Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Safeguarding at County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds judged effective by Ofsted after leaders take action




Leaders at a Suffolk secondary school rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted have ‘acted decisively’ to improve historic safeguarding issues.

The education watchdog visited County Upper School, in Bury St Edmunds, on June 30 and July 1 for a serious weaknesses monitoring inspection to check its progress after inspectors ruled in 2019 that ‘leaders failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure pupils’ safety’.

County Upper has since joined the Unity Schools Partnership and, in a report of the monitoring inspection, Ofsted found leaders and the trust have ‘acted decisively to improve the safeguarding procedures and culture in the school’.

County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

It said: “Pupils now say they feel safe. They know who to report concerns to and are confident that staff will act on concerns appropriately. Safeguarding is now effective.”

On areas for improvement, inspectors noted a ‘small but significant number of pupils are persistently absent’ and the ‘behaviour of a small minority of pupils results in them being regularly excluded from school’.

The school has a new leadership team and new headteacher Sally Kennedy described the report as a ‘positive start’.

Sally Kennedy, new headteacher at County Upper School
Sally Kennedy, new headteacher at County Upper School

Mrs Kennedy said: “I am delighted to be working with staff so clearly committed to this school and to our students.”

She added that she was looking forward to working with colleagues to ‘build the next era of the school’.

Ian Cox, chairman of the school’s governing body, said: “I have had the privilege of a long association with County Upper and we start this year with great optimism.

“I pay tribute to the work the staff have carried out to address the matters that have been raised at previous inspection visits by Ofsted.”

Tim Coulson, chief executive at Unity, said they were grateful to the local authority and police for their close working to ensure effective procedures to keep students safe.

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