Bury St Edmunds: Church of England inspection finds King Edward VI School to be ‘outstanding’

King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds has been judged "outstanding" in a diocese inspection.

King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds has been judged "outstanding" in a diocese inspection. - Credit: Gregg Brown

An upper school in Bury St Edmunds has received a glowing report following an inspection.

King Edward VI School was found to be “outstanding” as a Church of England school.

The National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report said the school was “outstanding” at meeting the needs of all learners and leadership and management was also given the top rating. It also said the impact of collective worship on the school community was “good”.

King Edward VI was judged to be good overall by Ofsted following an inspection in December.

Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI School, said: “Our Church of England status means a huge amount to us. It defines so many of our values and the way we work with young people, so we were delighted to be officially judged as ‘outstanding’ in a rigorous inspection.

“Never has an understanding of community, of respect and tolerance, and an exploration of what faith means in a modern age mattered more. The inspector recognised that such principles are at the heart of our ethos. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome.”

Rob Walden, assistant headteacher at King Edward VI School, said this inspection looked at how the school reflects Christian values.

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“We are obviously happy with our Ofsted (report), but this makes us distinctive. This isn’t about promoting religion, but values associated with Christianity, the notions of toleration and inclusion; for example, our links with Kurdistan and promoting the Muslim faith is part of that.”

The report said “committed leadership at all levels embodies Christian values and defines the ethos of the school” and a culture of “reflection, aspiration and inspiration” ensured these values had an exceptional impact on learners.

It said: “Students are overwhelmingly aspirational, confident and well-rounded. The clearly articulated Christian principles of valuing and celebrating the achievements of each individual ensure that students have a strong sense of self-worth, and as a result progress for all groups is at least good and attendance is very good.

“A culture of respect for all and a strong focus on reflection and debate ensure that students engage in meaningful discussions, offering their own opinions and listening to those of others.”

The report said strong links with 11 countries as diverse as Canada and Iraq provided “excellent” opportunities for students to experience a range of cultures first-hand, and students could benefit from visits and exchanges through a carefully-planned programme of events. It also said opportunities to explore faith and belief were embedded across the curriculum.

One of the two areas to improve was around the delivery of tutor group-based worship and reflection.

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