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Bury St Edmunds West Suffolk

County Upper praised for ‘effective’ safeguarding

Sally Kennedy – County Upper School new headteacher

A secondary school has “acted decisively” to address historic safeguarding issues, an Ofsted inspection has concluded.

Inspectors visited County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds over two days in June and July and have now issued their monitoring inspection report – highlighting the progress made by the school and Unity Schools Partnership, of which County Upper is a member.

In their report, inspectors noted: “Leaders and Unity Schools Partnership have acted decisively to improve the safeguarding procedures and culture in the school. 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 seen as everyone’s responsibility. Staff are confident in their ability to recognise and report concerns. Safeguarding is now effective.”

The school has a new leadership team this term, headed up by new headteacher Sally Kennedy, who described the inspectors’ comments as a “positive start”.

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

“I look forward to working with all my new colleagues both at the school and our wider partners as we build the next era of the school.”

Ian Cox, chair 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 Schools Partnership, praised both staff at the school and his trust colleagues.

He added: “The inspection letter recognises the very significant progress over the summer term.

“We are grateful to the local authority and police for the close working with them to ensure effective procedures are in place to keep students safe. We were also pleased to see the recognition of key subject leaders at the school.”

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