Merrill Academy

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Merrill Academy
Brackens Lane

, ,
DE24 0AN

Coordinates52°53′20″N 1°26′38″W / 52.889°N 1.444°W / 52.889; -1.444Coordinates: 52°53′20″N 1°26′38″W / 52.889°N 1.444°W / 52.889; -1.444
MottoBrave & Faithful
Department for Education URN139051 Tables
Age11 to 19
Enrolment800 (approx)
HousesBrunel, Nightingale, Shackleton, Windsor
Colour(s)Red, Yellow, Green, Blue
Academy HeadMarcus Shepherd

Merrill Academy is a secondary school with a sixth form for students aged 11–19 years, located in Alvaston, Derby, England. In 2005, preparations for the new building on Bracken's Lane were released to the public. In September 2006, the school opened a new building which was PFI funded and cost approximately £15m to build. As part of a 25-year contract, the building is maintained by Vinci Facilities Management. The academy was previously sponsored by the Derby College Education Trust between January 2013 and December 2017. As of January 2018, the academy is being sponsored by The Northworthy Trust, a multi-academy trust.

Senior Leadership Team[edit]

Core SLT[edit]

  • Marcus Shepherd - Academy Head
  • Paul Beedle - Deputy Head: Pastoral
  • Brendan Pearce-Brindley - Senior Assistant Head: Academic
  • Grace Hoskins - Assistant Head: Teaching and Learning

Extended SLT[edit]

  • Helen Matthews - Director: Safeguarding
  • Yasmine Lamoudi - Director: Sixth Form and Enrichment
  • Louise Gilbert - Director: Pupil Outcomes and Intervention
  • Nicola Smith - Director: SEND
  • Wayne McNaught - Director: Ethos, Attendance, and Parental Engagement.
  • Paddy McCaughey - Director: Year 11 Progress & Learning Walks


In June 2016, Merrill Academy was rated Inadequate overall by Ofsted, with this rating in all areas, and therefore placed in Special Measures. Since being placed in Special Measures, Merrill Academy has received several Ofsted monitoring visits and have been praised for the improvements the Academy have implemented. In April 2018, Merrill Academy received a full Ofsted inspection and received an overall rating of Requires Improvement, with this rating in all areas, and therefore being removed from Special Measures. This was a success from the improvements that the Academy Head and his Senior Leadership Team have made recently.


Merrill Academy provides education for pupils in ages 11–19 years.

Art and Design Design Technology Food Technology Resistant Materials
Maths Business Studies ICT Physical Education (PE)
English Language English Literature Media Studies French
History Geography Religious Education History
Science Chemistry Biology Physics

Vocational courses include child care - Learning and Development, countryside and environmental studies, public services, and health and social care.

The curriculum is managed by Mr Pearce-Brindley (Senior Assistant Head - Academic).


Students undertake an enrichment activity on a Wednesday afternoon. These enrichments include, cooking, angling, drama, legal mooting club, Gaelic football, swimming, theatre production, Sports Leader Qualification, Academy Newspaper, Mosaic Making and Duke of Edinburgh.

The main purpose of offering these enrichments is to enable students to develop attributes such as leadership, communication, innovation, confidence and qualifications which will increase their chances of success in the workplace.

Students have the opportunity to be part of three enrichments throughout the academic year giving them the opportunity to develop skills in a variety of areas.

VI form students act as assistants to enrichment activity giving them opportunity to develop their work experience, in addition to the external work experience commitments they have made.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Merrill Academy offer a range of clubs and trips for young students, including French Club, Science Club, ICT Club, Choir, Film Club, and Reading Club. Sports clubs include badminton, basketball, cricket, football and others.

Admissions policy[edit]

The Academy is part of the Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme for Derby City which requires all parents to complete a preference form. In doing so, Merrill Academy must be listed as one of your preferences on the Local Authority form.

External links[edit]