Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy

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Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy
Motto 'Each other...and our dreams'
Principal Mr M Lovatt
Specialism Arts College and Applied Learning Specialist
Location Birtley Lane
County Durham
England Coordinates: 54°53′34″N 1°34′14″W / 54.89284°N 1.57044°W / 54.89284; -1.57044
Local authority Gateshead
DfE URN 108403 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1600
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Brookside, Fleet, Turner, Talbot
Colours Blue, Yellow, Green, Red
Website [[1] www.lordlawson.org.uk/]]

Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy is an Academy in the town of Birtley in the Gateshead area of Tyne and Wear, England. It was first opened to pupils in the early 1970s and was rebuilt in September 2007. The new building was constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine.

The academy has been led for the last eleven years by Principal David Grigg who retired in July 2013 to be replaced by Principal Mark Lovatt. It was most recently inspected by Ofsted in April 2013 achieving 'Good' in all areas of the framework. Inspectors were very complimentary about most aspects of the academy's performance.

Lord Lawson in Context[edit]

Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy (LLOB) is a larger than average academy school with over 1600 students in KS3-KS4 and over 300 Sixth Form Students (KS5). The school is often over subscribed however endeavors to allow access to all, an extension is currently being built to accommodate the increasing numbers of students. All students at the academy benefit from the academies "high performing specialist school for applied learning" status with all students from Year 7 being involved in applied learning and some form of vocational education.

The Academy gained its Academy status on the 1st March 2012 and has been key to the drive to further improve standards.[1]

Jack Lawson[edit]

The school is named after Jack Lawson, an influential British trade unionist and Labour politician, serving as Secretary of State for War during the 1940s. Consequently, the school has been associated with left-wing politics, particularly relating to its connections to the mining industry and trade unionism, as well as Lawson's refusal to join Ramsay MacDonald's National Government due to his reluctance to work alongside Conservatives. The school motto, "each other...and our dreams", is a quotation from Lawson's autobiography, A Man's Life

School Houses[edit]

The school is broken up into four house-blocks for years 7-11. Named after prominent areas in the North East, they are all assigned a colour and community space. Each house-block is led by a Head of House and a Deputy Head of House, with students selecting their own Head Boy, Head Girl and Prefects.(During the 1980s, the Houses were named after notable people from the history of the area surrounding Lord Lawson)

The house-blocks are:

  • Brookside (formerly Hepburn, Thirlaway and Gray)
  • Fleet (formerly Collingwood and Bede)
  • Talbot (formerly Rutherford and Grainger)
  • Turner (formerly Bewick, Stephenson and Grove)

Sixth Form[edit]

The sixth form is led by a Head of Sixth Form/Director of Post-16 Education and a Deputy Head. Sixth form students elect a Head Boy and Head Girl. At the end of Year 13, a leaver's ball is usually held at Lumley Castle, which is attended by both pupils and staff.

Ethos and Values[edit]

The Ethos and Values, as listed on the Lord Lawson,[2] are seen below.

  • High Achievement: Ensuring that every teacher has high expectations and works to ensure students achieve at the highest levels of which they are capable.
  • Mutual Respect: Where everyone's opinions are valued
  • A Purpose Built House System (See School Houses): A caring and supportive atmosphere where every student feels safe, secure and happy, and well supported within their House Block.
  • A Creative Academy: Where the visual, performing arts and sport are highly valued and the students are encouraged to express themselves creatively and achieve high standards
  • A Community Academy: An academy at the heart of its community and responsive to its needs
  • A Leading Edge Academy: An outward-facing academy, working with partners locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to help transform secondary education at all levels

Notable past students[edit]

New Academy Extension[edit]

An extension to Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy is currently under-construction and is due to be complete by April 2014. The construction will be carried out by Sir Robert McAlpine and Pinnacle Schools. The extension is expressed to be able to accommodate 8 further class rooms to allow for comfortable accommodation of the extra number of students the Academy has.


In 1994 the famous band Take That played a gig at the school after Teacher Mr Collier won a radio 1 competition as Teacher of the year.

External links[edit]