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“Vibrant, caring, ambitious”: King Edward VI Five Ways School praised in Ofsted report

King Edward VI Five Ways School has welcomed a positive Ofsted report, following an inspection last term.

Inspectors who visited the school in Bartley Green in November judged two areas of school life to be “outstanding” (the highest possible grading):

  • Behaviour and attitudes
  • Sixth Form provision.

Publication of the report comes just weeks after the co-educational grammar school, which is part of the King Edward VI Foundation, was placed seventh in The Sunday Times’ secondary school rankings for the West Midlands, also retaining its place in the top 50 secondary schools in the UK.

Findings referenced in the Ofsted report include:

  • “Pupils are proud to be members of this vibrant and caring community. They talk glowingly about the dedication, kindness and commitment of staff.”
  • “Teachers are passionate advocates for the subjects they teach, and this enthusiasm is clear in lessons.”
  • “Staff keep a watchful eye on pupils and the culture of safeguarding is especially strong.”
  • “Pupils know that they can trust their teachers to help them.”
  • “In the sixth form, all students take time out to ‘breathe easy and relax’ alongside staff each week. This helps sixth-form students flourish.”
  • “Staff know that they are expected to work hard for the benefit of the pupils. However, they know that their hard work never goes unnoticed.”
  • “The headteacher, supported by leaders at all levels, leads with clarity, foresight and steadfastness. This has united the school community. Everyone is working together to further improve the school.”
  • “In all key stages, the school has planned an ambitious curriculum.”
  • “[In the sixth form], the quality of education is exceptional.”
  • “Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have their needs identified and met effectively.”
  • “The school broadens pupils’ horizons, develops them as active citizens and celebrates diversity and difference.”
  • “Governors are committed to the school and its pupils.”

The overall judgement of the Ofsted report is that King Edward VI Five Ways School is a “good” school, which was informed by inspectors grading it as “good” in the following three areas:

  • Quality of education
  • Personal development
  • Leadership and management.

Mr Bob Grundy, Chair of Governors at King Edward VI Five Ways School, said: “It was wonderful to show the inspection team all the aspects of Five Ways that make this a very special place.

The report is extremely complementary about the school, its pupils and staff and I am grateful to all those who worked tirelessly for a successful inspection.

“We are delighted that the report has come so soon after The Sunday Times recognised our pupils’ academic performance. We celebrate particularly because we know that life at Five Ways is not just about academic success, but about the rich diversity of educational experience on offer here, and we are pleased that the vibrancy of school life has been referenced in our Ofsted report. Pupils and staff should be rightly proud that Five Ways’ holistic education – encompassing the academic, extra-curricular and pastoral aspects of school life – is highly regarded.

“We look ahead now to developing our work around ensuring that teaching always responds to the emerging needs of all our pupils and enhancing the professional development of all our teachers.”

Mrs Linda Johnson was interim Headteacher of King Edward VI Five Ways School for the past nine months. She has now been succeeded as Headteacher by Dr Simon Bird, formerly Headteacher of King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School for Boys, who took over at the start of this term.

Mr Grundy added: “On behalf of the governing body, and indeed the whole Foundation, I would like to record my thanks to Mrs Johnson for her leadership at Five Ways and for guiding us through our Ofsted inspection. We wish her the very best for the future. I now look forward to working with Dr Bird on taking forward the areas of development identified in the report.”

It is worth noting that the Ofsted framework for this inspection is significantly different to the one the school was last inspected under in 2008. It is extremely difficult to directly compare categories between the previous and current frameworks. The full report can be found on the school's website.