F1 commentator Martin Brundle “shocked” to hear how his old King’s Lynn school has been placed in special measures

Former F1 driver and now Formula One Commentator Martin Brundle, with Michael Schumacher's winning F

Former F1 driver and now Formula One Commentator Martin Brundle, with Michael Schumacher's winning Ferrari race car from the year 2000 season. <co Katy Thursby> - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

Ex-Grand Prix star Martin Brundle has spoken of his shock at how his former King's Lynn school has been placed in special measures.

Martin Brundle (right) pictured with his brother Robin (left) handing over keys for a new minibus to

Martin Brundle (right) pictured with his brother Robin (left) handing over keys for a new minibus to King Edward VII School headteacher Mike Douglass (centre) in 2003. He has since spoken of his shock at how his former school has been put into special measures. Photo: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

The 54-year-old former racing driver, who currently commentates on Formula One for Sky Sports, took to the social networking site Twitter to say: 'Shocked my great old (then Grammar School) KES K/Lynn in 'special measures'.'

King Edward VII High School, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

King Edward VII High School, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

He went on to ask: 'How do we screw up health/education, should be even better by now.'

Mr Brundle attended what is now the King Edward VII School (KES) when it was a grammar school.

The historic school in Gayton Road, King's Lynn, has clearly served him well – after leaving, he worked his way up through junior racing formulae, including Formula Ford and Formula Three, before landing a coveted seat in Formula One in 1984.


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From there he embarked on a successful 12-year career during which he drove for top teams such as McLaren, Benetton and Tyrrell and raced legends such as Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher.

Since 1997, he has been a highly-popular commentator for the BBC, ITV and Sky on the sport he once raced in.

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Yet while one its former pupils is regularly praised as a leading light in motorsport, KES – which is due to become an academy sponsored by the College of West Anglia – has been slammed as 'inadequate' by Ofsted inspectors, who criticised its declining standards and poor teaching.

The headteacher, Mike Douglass, said the school's 'significant drop' in its GCSE results this year put it in a 'vulnerable position' when inspectors visited at the start of the new term.

Yet despite Mr Douglass' assertion that KES leaders know their school's strengths and shortcomings, lead Ofsted inspector Michael Sutherland claimed managers 'rate the school as being better than it is and so miss how it needs to improve'.

Despite the ruling, Mr Douglass has said: 'Our aspirations and goals have not been deflected by this judgment. We are committed to becoming an outstanding school.'

He has promised a 'massive push on developing teaching through a range of strategies' and said systems for monitoring pupil performance had been made more regular and that best practices of teaching were being shared across the school.

A zero-tolerance approach to bad behaviour has also been introduced in the school, along with a new uniform and 'vertical tutoring' system, where form groups are made up of pupils of a range of ages.

Mr Brundle's reference to problems in health and education will strike a particular chord with people in his home town.

The King's Lynn Queen Elizabeth Hospital was recently put in special measures by healthcare regulator Monitor after a series of negative inspection reports which criticised the level of care.

A new chief executive, chairman and improvement director have been imposed on the hospital and given until December 31 to make urgent improvements to the key areas of concern, such as the level of staffing.

What do you think about Martin Brundle's remarks on health and education? Comment below or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk

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