After staff at Bedford Free School (BFS) questioned Ofsted’s previous rating of ‘good’, the inspectors have revised their grading of the school, rating it ‘outstanding’ in every category.
The updated report, published yesterday (Wednesday), judges that the school is ‘outstanding’ in every category – the highest possible inspection grade.
Previously, the inspection of 15 and 16 January had graded 3 out of 4 areas as ‘outstanding’.
However, senior leaders at the school raised concerns about the judgement and ahead of the final web publication, Ofsted investigated these concerns.
Following Ofsted’s review of the inspection evidence, it concluded that the fourth area; quality of education, was also ‘outstanding’ rather than ‘good’.
This means the overall judgement is now also ‘outstanding’, and the final report has duly been amended to reflect this change. It will be published on the Ofsted website on 18 March 2020.
In particular, the report praises the school’s ethos and high expectations. BFS was recently confirmed as within the top 150 performing secondary schools nationally in the league tables.
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 judgement that reflects the school.
“I am very proud of the school, regardless of judgement. But the revised judgement, I believe, reflects the exceptional expectations we have at the school.”
Nigel Syson, Chair of Governors, said, “The review of the inspection confirms the governors’ view that Bedford Free School is an outstanding school.
“On behalf of the governors, I would like to thank the staff and parents for the incredible work that goes into ensuring such an excellent quality of education and personal enrichment is available to the pupils of BFS.
“I wish to pay particular tribute to Mr Blake, the Principal, and his leadership team, as well as staff for their relentless drive and ambition to ensure all pupils receive a phenomenal education.”
Stuart Lock, Chief Executive Officer of Advantage Schools, said, “The pupils, families, staff and leaders at BFS can rightly be proud of their achievements, confirmed by Ofsted.
“The culture of excellence and attention to detail that is typical of those that work at BFS is truly inspirational.
“Everything that they do is for the benefit of our pupils and I am so pleased that Ofsted have recognised this during their visit.”