Bedford Free School

What is this page?

We are, a schools information website. This page is one of our school directory pages. This is not the website of Bedford Free School.

What is Locrating?

Locrating is the UK's most popular and trusted school guide; it allows you to view inspection reports, admissions data, exam results, catchment areas, league tables, school reviews, neighbourhood information, carry out school comparisons and much more. Below is some useful summary information regarding Bedford Free School.

To see all our data you need to click the blue button at the bottom of this page to view Bedford Free School on our interactive map.

About Bedford Free School

Name Bedford Free School
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Jane Herron
Address Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AD
Phone Number 01234332299
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 508
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a school where leaders, staff and pupils relentlessly strive for excellence in all that they do. Leaders' expectations of staff and pupils are exceptionally high and unyielding.

Staff provide the support pupils need to meet these expectations. Pupils value their education and their time at school. They work with exceptional determination to achieve their admirable goals.

The very calm atmosphere at the school enables pupils to learn with great focus. Pupils are very well behaved. Staff coach and correct pupils to ensure that all pupils adhere to the details of the school's behaviour code.

Pupils work exceptionally well independently and are highly sup...portive of each other when working together in lessons. Some pupils told us that joining this school has transformed the way they behave. They say that they now can do well in education and have improved life chances.

Pupils feel safe and confident in the school's orderly and purposeful learning environment.

Pupils say, and school records show, that bullying is rare. Pupils are confident that the highly skilled pastoral staff can help them if bullying or other social challenges occur.

Leaders have designed an impressive curriculum for personal development. Pupils access a very wide range of activities that enrich their learning. They pursue their talents and interests with great enthusiasm.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The school provides high-quality education. The curriculum is structured very well. Leaders have ensured that teachers understand exactly what pupils need to know and be able to do.

This enables teachers to build on what pupils have already learned. Teachers give lots of opportunities for pupils to revisit previously taught topics and skills. Teachers also provide pupils with effective resources to help them review what has been taught.

As a result, pupils remember a great deal of what they have learned.

Leaders ensure that the curriculum and teaching meet the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Leaders and teachers know their pupils very well.

Staff carefully check how well pupils are doing and ensure that they receive effective support when necessary. When pupils fall behind, staff are quick to provide the help required so that pupils catch up.

Leaders and staff are ambitious about developing the most effective teaching practices at the school.

Leaders pay close attention to each member of staff's learning needs. Leaders provide high-quality training so that all colleagues improve their teaching over time. Teachers enthusiastically seek out new approaches to teaching.

They use educational research effectively to make their teaching even better.Overall, pupil achievement is exceptional. However, pupils do not attain equally well across all subjects.

In some subjects, the practical elements are not implemented in line with leaders' stated expectations. In some subjects, teachers do not take enough account of what pupils already know and can do to ensure that they make rapid progress.

The curriculum provides well for pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

In religious education, for example, pupils learn to appreciate the impact of religious texts on people of faith and wider society. Pupils strongly agree that the school encourages them to respect people from differing backgrounds and to treat everyone equally.

Staff provide pupils with expert advice about their potential next steps in employment, education and training.

Staff are committed to pupils aiming high when choosing potential careers. In 2019, all Year 11 pupils completed their GCSE courses having secured employment, education or training.

Governors and trustees are highly skilled in their roles.

They provide excellent challenge and support for leaders. This ensures that leaders address areas that need improvement quickly and effectively. Governors and trustees focus on the best interests of pupils.

Governors ensure that leaders work in partnership with parents and carers so that pupils get the best support possible. Governors keep a watchful eye on the number of pupils leaving the school and their reasons for doing so.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff are well trained regarding safeguarding. Staff know pupils well and are vigilant for signs of potential harm. When concerns arise, staff act quickly and appropriately.

Leaders work well with external agencies to ensure that vulnerable pupils receive the necessary support.

Leaders ensure that all required checks are carried out on adults working with pupils.

Governors and trustees check to make sure that leaders and staff carry out their duties effectively.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The overall curriculum is very strong, but in some subjects the implementation does not fully reflect the stated intentions of leaders. In some subjects, practical elements are not as strong as the theoretical. The school should ensure that the implementation of all aspects of each subject's curriculum reflect the leaders' stated intentions and the ambition they have for all pupils to excel.

  Compare to
nearby schools