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Education Service News Item

St Bede’s judged an 'Outstanding Christian School'

A unique Christian school in Surrey received the official seal of approval recently when inspectors from its two partner dioceses judged the ‘distinctiveness and effectiveness of St Bede’s School in Redhill as a church school’ as ‘outstanding.’

The Redhill based institution was formed in 1976 following the merger of two schools – St Joseph’s (Catholic) and Bishop Simpson (Anglican). In the 1990s the school extended its partnership to include local free churches as part of a unique ecumenical project. Now St Bede’s educates over 1700 11-18 year old children and the overall education provision was judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2017. The recent section 48 inspection was carried out using a bespoke framework that had been agreed by the school’s partner dioceses. The final report states that ‘pastoral care is excellent’, ‘worship is inclusive of all’, ‘pupils grow into mature and compassionate young people’, and that ‘RE is central to the life of the school and permeates every facet of its life.’ The four areas judged ‘outstanding’ by inspectors were, ‘the extent to which the Christian character of the school allows all members of the school to flourish’, ‘the extent to which prayer and worship promotes spiritual life’, ‘the extent to which RE makes a significant contribution to theological development’ and ‘the leadership and management of St Bede’s as a church school.’

“We were pleased to welcome an inspector from each diocese” headteacher Stephen Crabtree explained. “They spent two days in school visiting RE lessons, talking to students and staff, meeting chaplains and governors, attending form and year group worship and reviewing paperwork provided by the school.” “We work very hard to make sure all our pupils understand their heritage as part of one of the three Christian traditions represented at the school while doing all we can to promote unity and understanding. We are extremely grateful for the support of local parishes and churches as we seek to provide a rounded education to all the young people in our care.” “Every child studies RE throughout the school with every pupil taking a GCSE exam in the subject at 16. In the first three years of the school the pupils also have a DRE lesson where they are taught in Anglican, Catholic or Free Church groups to allow for formation in their own tradition.” “We have made great progress in recent years as we seek to fulfil our mission to provide ‘Christian education at its best.’ However, we recognise that there are still areas we can improve and I am fortunate to lead a talented and ambitious team who want to help develop the education we offer still further.”

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The photo shows the school’s two chaplains – Angela Clark and Jenny Penn with Year 9 pupils.

For further information, contact Stephen Crabtree – sjc@st-bedes.surrey.sch.uk