A SCHOOL which was hit by “major disruption” after the discovery of asbestos has been praised by Ofsted and rated “good” after making a series of improvements.

The King Edmund School, in Vaughan Close, Rochford, has been rated “good” in all areas after an inspection on January 23 and 24.

The positive report comes after the school was rated as “requires improvement” in 2019.

Inspectors praised the school for the way “leaders skilfully negotiated the wide scale difficulties” after asbestos was discovered in the rubble of a demolished building at the school in 2022.

The school say a new school building is due to open in early 2025.

The report stated: “King Edmund School pupils have experienced exceptional levels of disruption, because of building works. This has not been the school’s fault.

“Pupils learn on a building site, partly in temporary classrooms. Despite this, they value and enjoy school.

“Pupils praise the strong support they get from leaders and staff.

“The school has maintained and developed the quality of its provision while managing the significant challenges with its buildings.

“The discovery of asbestos in November 2022, led to a nine-week closure.

“However, leaders skilfully negotiated the widescale difficulties of providing safe and appropriate education.

“The disruption, on top of previous closures, took its toll on the school.

“But leaders, governors, staff, and pupils have faced these obstacles courageously and well.”

At the time of the inspection, there were 1,432 pupils at the school all aged between 11 and 19.

Inspectors added: “There are high expectations for behaviour. Staff apply the behaviour policy consistently. The number of sanctions, such as suspensions, has risen, but these are used appropriately.

“Pupils respond to clear routines and conduct themselves well. Disruption to learning is uncommon and managed successfully.”

A spokesman for the governing body and senior leaders at the school added: “We are immensely proud of our school and are extremely happy to receive recognition for the hard work of both staff and students, considering the significant challenges that the school has had over the past four years.

“We would like to acknowledge the assistance of various partners on this journey. In particular, we would like to say thank you to our local Councillors, and the Rt Hon Mark Francois MP and Sir James Duddridge for their efforts on the school’s behalf.”