It’s ‘Good’ news from Ofsted for Leighton Buzzard’s Vandyke Upper School

Vandyke Upper School, Leighton Buzzard
Vandyke Upper School, Leighton Buzzard

There has been ‘Good’ news for Vandyke Upper School with the publication of its latest Ofsted report.

The school in Leighton Buzzard has been praised by inspectors who visited on May 3 and concluded the ‘Good’ rating given in 2015 had been maintained.

The majority of parents and carers who responded to Ofsted’s online questionnaire, Parent View, agreed that the school provides a supportive and academic setting where pupils can flourish.

The inspectors wrote: “Determined leadership, including that of governors, has ensured that pupils have full access to a broad and balanced curriculum whereby pupils can select from a range of engaging subjects. You provide a clear plan for success which is shared by staff and pupils.”

The report reflects on very good behaviour in lessons and around school, stating students are “courteous, welcoming and respectful”.

It adds: “Pupils respond well to the high expectations of staff and this is reflected in the achievements of many pupils across the year groups in a wide range of subjects.”

They agreed that English was a strength of the school and that “pupils make rapid progress” in that subject.

The report added that there were some areas for improvement, stating: “Through rigorous improvements in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, the most able pupils made progress that was well above the national average in English in 2017.

“However, you recognise that this remains inconsistent in some other subjects such as mathematics and science and you have firm plans in place to address this. Although attendance has improved, you acknowledge that it is still below the national average and you continue to address it through a range of strategies.”

Headteacher Tim Carroll said: “We know that the quality of teaching across the school is high and often innovative and this leads to effective learning by students from Year 9 through to GCSE and A-levels.

“The curriculum is broad and balanced offering students a range of opportunities including strong extra-curricular programme. This was generously acknowledged by the inspection team.”

“I am especially pleased that inspectors wish to praise safe-guarding arrangements and the support provided for students. ‘There is a harmonious learning environment throughout the school’. The support for sixth form students is highlighted as a particular strength.”

“The report highlights two areas for improvement and these already feature in our annual improvement plan.

“The inspection provides a clear stepping-off point for the school and will help us to build further on the school’s many strengths as we aim to provide a genuinely outstanding education for all of our students.”

See the full report at