Full School Inspection – January 2017

This was the school’s first full inspection and took place from the 24th to the 26th January 2017.

We are delighted to report that Ofsted have judged the school to be Outstanding in all categories:

Overall effectiveness – Outstanding

Effectiveness of Leadership and Management – Outstanding

Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment – Outstanding

Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare – Outstanding

Outcomes for Learners – Outstanding

16 to 19 Study Programmes – Outstanding

Summary of Key Findings:

The school’s core vision and values, as established at its foundation by Exeter University and Exeter College, are meticulously designed to cultivate the talents of young mathematicians and scientists.
As a result of the culture that governors and senior leaders have developed, learners and staff pursue their passion for mathematics and science creatively by experimenting, challenging, debating and collaborating with each other.
Senior leaders use frequent discussions about teaching, insightful feedback and effective professional development to ensure that teaching is of the highest quality.
Senior leaders successfully recruit young people who have not previously had the opportunity to fulfil their potential in mathematics and science. They use the temporary grant for bursaries well to recruit learners who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Currently, the number of female learners is slightly below that of males.
The school provides very good residential accommodation for learners who cannot travel daily to the school; as a result, learners improve their independence and ability to care for themselves.
Learners make excellent progress and secure A-level grades well above those expected, given their prior achievement.
Outstanding teaching, learning, assessment and support ensure that learners develop high levels of confidence and enthusiasm for their studies and that they work hard to achieve excellent problem-solving skills.
All learners progress to university or into employment befitting the skills and knowledge they have developed at Exeter Mathematics School.
Learners undertake inspiring projects that extend their skills and knowledge significantly beyond the demands of their A-level courses.
The excellent projects set by industry and academics ensure that learners develop the ability to work independently, carry out research assiduously and present their findings confidently.
Teachers and support staff employ their excellent knowledge and understanding of each learner to provide outstanding pastoral and academic support, which contribute to learners’ excellent attainment of high grades in examinations, and significantly improve their personal skills.

Responses to the Inspection


“We are delighted with the findings of Ofsted.  It’s incredibly gratifying to have the hard work and dedication of our students, staff, governors and sponsors recognised in this report.  I am particularly pleased to have our commitment to equality of access and student support acknowledged and valued.  This is just the beginning for us and we will continue to strive to improve further.”

  Kerry Burnham, Headteacher


“On behalf of all the Governors, I congratulate Kerry and her team for achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted inspection. I would also like to thank the Students who have motivated all of us with their enthusiasm, interest and passion for learning and their support for the school. In addition, the support from local businesses who work with the school and the students is very greatly appreciated.

Exeter Mathematics School is a school where students from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset with a passion for mathematics, physics or computer science are able to learn and extend their abilities. Most important however is the school’s ethos to give the students the broadest education to prepare them for life beyond school.  The inspectors acknowledged their appreciation of the ethos of the school in this statement:

Staff and governors unwaveringly place the development of the whole learner at the heart of all activities. While a high value is placed on success in examinations, the development of learner’s confidence, independence, creativity, aspiration and understanding of the world around them are pre-eminent. As a result, learners are very well prepared for the progression to university or employment “

Jim French CBE, Chair of Governors


“I am absolutely delighted that the Exeter Maths School has been rated as Outstanding, just 2 years after opening.  It demonstrates what can be achieved, when a world class Russell Group University and an Outstanding College work in partnership, with a clear vision to create something exceptional. It is very gratifying to see that the school, under Kerry’s excellent leadership has delivered on its mission and made a real difference to gifted young mathematicians and scientists right across the South West.” 

John Laramy, Principal of Exeter College and EMS founding Member


We are delighted with this latest recognition of Exeter Math’s School’s outstanding provision. OFSTED praised the culture brought to EMS through integrated partnership with the University and Exeter College and how this cultivates the talents of young mathematicians and scientists. This approach is bringing real benefit to young people, including those who have not previously had the opportunity to fulfil their potential and we are incredibly proud that all students go on to secure University offers and over 50% are at Russell group institutions. Support for the Maths school is part of Exeter University’s extensive outreach programme supporting schools in the region.”  

Professor Janice Kay, Provost of the University of Exeter and EMS founding Member


Full Inspection Report

A copy of the full report is available on the Ofsted website: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/140971


Care Standard Inspection – June 2016

This was the school’s first inspection of residential provision and took place from the 14th to the 16th June 2016.

The inspection findings were aligned to our own self assessment and we were found to be Good overall with Outstanding “Outcomes for Learners” and Outstanding “Quality of Service”.

A copy of the full inspection report is available on the Ofsted website: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/CARE/1238047