Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston praised as ‘shining example of the value of church schools’ after outstanding inspection
A Norfolk secondary has been praised as a “shining example of the value of church schools” by a leading Bishop after receiving top marks in an inspection.
The church report graded Harleston’s Archbishop Sancroft High School (ASHS) as outstanding for its “excellent pastoral and academic support of all pupils”.
As well as a visit by education regulator Ofsted, church schools also undergo a Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) every five years.
It said a “clear and embedded Christian ethos is at the heart of life and work” at the Wilderness Lane school, which has 367 pupils aged between 11 and 16.
Canon Linda Burton, who carried out the inspection between May 17 and 18 this year, added: “All stakeholders readily describe the school as an inclusive ‘family’ in which pupils of all ability levels and backgrounds are known well as individuals, are cared for and supported, and are given the very best opportunities.”
It particularly praised the school’s heartfelt reaction to the death of three teenagers – including two former ASHS students, Kyle Warren and Dominic O’Neill – in a tragic road accident in nearby Pulham Market earlier this year.
“The depth of responses by pupils and adults to the deaths of former pupils in a road accident earlier this year demonstrated unmistakably the impact of the school’s Christian values,” Canon Burton said.
The report also said pupils are making good progress across all subject areas, with religious education found to be outstanding.
“The whole school community recognises fully that the value of the subject is about more than examination success and understands that what pupils learn prepares and equips them exceptionally well for their adult lives in the wider world,” the report said.
The proportion of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) is above the national average and the proportion of those for whom pupil premium (deprivation) funding is received is slightly less than the national average.
ASHS headteacher Richard Cranmer was praised in the SIAMS as an “outstanding Christian role model”.
He said: “Since being appointed as headteacher in 2008, I’ve strived to provide a distinctively Christian community in which young people benefit from excellent teaching in an environment in which they are nurtured and challenged to be the very best they can be.
“We focus relentlessly on educating the whole person and understand that whilst high academic results are important, we recognise that in order to live life to the full we must take a much wider look at the role that our school plays in our current society.”
The Right Revd Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich, added: “Under Richard Cranmer’s inspiring leadership, Archbishop Sancroft has become a shining example of the value of church schools.
“To be recognised as outstanding in its SIAMS inspection report is further proof that the education and spiritual formation young people receive is of the very highest quality.”