Chiswick School celebrates newfound popularity with parents

Images: Chiswick School; Head teacher Laura Ellener

School celebrates success in drama and in making the top ten percent of schools which improve children’s performance

Since she took over as head teacher five years ago, Laura Ellener has been on a mission to make Chiswick School popular with local parents. She reckons there is no need to spend thousands of pounds on private education, as the local state secondary school can provide a good education, with some interesting flourishes children can’t get elsewhere.

Parents are beginning to take note. The school is full this year, and has a waiting list for every year group. If parents want to take their children out of private school to avoid paying higher fees, they will find they have to get in line.

“Admissions have gone up every year. In 2019 they had 586 applications and 110 put the school down as their first choice. This year we have had 846 applications and 302 put us down as their first choice.

“We have a waiting list of 150 for Year Six [for 240 places]. It’s great for us, and a new thing for the school.”

Image above: Chiswick School has just won Best National Schools Theatre Award for Best Play 2024 (24 June 2024)

She puts it down to the consistent hard work she and her team have put in over the past five years to improve things. Morale was at a low when she took over. The school had received a ‘Requires Improvement’ rating from Ofsted following a period in which the school had had five head teachers in almost as many years.

Now they are in the top ten percent of schools in the country for improving their students’ performance. Children are assessed in year Six – Seven and their results when they leave measured against expectations. Chiswick School is now one of the best in the country at helping children achieve their potential.

In science they are in the top three percent of schools for improving their students’ performance.

Image: The school’s production of Animal Farm

“I think we’re providing something a bit different” Laura told The Chiswick Calendar.

“We’ve become a much better school and it’s a good choice for parents. More children are coming from local addresses and we offer opportunities such as rowing and the opportunity to take part in arts and music.”

The choir has been invited back to perform at Eton in January and the drama department is celebrating an award for Best Play in national drama awards for their production of Animal Farm last year.

The school is holding an arts festival on Tuesday2 July.

READ ALSO: Interview with Laura Ellener, headteacher of Chiswick School – “Children need to know who’s in charge”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar