RSA Academy

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The RSA Academy
Bilston Road

Gospel Oak
West Midlands

Coordinates52°33′00″N 2°02′50″W / 52.55°N 2.047222°W / 52.55; -2.047222Coordinates: 52°33′00″N 2°02′50″W / 52.55°N 2.047222°W / 52.55; -2.047222
MottoTransforming Learning, Transforming Lives.
Local authoritySandwell
Department for Education URN104010 Tables
PrincipalDaulton Redmond
Age11 to 19
Enrolment900 (11 to 16 yrs) and 200 post 16
HousesRomney, Shipley & Adam
Colour(s)Burgundy and Gold

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Academy (formerly Willingsworth High School) is one of the new academies opened in the England in 2008. The Academy is sponsored by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce and is located in Tipton, West Midlands. The Academy is the first in the UK to follow the Opening Minds curriculum throughout all year groups.

The school's history dates back to September 1958, when Willingsworth Secondary Modern School to serve the Ocker Hill and Princes End areas of Tipton, replacing a smaller secondary modern at Ocker Hill and gaining comprehensive status in September 1969, when it became Willingsworth High.

It became the RSA Academy in September 2008 and moved into its current buildings in September 2010, with the old buildings being demolished the following spring. It is one of the seven schools in the RSA Family of Academies, all in the West Midlands, of the Royal Society of Arts.[1]

Schools and Houses[edit]

The Academy has three "schools" - Arts, Humanities, Sport and Leisure; Maths, Science and Technology; and Languages and Communication - and three houses - Romney, Shipley and Adam. Each house founder has a connection with the RSA.

Senior staff[edit]

The Principal of the Academy is Mr Daulton Redmond and Mr Mat Carpenter and Ms Sarah Barnes are the Vice Principals.

New building[edit]

The RSA Academy moved into a new building on the original school's site in September 2010. The old Willingsworth buildings were damaged by fire shortly afterwards and demolished in early 2011.

The new building, by architectural practice John McAslan Partnership,[2] is the first one of its kind being designed specifically for the Opening Minds curriculum.

The RSA Academy was officially opened on 22 November 2010 by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and a large number of dignitaries, donors and RSA Fellows attended. Prince Philip has made a number of official visits to Tipton; these include the opening of Summerhill Primary School on Upper Church Lane on 4 November 2008, and on 4 June 1971 he also opened Tipton Sports Union Trust's headquarters on Gospel Oak Road, within a few hundred yards of the RSA Academy (or Willingsworth High as it was at the time).[3]

School day[edit]

The Academy operates a different school day from other schools, with lessons being 90 minutes long. Therefore there are only four lessons per day. The Academy also follows a 5 term year, with 2 week holidays at the end of terms 1-4 and a 4 week summer holiday.


The Academy takes part in the Birmingham area Debatemate.[4] The aims of the scheme are to mentor pupils in debating and therefore improve their public speaking skills, literacy skills and general knowledge. RSA Academy compete in two of the Debatemate competitions; the Urban Debate League and the Debatemate Cup formerly known as the Richard Koch Cup. The RSA Academy won the 2011 Urban Debate League, a competition which had 120 schools competing.


On the evening of 11 October 2010, the disused school building was set on fire and around fifteen fire engines were sent to deal with the fire. Luckily nobody was hurt in the incident, and the police believed it may have been committed by the same arsonists who started a fire hours later at Wilkinson Primary School in nearby Bilston. The building's shell was demolished within the next six months.


  1. ^ "Our Academies". RSA Teaching School Alliance. Royal Society of Arts. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  2. ^ [1] McAslan website
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2011-11-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ [2] Debatemate website