Vandyke Upper School

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Vandyke Upper School
Motto Everyone matters
Established 1976
Type Academy
Headteacher Mr. T Carroll
Location Vandyke Road
Leighton Buzzard
England 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 1,287 total
Gender Coeducational
Ages 13–18
Colours Burgundy
Website Vandyke Upper School

Vandyke Upper School and Community College is an academy school and sixth form in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England. There are currently 1,287 students attending compulsory education with a further 261 students making up the 6th form.[1]


The school was opened in 1976 as a comprehensive school for 13-18 year olds.[2][3]

During the Ofsted inspection that took place in December 2006, Vandyke Upper School achieved a Grade 2 (Good) rating.[2]


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[1] and was granted £114,000 from the Government's Big Lottery Fund in 2006, providing out of hours sporting activities.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]


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.[8] 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.[9] In 2008 Vandyke Upper School raised over £2000 for Smile Malawi.

Vandyke Education Trust[edit]

The Governing Body of Vandyke Upper School is proposing 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.[10] 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 set up to help continue their drive for improved standards for the students in school and the work with the wider community. 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

The partnership will devote itself to:

  • achieving excellence through co-operation and the sharing of expertise to create a wide

range of high quality learning opportunities for the benefit of our students and the local community; and

  • enhancing the leadership and management of our organisations through collaboration,

innovation and shared learning with a focus upon quality. The Governing Body will gain new powers and responsibilities. It will become the employer of staff, although existing pay and conditions arrangements will be unchanged as the school will remain in the maintained sector and be subject to national pay and conditions agreements. The Governing Body will also become responsible for student admissions, but will work jointly with the Local Authority to administer the provision of student places within the requirements of the National Schools Admissions Code. The Trust will hold the land and capital assets for the school and the Governing body will have (as now) day-to-day responsibility for managing these assets. The full consultation documents, Booklet One "Changing to Foundation School Status andAcquiring a Charitable Trust" and Booklet Two "Questions and Answers" together explain in more detail these proposals and outline the functions of the partners who will add capacity to the proposed Trust. Stakeholders have the opportunity to comment on these proposals during the consultation period which runs from Monday 14 June 2010 to Friday 16 July 2010, 3 pm (5 weeks). At an extraordinary meeting of the Governing Body will be held on Tuesday 20 July. Governors will consider feedback from the consultation and then decide whether to proceed and to publish statutory proposals on changing category and acquiring a charitable trust or to remain a community school. Details of the consultation process and how to respond are included in Booklet One "Changing to Foundation School Status and Acquiring a Charitable Trust".

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. ^ a b Vandyke School at Office of Standards in Education (OfSted), retrieved 15 June 2007
  2. ^ a b Vandyke home page, retrieved 15 June 2007
  3. ^ Vandyke School at Office of Standards in Education (OfSted), retrieved 15 June 2007
  4. ^ [1], retrieved 15 June 2007
  5. ^ [2], retrieved 15 June 2007
  6. ^ Leighton Buzzard Today (Online), retrieved 5 July 2007
  7. ^ Online News Article retrieved 30 September 2007
  8. ^ [3] retrieved 15 June 2007
  9. ^ [4] retrieved 15 June 2007
  10. ^ Vandyke home page, retrieved 30 June 2010

External links[edit]