Bedford Free School rated outstanding after Ofsted revises grading

School now gets top rating

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 5:44 am

Staff, pupils and parents are celebrating after being told the school (BFS) now grades as outstanding in every category.

Previously, the school, in Cauldwell Street, was categorised as outstanding in three out of four areas.

But when senior leaders at BFS raised concerns about the judgment, Ofsted investigated and the report was revised.

Bedford Free School (Google)

Tim Blake, principal of BFS, said: “I am obviously over-the-moon for the pupils, staff and families that all of our collective hard work has been recognised with a judgment that reflects the school. I am very proud of the school, regardless of judgment. But the revised judgment, I believe, reflects the exceptional expectations we have at the school.”

The report praised the school’s ethos and high expectations. Inspectors noted: “Leaders’ expectations of staff and pupils are exceptionally high and unyielding. Staff provide the support pupils need to meet these expectations. Pupils value their education and their time at school. They work with exceptional determination to achieve their admirable goals.”

They also said: "Pupils are very well behaved… Pupils work exceptionally well independently and are highly supportive of each other when working together in lessons.”

The inspection was carried out under the new, tougher framework for inspecting schools, introduced in September 2019. The school, which is sponsored by Advantage Schools, was previously rated good across all categories by Ofsted in March 2016.

Nigel Syson, chair of governors, said: “The review of the inspection confirms the governors’ view that Bedford Free School is an outstanding school.”

Stuart Lock, chief executive officer of Advantage Schools, said: “The pupils, families, staff and leaders at BFS can rightly be proud of their achievements.”