Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Pupils at County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds 'still do not feel safe' and had concerns about Covid-19 protective measures, Ofsted report reveals




Pupils at a Bury St Edmunds school raised concerns with Ofsted about their safety including the risk of contracting coronavirus.

The education watchdog yesterday published the findings of a monitoring inspection at County Upper School, which was held on site on February 25 due to 'significant concerns about safeguarding'.

The school, in Beeton's Way, was rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted two years ago with leaders told they had 'failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure pupils’ safety' and governors had a 'limited understanding' of local risks including county-lines drug dealing and gang-related activity.

County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds was rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted two years ago. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds was rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted two years ago. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

In a report to headteacher Nick Froy, Inspector Andrew Hemmings said safeguarding was still 'not effective'.

He said: "Although new site security arrangements have made it difficult for people to gain unauthorised access to the site, some pupils still do not feel safe.

"They told us they do not believe the school will use appropriate protective measures to minimise their risk of contracting Covid-19."

However, they noted that leaders were 'committed to continuing to provide a high-quality education during the pandemic'.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of the school's trust Unity Schools Partnership, said a 'very small minority of students' had concerns about Covid-19 measures before they returned on March 8 but acknowledged 'even a small minority is too many'.

"In our experience, we are delighted to say that students have returned from the last lockdown in good spirits and are enjoying learning in a safe environment alongside their friends," he said.

Mr Coulson added that refresher training for safeguarding had been booked in for next month and the school was enhancing links with agencies including the council and police.

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk

Read more: All the latest news from Bury St Edmunds