Backwell School

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Backwell School
Backwell School.JPG
Main gates

An Outstanding School

A National Teaching School
Established 1954
Type Academy (converted)
Headteacher Mr Julian Baldwin
Deputy Headteacher Mr Ben Houghton & Mr Jon Nunes
Chair of Governing Body Mrs Maggie Edwards
Location Station Road
North Somerset
BS48 3BX
England Coordinates: 51°24′58″N 2°44′21″W / 51.4161°N 2.7392°W / 51.4161; -2.7392
DfE URN 136722 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Capacity 1697
Students 1,693[1] as of January 2013
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Houses Cotswold, Mendip, Sedgemoor, Quantock
Colours Navy Blue & Gold          

Backwell School is an academy in Backwell, North Somerset, England.

The school, which has had academy status since May 2011, is a specialist Arts College, and includes a sixth form. The school takes pupils from the age of 11 (Year 7) to the age of 18 (Year 13). It has 1,693 students, of which 387 are in the schools sixth form as of January 2013.[1]

Catchment area[edit]

The school's catchment area includes the villages of Backwell, Yatton, Claverham, Cleeve and Kingston Seymour, although several hundred of the school's students come from locations outside of its official catchment area from locations such as Nailsea and Bristol. The local education authority is North Somerset Council.


The original secondary modern school at Backwell became a comprehensive school in 1976 when the tripartite education system was abolished in the area. The school's original building dates from 1954,[2] when Britain was in the midst of a post-war school-building boom.[3]

In 2009, 71% of GCSE students achieved at least five GCSE passes above grade C including English and Maths.[4] This is 21% above the national average that year. It is the highest performing state secondary school in North Somerset.[5]

In November 2008, Backwell School was rated as outstanding by Ofsted.[6] It was inspected again in May 2013 (no. 413323) due to the school having converted to academy 2 years previous. It was judged to be outstanding in all categories

In 2015 Backwell School launched a small radio station that was setup by students and is currently maintained by the school pupils.[7]

Radio Station[edit]

Backwell School Radio
Backwell School Radio Logo.png
Broadcast area Backwell, North Somerset
Slogan For students, by students - we are Backwell School's homegrown radio station.
First air date December 15, 2014 (2014-12-15)
Format Full service (Student radio)
Transmitter coordinates 51°24′58″N 2°44′17″W / 51.415989°N 2.738159°W / 51.415989; -2.738159
Owner Backwell School

Backwell School Radio is a student-led Internet radio station broadcasting from Backwell School in North Somerset.

Started out as an idea by a Backwell School student.[8] After generating a plan and budget it was approved by the school student council and Senior Leadership Team. The station launched in the first week of term three of the 2014-15 academic year with an interview with the head, Julian Baldwin.[9]

With its output aimed at Backwell students the station is broadcast during the school day. It consists of 'Full Service' variety shows along with more talk-focused shows discussing current affairs, both in the school area and on a wider (inter)national scale. With all shows generated by students, staff input is very low. The station is run, presented, produced and organised by volunteer students.

Notable former students[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Backwell School". Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Planning committee meeting minutes". North Somerset Council. 11 November 2001. Retrieved 30 May 2007. 
  3. ^ "Designing Britain — Schools". Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Backwell School". Education League Tables. BBC News Education. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Secondary schools in North Somerset". BBC News. 13 January 2010. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Inspection Report". Ofsted. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "Radio Station Launched". Backwell school. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Sparling, Helen. "Radio Station Launched". Backwell School. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Angear, Vicky. "Pupils take over the airwaves". North Somerset Times. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Richard Ottaway". BBC News Online. 2001. Retrieved 13 February 2008. 
  11. ^ Interview in Venue magazine, 2008

External links[edit]