Vandyke Upper School

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Vandyke Upper School
Motto Everyone matters
Established 1976
Type Academy
Headteacher Tim Carroll
Location Vandyke Road
Leighton Buzzard
Coordinates: 51°56′14″N 0°38′42″W / 51.93718°N 0.64488°W / 51.93718; -0.64488
DfE number 823/4096
DfE URN 137169 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 80 approx.
Students 940
Gender Coeducational
Ages 13–18
Colours Burgundy

Vandyke Upper School and Community College is an academy school and sixth form in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England. As of 2015, there are 700 students attending compulsory education with a further 240 students making up the sixth form.[1]


The school was opened in 1976 as a comprehensive school for 13- to 18-year-olds.[2]

During the Ofsted inspection that took place in December 2006, Vandyke Upper School achieved a Grade 2 (Good) rating.[3] The school was inspected again by Ofsted in 2013, the overall result being Grade 3 (Requires improvement). This was primarily attributed to unsatisfactory exam results and mixed quality of teaching.


For several years Vandyke has been a participant of the Rock Challenge, a dance and drama event promoting healthy lifestyles amongst pupils.[4] In 2005 Vandyke achieved Sports College status[5] and was granted £114,000 from the Government's Big Lottery Fund in 2006, providing out of hours sporting activities.[6] In 2007 the school was awarded the Government Charter Mark for excellence in customer service. Vandyke met 63 exacting standards of customer service to qualify for the award.[7] The Government's Key performance indicator, a program that logs school's GCSE and Key Stage Two exam performances, has placed Vandyke's results in the top 25% of schools across the country. According to the log, 61 percent of Vandyke students attained A* to C grades in their GCSE's in 2007.[8]


Vandyke Upper School donated forty-eight computers to Kabalega Secondary School, in Uganda. Twelve more computers went to an NGO, the Link Development Community, also of Uganda, who work to improve education within the country.[9] Annually, since 2005, Vandyke has held fund raising events for the charity, Smile Malawi. Smile Malawi is a charity aimed at improving educatory standards for children in Malawi.[10] In 2008 Vandyke Upper School raised over £2000 for Smile Malawi.

Vandyke Education Trust[edit]

The Governing Body of Vandyke Upper School is proposing[when?] a change of school category from a community school to a foundation school which will acquire a charitable trust to be called the Vandyke Education Trust.[11] This is a new type of school that, while still being part of the local authority, has the opportunity to be supported by a Charitable Trust. To provide continuity and stability for the Trust, the Governors of Vandyke Upper School proposed to formalise, through a Trust, their partnerships with:

  • The University of Bedfordshire
  • Central Bedfordshire College of FE
  • MK Dons Sport and Education Trust
  • BEAerospace
  • VT Education
  • Central Bedfordshire Council

School Site[edit]

The main site of the school is divided into two main buildings. The buildings are divided into blocks which house different departmental sections of the school:

Main Building Secondary Building
Administrative Block English Department
Sixth Form Admin. and facilities Science Department
Media Department Year 11 Common Room (formerly 10 and 11 Cafeteria)
TV Studio Humanities and CPRE Department
Cafeteria History Department
Theatre and Drama Studio Foreign Languages Department
Music Department ICT and Business Department
Dance Studio FT department
Specialist Sports Department Design and Art Technology Department
Fitness Building (Gym) Maths Village

Vandyke Upper School and Community college has facilities such as a flood lit artificial turf pitch and theatre. In 2006 and 2007, construction and refurbishment work occurred resulting in the creation of a new library, new administration blocks, new reception area, sports facilities including a dance studio and changing rooms. Over Summer 2007, work was carried out to refurbish the English block, as well as new buildings being developed within the music department.

Currently work is being undertaken in the Humanities department and the Arts Department to refurbish the Arts Room to make a dark room for the new photography course and the old dining room. The old dining room has been made into an extra PE/Dance Area plus a place for students to eat and relax during Lunch and break times.


  1. ^ "School Inspection Report: Vandyke Upper School and Community College" (PDF). Ofsted. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Vandyke School at Office of Standards in Education (OfSted) Archived 10 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved 15 June 2007
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ [1], retrieved 15 June 2007
  5. ^ [2], retrieved 15 June 2007[dead link]
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2007. , retrieved 15 June 2007
  7. ^ Leighton Buzzard Today (Online)[permanent dead link], retrieved 5 July 2007
  8. ^ Online News Article retrieved 30 September 2007
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2007.  retrieved 15 June 2007
  10. ^ [3] Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. retrieved 15 June 2007
  11. ^ Vandyke home page, retrieved 30 June 2010

External links[edit]