback that helps them to improve their work. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.