Beacon Hill Academy, Dudley

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Beacon Hill Academy
Beacon Hill Academy Logo.png
Logo of the school
Beacon Hill Academy is located in Dudley, West Midlands
Beacon Hill Academy is located in Dudley, West Midlands
Beacon Hill Academy
High Arcal Drive

, ,

Coordinates52°32′01″N 2°06′34″W / 52.5336°N 2.1095°W / 52.5336; -2.1095Coordinates: 52°32′01″N 2°06′34″W / 52.5336°N 2.1095°W / 52.5336; -2.1095
Established2011 (2011) (as an academy)
Local authorityDudley
TrustDudley Academies Trust
Department for Education URN137705 Tables
HeadteacherMrs J Bull
Age11 to 16
HousesAttingham, Himley, Boscobel, Wightwick
Telephone01902 677754

Beacon Hill Academy, formerly known as The High Arcal School, is a secondary school in the Sedgley area of Dudley, in the English West Midlands. Originally opened as a grammar school in 1961, the school became a comprehensive in 1975. It adopted its current name in September 2018, after joining the Dudley Academies Trust.[1]


The large population growth of the Sedgley and Coseley urban districts in the mid 20th century saw rising demand for school places, resulting in the construction of the Dormston Secondary Modern School in the 1930s, along with several primary schools. Plans for a grammar school to serve the two districts emerged by the 1950s, and the High Arcal Grammar School finally opened in September 1961. Control of the school passed to Dudley Council in April 1966 as a result of Sedgley's amalgamation into Dudley.

As with other schools in Dudley, the school's age range was altered to 12–18 from September 1972. In September 1975 it became a comprehensive school. Its sixth form centre closed in July 1990 as part of further reorganisation by the local authority, and from September of that year the age range was altered to 11–16. In September 2002 a new sixth form was opened at the school by Dudley College.

In December 2011, the school hosted a broadcast of the BBC Radio 4 show Any Questions?.[2]

In September 2017, the school became part of the Dudley Academies Trust, alongside Castle High School (St. James' Academy), The Hillcrest School (The Link Academy), and Holly Hall School (Pegasus Academy), in association with Dudley College.[3] Its name was officially changed to Beacon Hill Academy the following year.[1]


The first headteacher of the school was Laurence Ardern. At his retirement in June 1975 he was succeeded by John Gerrish, who in turn retired in December 1992. Jeffrey Williams, a former teacher at the school, then returned to become head teacher; he resigned in August 2006 after being convicted of kerb-crawling,[4] and was succeeded by Jo Manson, previously a deputy head. Since her retirement in April 2016 the head teacher has been Jo Bull, who had also previously been deputy head.


The school population is divided into a house system, currently consisting of four houses named after local stately homes. The houses participate in both physical and academic competitions, competing in sports such as cricket, football and rugby. The students in each house have a 'Head of House' and a 'Student Support Manager', and have the right to talk with House leaders about concerns of school life or any other subjects.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Four Dudley schools set for a name change in September". Dudley News. Newsquest. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Any Questions hosted by High Arcal School". Express & Star. 10 December 2011.
  3. ^ "New £60m academy trust to be launched across Dudley". Express & Star. 6 February 2017.
  4. ^ Neil Connor (31 July 2006). "Education Matters: Kerb-crawling head quits". Birmingham Post and Mail – via The Free Library.