Becket Keys School is celebrating being judged outstanding by Ofsted in all four inspection categories. Brentwood’s newest secondary school, which opened in September 2012, and is already heavily oversubscribed, was visited by Ofsted inspectors on May 7th and 8th.
Headteacher Andy Scott-Evans said “I am so proud to be part of the leadership of this wonderful new school. Inspectors’ comments during the visit and in the report also made me very proud. They recognised the inclusive nature of Becket Keys; and the fact that students of all abilities make outstanding progress. This was our stated aim, and that of our sponsor RET, in setting up the school”
Mr Scott-Evans has written an open letter to parents at the school which says :
“I have spent the weeks since our inspection thanking God and thanking my colleagues for the fact that our community’s vision for an outstanding Church of England Secondary school in Brentwood has been realised. I am now able to publicly thank our students and you, our parents. It is due to parental support and determination that Becket Keys was approved to open in September 2012 and since then has gone from strength to strength. The partnership between teachers, parents and students will remain fundamental to this school’s continued success and its service to the community”
The effectiveness of the school’s sponsor the Russell Education Trust, in supporting high quality teaching and learning and effective governance, is referenced throughout the report. In addition the role of RET, the Diocese, the Anglican Primary School Trust and parents on the governing body is singled out for praise.
Chair of Governors, Rev Ian Jorysz said:
“I am thrilled that the dedicated hard work of our Headteacher, staff, sponsor and so many others has been recognized through this judgment. To be graded ‘outstanding’ is a significant accolade for any school, but it is yet more remarkable an achievement so early after a school’s opening. I am especially pleased that the inspectors recognized the quality of our Christian community, which is fundamental to our vision for the school. Above all, I am delighted that the high quality of education offered to our students has been endorsed”
RET Chief Executive, Karen Lynch said:
“Becket Keys really has achieved everything we hoped and planned for in its first two years. The school is nurturing the cultural, social and moral development of students, whilst also laying the foundations for some fantastic public examination results in the future. The partnerships that we have developed with not only the Church of England and parents, but also the wider family of schools in Brentwood and with the LA, have been immensely important to the school’s success"
Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford said:
"It is very good news that Becket Keys is off to an outstanding start. And that is official. The school has worked hard to earn the support and trust of the community for being both high performing and inclusive. It is a school of vision and faith that is delivering an excellent all round education."
Schools’ Minister, Lord Nash, said:
"I congratulate staff and pupils at Becket Keys on the publication of their first OfSTED report. Achieving this ‘outstanding’ rating in only their second year of opening is a fantastic achievement and all down to the exceptional hard work and determination of the teachers and pupils at the school. I am particularly impressed by the glowing comments OfSTED has made about the school’s strong ethos and culture of high achievement, the progress made by students eligible for the pupil premium and those who have special educational needs, and the outstanding behaviour and safety. This school is an excellent example of how the free school programme is offering pupils and parents a high standard of education."
Councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said:
“Many congratulations to all at Becket Keys Church of England School on this inspection judgement. We are delighted to see such an excellent start to the school - the inspection report is a tribute to the determination and skill of all who led both establishing the vision and creating this very fine new school.”
HMI wrote in the report that:
- A Christian ethos permeates all aspects of school life and fosters a ‘family’ atmosphere in which all students feel cared for, and valued.
- The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Behaviour in classes and round the school is impeccable.
- School leaders have deliberately recruited high-quality, motivated staff with good subject knowledge who are fully committed to the school’s values and aims. They benefit from regular whole-school training and personalised support in their specialist subjects provided by the school’s sponsor Trust.
- Students from all backgrounds make rapid progress. Students’ books in a range of subjects show that they are expected to work hard, write at length and complete tasks matched to their abilities.
- More-able students make exceptional progress due to the high quality of teaching they receive. Inspectors found the quality of written work of the higher ability students in Year 8 English lessons was similar to the standards expected at GCSE level.