Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy
|Motto||'Each other...and our dreams'|
|Principal||Mr. M. Lovatt|
|DfE URN||108403 Tables|
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 four years by Principal Mark Lovatt, replacing David Grigg who retired in July 2013 after 11 years. It was most recently inspected by Ofsted in February 2017 where it was assigned a 'Requires Improvement' grading (or 3/5 stars) in all areas of the framework with the exception of 16-19 study programmes.
Lord Lawson Academy in Context
Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy (LLOB) is a larger-than-average academy school with over 1600 students in KS3-KS4, with over 300 sixth form students (KS5). The school is often over-subscribed. However, endeavouring to accommodation all students on the waiting list, an extension has been built on the grounds. This extension consists of a ground floor independent learning centre, a facility intended for sixth form student's studies.
Lord Lawson's staff purportedly endeavour to "prepare students for the challenges of a rapidly changing world". Students are encouraged to follow a code of conduct known as the "6Rs" which are as follows:
Lord Lawson gained its Academy status on 1 March 2012.
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.
Subjects and Courses
Between year 7-9 students study a range non-optional subjects including, but not limited to: English, Mathematics, Science, History, IT, Geography, French, German and Art.
In year 10 students are given the opportunity to drop certain subjects and take on new subjects eg. Psychology, whilst core-subjects such as Maths and English are still mandatory requirements.
In Sixth Form students are given the chance to study between 3-5 subjects which include ECDL courses.
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.
The house-blocks are:
- Brookside (Blue)
- Fleet (Yellow)
- Talbot (Red)
- Turner [formerly Grove] (Green)
- Sixth Form (Purple)
The sixth form is led by a Head of Sixth Form, Mrs. Jordan and a Director of Post-15 Education, Miss. Nellist. Mrs. Jordan and Miss. Nellist. Furthermore there are student-assigned Head Boy/Girl positions as well as a student council.
Ofsted noted in there most recent report that “The effectiveness of the Sixth Form is good and the vast majority of students go onto higher education, training, or employment.” They also reported that “Students are well known and the courses they take are well matched to their needs.”
Ethos and Values
The Ethos and Values, as listed on the Lord Lawson website, are seen below:
- High Achievement
- Mutual Respect
- A Purpose-Built House System
New Academy Extension
An extension to Lord Lawson was completed in April 2014. It includes an independent learning centre, designed for sixth form students. The construction was carried out by Sir Robert McAlpine and Pinnacle Schools. The extension is expected to accommodate eight further class rooms.
Notable Past Students
- Bryan Robson, English footballer, and former captain of national team
- Gary Madine, English footballer, currently plays for Bolton Wanderers*
- Gary Owers, English footballer, played for Sunderland in the 1992 FA Cup Final*
- Tommy Johnson, English footballer, played for Aston Villa in the 1994 League Cup Final*
- Chris Felton, English Radio Presenter / Producer, working at Metro Radio