Mitchell High School, Stoke-on-Trent

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Mitchell High School Business & Enterprise College
Corneville Road

Townsend, Bucknall
, ,

Coordinates53°01′21″N 2°07′52″W / 53.0225°N 2.131°W / 53.0225; -2.131Coordinates: 53°01′21″N 2°07′52″W / 53.0225°N 2.131°W / 53.0225; -2.131
TypeCommunity school
Local authorityStoke on Trent
Department for Education URN124448 Tables
Age11 to 16
Former nameHanley High School

Mitchell High School was a comprehensive school located in Bucknall, Stoke on Trent, England.


Situated in the east of Stoke-on-Trent in Townsend on the A52, it had a catchment from the communities of Bucknall, Bentilee and Abbey Hulton and educates pupils of ages 11–16.[1] before closure there were around 650 students on roll drawn from a community that has high levels of social deprivation.[2] The headteacher appointed in 2007 was Paul Liddle. In 2009 the Mitchell High was the most improved National Challenge school in England. In 2010 Mitchell made further improvements with the school gaining 18% above FFTD targets for the % of students gaining 5 or more A*-C Grades inc English & Maths. In addition, the CVA placed the school in the top 5% of schools.


Grammar school[edit]

Hanley High School was a co-educational grammar school based in the centre of Stoke on Trent which opened under its name in 1905. In 1938, the girls moved to Thistley Hough High School for Girls. In 1940, because of mining subsidence, the school was moved and became a bi-lateral school from 1948 to 1953 with Chell Secondary Modern School (became Chell High School and closed in 1988). It moved to the outskirts of Stoke on the A52 in Bucknall in 1953.

The school was named after R. J. Mitchell CBE, a British aeronautical engineer


In September 1970 it became a co-educational comprehensive school for ages 12–16. The Mitchell High School, taking ages 11–16, was officially opened on 23 March 1990 by Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester. The new school was formed by closing the Willfield High School on Lauder Place in Bentilee in 1989. In the late 1990s it was one of the fifty lowest schools for GCSE results in England. In March 1998 the headmaster, Len Wild, was punched to the ground by three intruders. Debbie Sanderson was appointed as headteacher in 2000 and was appointed an OBE for improvements made in the school in 2005.


There had been a proposal since 2008 to merge the school with Edensor Technology College to produce an Academy at Adderley Green. Under the BSF proposals, the new Academy called Discovery Academy was formed in September 2011. The school was initially located over both former school sites until a new build was completed in 2013 at the old Willfield site.

Academic standards[edit]

The school has been awarded specialist Business and Enterprise College status. Ofsted inspected the school during January 2004[2] and rated "The overall effectiveness of the school" as "satisfactory", point four on a seven-point scale. However, an evaluation of "excellent", point one on the scale, was given for:

  • "How well the school seeks and acts on pupils’ views"
  • "The quality of the school's links with the community"

In a letter dated 13 November 2006, following a supplementary inspection, Ofsted assessed the "overall effectiveness" of ICT to be "outstanding".[3]

Case study – 'Side by Side with parents'[edit]

In an innovative initiative to support pupils who were struggling to cope in class, the school invited parents to sit in with their children and found that the adults not only actively engaged in the lessons but obtained qualifications themselves. Professor Alan Tuckett at the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education said "When adults and children learn together you get a surprising amount of behaviour change in young people, they pick up on the tone of commitment and seriousness that adults bring to their study. And the adults get the energy and pizzaz that young people bring to their learning."[4]


The school was listed in the House of Commons as being one of only 25 secondary schools in the UK that had no pupils taking a language course[5] and, in 2006, as a school where no pupils at the end of KS4 were entered at GCSE in geography.[6]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Hanley High School (co-educational grammar school)[edit]

Hanley High School (boys' grammar school)[edit]


  1. ^ "Mitchell High School", BBC News, 11 January 2007
  2. ^ a b "Mitchell High School" Archived 17 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Ofsted, 19 January 2004
  3. ^ "Ofsted survey inspection programme – ICT"[permanent dead link], Ofsted, 13 November 2006
  4. ^ "Side by Side with parents ..."[permanent dead link], ContinYou, 2007
  5. ^ "Language Courses", House of Commons Hansard Written Answers, 6 March 2007
  6. ^ "Languages", House of Commons Hansard Written Answers, 6 March 2007

External links[edit]

News items[edit]