Bury St Edmunds secondary school praised by Ofsted as ‘good’ with sixth form rated ‘outstanding’

Geoff Barton - Head of King Edward VI School
Geoff Barton - Head of King Edward VI School
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A secondary school in Bury St Edmunds has been praised as ‘good’ by education watchdogs with its sixth form hailed ‘outstanding’.

King Edward VI School maintained its Ofsted rating under a tougher national inspection framework and after being hit by the English GCSE grading debacle in 2012, which saw students receive lower results than expected.

Inspectors highlighted how ‘standards in a wide range of GCSe subjects are above average; students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is outstanding and the sixth form is outstanding’.

Meanwhile, ‘students’ learning benefits greatly from their high levels of participation in an exceptional range of additional activities and educational visits’.

However, Ofsted felt the school is not yet outstanding for several reasons which include ‘a small number of teachers do not match work precisely enough to students’ learning needs or the stage they have reached’.

Head Geoff Barton said: “We always knew it was going to be quite a tough Ofsted because of what happened with the English results.

“We were delighted the team recognised the whole range of things we do inside and outside the classroom.

“They’ve given us really helpful points for how to improve.”

He said the school has ‘never done anything just to chase Ofsted or league tables’.

“It’s about developing character in young people. From the second they arrived, it was clear the inspection team understood that.”