Copleston High School

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Copleston High School
Copleston high school 10s07.JPG
Type Academy
Principal Sean Common
Location Copleston Road
Coordinates: 52°03′16″N 1°11′39″E / 52.05455°N 1.19412°E / 52.05455; 1.19412
DfE URN 136827 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1800 (approx.)
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18

Copleston High School is a secondary school for ages 11–18 in Ipswich, England. It is an academy, and caters for around 1,800 students,[1] as well as between 340-370 students in the sixth form which was shared with Holywells High School until 2011. A 2009 Ofsted inspection rated its overall performance as good with outstanding features.[2]


The school first opened in 1939 as two separate boys' and girls' secondary modern schools.[3] However soon afterwards, World War II was declared and the site was used as a hospital for the duration of the War.

2006 arson attack[edit]

A severe fire on 27 August 2006 damaged the school's gym, classrooms and staff room, which prevented many students from returning after the summer break while repairs were being carried out.[4] Former pupil Ashley Norman pleaded guilty to starting the fire at Ipswich Crown Court in January 2007, whilst a second boy denied the charges.[5] They were both found guilty of arson and charged with 3 and 4 years respectively in a young offenders institution.

Two separate fires were started on site, the first in the staff block of the main building and the second in the girls' gym where a trampoline was set alight.[6] For a time the school used an old air raid siren to signify the end of classes after the fire destroyed the old bell system.[7]

2010 Sixth Form revamp[edit]

The sixth form centre, built in 1996, received a £70,000 refurbishment during 2010. This allowed the development of specialist individual study areas with computer access.[8]

Allegations about suspended teacher[edit]

In 2012, a former PE teacher at Copleston was charged with 30 sexual offences against three girls, including 12 rapes and two counts of sexual activity with a child. The teacher was subsequently convicted.[9] The charges did not involve any current pupils,[citation needed] and had occurred between 1989 and 2011. The teacher denies these charges.


In 2007 a scheme by students to run a "juice bar" selling smoothies in cooperation with a local firm earned one of the students the title of East of England Student of the Year and attracted interest from other schools in the county. The myjuice bar subsequently closed due to the closure of the company behind the idea.[10] A coffee bar stands in its place today.


  1. ^ "Copleston High School School overview". Directgov. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Copleston High School Inspection report" (PDF). Ofsted. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Copleston High School, Ipswich". Retrieved 25 January 2010.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ "Fire school opens for some pupils". BBC News. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Teen admits starting school fire". BBC News. 26 January 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Teen started massive fire after break-up". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Fire school using air raid sirens". BBC News. 7 September 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "Learning boost for students enjoying revamped centre". Evening Star. 2 October 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Ipswich teacher Stephen Benson denies 30 sex offences". BBC News. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Juicy school scheme to roll out Evening Star, 27 July 2007