Tile Cross Academy

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Tile Cross Academy
Gressel Lane
Tile Cross

, ,
B33 9UF

Coordinates52°29′00″N 1°46′11″W / 52.4833°N 1.7697°W / 52.4833; -1.7697Coordinates: 52°29′00″N 1°46′11″W / 52.4833°N 1.7697°W / 52.4833; -1.7697
TypeCommunity school
Religious affiliation(s)Integrated
Local authorityBirmingham City Council
Department for Education URN103518 Tables
Head TeacherChris Etheridge
Age11 to 16
Colour(s)Blue, Green, Yellow, Fuchsia, Purple.

Tile Cross Academy is a mixed secondary school located in the Tile Cross area of Birmingham, West Midlands, England.

During the process of converting the school to an academy, a name change was proposed "We do propose changing the name of the school from The International School to Tile Cross Academy and would welcome your thoughts on this proposed name change" - this resulted in the school changing its name to "Tile Cross Academy".[1]


The school is ethnically diverse and contains around 700 pupils spread over three major buildings. The school is situated on Gressel Lane and is roughly one mile from Lea Hall railway station, operated by London Midland. It is close to the eastern boundary of Birmingham, close to the Solihull boundary.


Former schools[edit]

The genesis of the school was three schools being built next to each other in Tile Cross, East Birmingham in the late 1950s. The famous Central Grammar School for Boys was founded in 1897 on Suffolk Street and relocated to Gressel Lane in September 1957. It was a three-form entry school with around 550 boys.
During the second World War half of the school was evacuated and shared with The West Monmouth High School for Boys at Pontypool under the Headship of Leslie Bradley, who had been appointed Headmaster in 1934. They returned in 1942 and reunited with the other half to a location in Bordesley Green.

The City then created two new schools named Byng Kenrick Girls' Grammar School and Sir Wilfrid Martineau School (named after Wilfred Byng Kenrick and Wilfred Martineau respectively, two men who had each been prominent local politicians and Lord Mayors of Birmingham).

The two schools would cater for pupils who had failed to gain a place in a grammar school. Its first headmaster, however, declared that it was his intention to compete and announced it was a bilateral rather than a secondary modern school (in contemporary parlance) and the school competed with its neighbours. Central Grammar School moved from Cherrywood Road to adjoin Byng Kenrick school for Girls and Sir Wilfred Martineau. Byng Kenrick then almagamated with Central Grammar School and became Byng Central.

The International School and Community College East Birmingham[edit]

When the City abolished some grammar schools in 1974, Central and Byng Kenrick merged to create Byng Kenrick Central School (BKC), a co-educational comprehensive on Gressel Lane.
Sir Wilfrid Martineau, which had merged with 'Sticland Green Mixed Secondary Modern School', had a better reputation than BKC at the time.

However, by 2000 Sir Wilfrid Martineau School was failing badly and so in an attempt to 'save it' the City hastily decided that the adjacent Byng Kenrick Central School would 'take it over' and be renamed. This was NOT a merger.
The 'new school' named: The International School and Community College East Birmingham was opened in September 2001. It has since been awarded specialist Business and Enterprise College status.

A rocky beginning was brought about by the 9% pass rate for GCSEs in the July 2003 examinations, which resulted in the instant dismissal of the then-Principal, Sarah Harris.
The school struggled through September 2003, and after negotiations and an unfavourable contract with Ninestiles-Waverly Federation, the ISCCEB was accepted as the third member to "The Federation", an organisation set up by Sir Dexter Hutt, to assist failing schools to recover.

After three years in the Federation, and many major changes in school policy, ISCCEB managed to gain independence from "The Federation", and became a specialist business school, with Microsoft Platinum membership.

The International School[edit]

The school had been chosen by the Labour government along with 82 other Birmingham schools for refurbishment or an entire re-build.

However, after the 2010 elections all plans had been scrapped by the new Conservative government in an attempt to reduce spending.

After months of negotiations and changes to the original plan, it was finally agreed 9 schools would be put forward for refurbishment by contractor Lend-Lease UK.

Refurbishment began mid-2011 and was completed on 27 February 2012.

The school faced a series of changes, most of them to its advantage. However, the historic Martineau tower and the Central building were knocked down and the off-site Sheldon building given to the council.

Former teachers[edit]

In the late 60's both Colin McFadyean and Sam Doble taught P.E. at Central Grammar School and played rugby union for Moseley. Colin captained England whilst teaching at Central and Sam got his England caps in the early '70's. John Wakeley and Steve Walker had a very happy time in the English department in the same period. Schleft originated from students from Byng Kenrick Central who studied there from 1997-2002.

Academic performance[edit]

The July 2007 examination results were that 50.5% of pupils passed with 5 (or more) A*-C grades at GCSE, an increase of 41% in 5 years. In the 2010 GCSE examination results :

  • Every student in Year 11 achieved a nationally recognised qualification.
  • 84% of the year group achieved 5 or more GCSE A*-C grades or equivalent.
  • 41% of students achieved 5 or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths. Double the figures of the 2008 results.
  • 92% achieved 5 or more A*-G grades.
  • Significant improvements were seen in the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and ICT.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Central Grammar School for Boys[edit]

Sir Wilfrid Martineau School[edit]

  • Mick Rathbone,[2] Blackburn Rovers footballer
  • Scott Heatherley, famous cat lover.

Byng Kenrick Central School[edit]

  • Anthony Armatrading, nationally-known actor (Casualty) and brother of singer Joan Armatrading[3]


  1. ^ "Academy Consultation, Tile Cross Academy - Strive, Believe, Achieve". 13 July 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  2. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  3. ^ (see Friends Reunited)

External links[edit]