Ashton Middle School
|Type||Voluntary aided middle school|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Local authority||Central Bedfordshire|
|DfE URN||109714 Tables|
|Houses||Ely, York, Lincoln & Wells|
|Colours||Navy blue and white|
Intake comes from lower schools in the town and surrounding villages. The majority of graduates move up to one of the upper schools in the town: All Saints Academy, Queensbury Academy or Manshead Upper School
Ashton's main building and grounds began as Dunstable Grammar School, founded by Frances Ashton in 1728 and built in 1887. It officially took on its middle school name and status in 1973.
Bedfordshire changed from a two-tier school system to a three-tier system (lower, middle and upper) in 1972, the concept of middle schools originally being mooted in the 1967 Plowden Report. It is now one of fewer than 200 middle schools in England.
The school has five buildings, the "A" block being the largest and oldest, situated parallel to Watling Street, mainly used for maths and French lessons and secretary duties. It also houses one of two IT suites, a matrons office, a library, the main hall and school chapel. The "B" block is primarily for the new intake form classes. The "C" block is multipurpose but includes science labs and design-technology rooms. The "D" block is used for history, geography and music teaching; and the "E" block contains lockers and storage.
Other facilities include an astroturf pitch, PE block with an indoor gym, and a ball court for the children.
The school has a house system named after four English cathedrals.
Competition between the houses includes a sports day, swimming gala and merit marks, and football, hockey, cricket, rugby, tag rugby and athletics (long jump, high jump, javelin, shot put and track events). The school garden is being rebuilt as a memorial to a former year 8 student, Hayley Spokes.
A section 5 Ofsted inspection was carried out and the report published on 16 March 2011. In the report the school was deemed "inadequate" by education watchdog Ofsted. The report stated "Significant improvement is required in relation to the progress of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and the use of assessment to provide individual pupils with appropriate guidance, challenge and support."
The Ofsted inspection of March 2012 found the school to be "satisfactory and improving, with good features".
- "'Inadequate' school caned by inspectors". Dunstable Today. 9 April 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Ashton CofE VA Middle School". Ofsted. Retrieved 24 April 2014.