Thomas Gainsborough School

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Thomas Gainsborough School school
Motto Excellence, For Each, For All
Established September 1972
Type Academy
Headteacher Mr Wayne Lloyd
Deputy Head Andy Samways, Helen Yapp
Chair of Governors Gordon Jones
Location Head Lane
Great Cornard, Sudbury
CO10 0JU
England, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 52°01′28″N 0°44′59″E / 52.02450°N 0.74962°E / 52.02450; 0.74962
Local authority Suffolk
DfE number 935/4019
DfE URN 141639 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1,250 pupils
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Abbas, Chamberlain, Houghton, Peyton, Tollemache
Assistant Head Teachers Carmel Bavington, Chris Ryall, Gail Forster, Dave Chaing, Shaun Douglas
Head of 6th Form Kenny Alexander
Tutor Layout Vertical Tutoring

Thomas Gainsborough School, formerly Great Cornard Upper School, is an secondary school and sixth form in the village of Great Cornard, located near the town of Sudbury in the English county of Suffolk that educates approximately 1,250 pupils.[1]

It was granted the status of Specialist School in 1998, and was re-designated Technology College in 2001.[2] The school converted to academy status in January 2015, when it became a member of the Samuel Ward Academy Trust.


Included in the school is the new Great Cornard Sports Centre, which is open to the public outside of school hours, funded in part by a £563k grant from the English Active lottery fund. The new complex features a youth drop-in-centre, dance and martial arts studios, changing rooms, fitness studios, a coach education unit and a social area.[3]

The Prospect Theatre, also in the school grounds, puts on a range of plays and concerts throughout the year and, from 26 March 2007, it is the base for the Sudbury Light Operatic Society.[4]

The school completed the building of the new sixth form study block and library in 2009.


In 2012, the school was granted funding for a total rebuild.[5]

Academic performance[edit]

In their report on the school in October 2009 Ofsted gave an overall rating of the school as Good, point two on a four-point scale. The quality of care, support and guidance provide for pupils is described as outstanding.[1]

Results for pupils at age 16 showed clear improvement between 2006 and 2009 outperforming both local and national indicators for pupils gaining 5 GCSE grades between A* and C, including English and Maths.[6] In 2009 the school had the best contextual value added scores of any school in Suffolk.[7]


Mr Wayne Lloyd became the current headteacher in January 2012.[8] The previous headteacher Mr Michael Foley moved to become headteacher of the Thomas Hardye School in September 2011.[9] Andy Samways (Deputy Headteacher) was Acting Headteacher between these dates.[10]


  • Former head of religious studies and head of year Steve Morris, who had moved to Aldershot, was sentenced to 15 months in prison in May 2007 having admitted three counts of indecently assaulting a pupil at Great Cornard Upper School.[11]
  • On 10 June 2004, three girls needed medical attention for the effects of gas after raiders struck at the hotel where they were staying during a school trip in Villepinte, France.[12]

New Build. In 2014 the school was granted a £6 million build to replace the new school. The new school was proposed due to the age of the old school and needed a lot of replacement parts. The new school was expected to be finished September 2015, the old school will be knocked down in November 2015.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Martial arts expert Gemma Salter won the 2006 UK full contact fighting title and became the 2006 European champion in Chinese wrestling, shuai jiao.[13]

The school contains memorials to a former teacher, Shelley Baisden, who died of cancer and to a popular teenager, Yibi Matthews, who died of HIV contracted at birth.[14] Yibi Matthews was remembered as the boy with the big smile and his father, Rev David Matthews described Yibi's times at the school as "among his happiest".[15] Also Mrs. Wait a learning mentor who suffered a long and hard battle with cancer[16]

Television actor Rocky Marshall studied at the school in the late 1980s.[17]

Ipswich Town footballer Jamie Griffiths studied at the school from 2006-08 and currently plays for Kettering Town, after a loan spell at Plymouth Argyle,[18] and a short time at Sudbury.

England Goalkeeper Ian Walker studied at the school in the late 1980s.[19]

Olympic Competitor (London 2012 seated discus) Jonathan Adams (athlete), studied at the school during his youth [20]


  1. ^ a b "Ofsted Report, Thomas Gainsborough School", Ofsted, 5 October 2009
  2. ^ Suffolk County Council, retrieved 16 March 2007
  3. ^ "Lottery Grant ‘Activates’ Great Cornard", retrieved 9 July 2007
  4. ^ "Sudbury Light Operatic Society", official site, retrieved 13 July 2007
  5. ^ "EADT Bid Backed"
  6. ^ "Department for Education, Performance Table 2009"
  7. ^ "BBC News School Performance Tables, Secondary Schools in Suffolk", BBC News, 13 January 2010
  8. ^ [1] East Anglian Daily Times, 24 June 2011
  9. ^ [2] Dorset Echo, 5 May 2011
  10. ^ [3] Suffolk County Council School Information
  11. ^ "Inquiry launched after teacher arrest", David Gooderham, East Anglian Daily Times, 6 July 2007
  12. ^ "Pupils caught in hotel gas attack", BBC News, 17 June 2004
  13. ^ "Martial Arts: Gemma eyes Euro title", Suffolk Free Press, 17 August 2006
  14. ^ "School remembers Shelley and Yibi", Suffolk Free Press, 20 March 2008
  15. ^ "Boy's ashes buried at school he loved", Suffolk Free Press, 20 July 2006
  16. ^ "Upper school cancer victim was ‘amazing’". Suffolk Free Press. 28 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "Rocky Road to Success", Suffolk Free Press, 30 July 2007
  18. ^ [4], Suffolk Free Press, 8 October 2011
  19. ^ Ian Walker (footballer),
  20. ^

External links[edit]