Suffolk school revealed as one of the best in country for GCSEs in Sunday Times guide

Debenham High School has been ranked as the 11th best state secondary school in the country by the S

Debenham High School has been ranked as the 11th best state secondary school in the country by the Sunday Times. Left to right: Maisy Ward-Jackson, Alfred Scott, headteacher Julie Upton, Frazer McMyn, Millie Clark Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk high school is celebrating after being named one of the best secondary schools in the country for GCSE results.

Debenham High School has been ranked as the 11th best state secondary school in the country by the S

Debenham High School has been ranked as the 11th best state secondary school in the country by the Sunday Times. Left to right: Maisy Ward-Jackson, Alfred Scott, headteacher Julie Upton, Frazer McMyn, Millie Clark Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Debenham High School, in Gracechurch Street, has recently been ranked as the 11th best state secondary school in the Sunday Times Parent Power guide for 2020.

Headteacher Julia Upton said the news surprised both staff and the school's 675 students.

She said: "I'm very proud and the students were very pleased.

"Our performance in the last few years has been great and this result is testament to our school not committing to quick fixes."

Debenham High School has been ranked as the 11th best state secondary school in the country by the S

Debenham High School has been ranked as the 11th best state secondary school in the country by the Sunday Times. Left to right: Maisy Ward-Jackson, Alfred Scott, headteacher Julie Upton, Frazer McMyn, Millie Clark Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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The Sunday Times Parent Power Guide is compiled every year to identify the highest-achieving schools throughout the UK based on exam results.

Numerous schools from Suffolk were also recognised in the guide, including Ed Sheeran's former school Thomas Mills High, Farlingaye High and St Benedict's RC School.

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Debenham High School's 11th place in its state secondary category comes after 37.4% of the school's students achieved A*/A/9/8/7 at GCSE.

Miss Upton said the school's transition to teaching GCSEs under the number grading system - first introduced in 2017 - has been a challenge.

Debenham High School has been ranked as the 11th best state secondary school in the country by the S

Debenham High School has been ranked as the 11th best state secondary school in the country by the Sunday Times. Left to right: Maisy Ward-Jackson, Alfred Scott, headteacher Julie Upton, Frazer McMyn, Millie Clark Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

However, she is delighted with the progress that has been made: "We have, for years, been making sure that all subjects areas and teachers are well prepared.

"Our staff have been spending a good amount of time preparing the students for the changes.

"This result is a genuine indication of staff understanding the new courses well."

As well as achieving impressive GCSE results, Miss Upton stressed that the school does what it can to ensure its students enter the working world with the necessary social skillset.

She added: "We hope that what we do for our students is not just academic - we want them to go into the world as healthy, confident and self-assured young people."

Despite the high ranking, Miss Upton also said the school will strive for a better placing next year.

She said: "We're absolutely delighted with the result. But we can't rest on our laurels when children need teaching.

"I would like to thank all our staff for their hard work, and a hearty congratulations to our students."

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