Thomas Telford School

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Thomas Telford School
Motto Quality through co-operation
Established 1991
Type City Technology College
Headmaster Sir Kevin Satchwell
Location Old Park
52°40′39″N 2°27′30″W / 52.6776°N 2.4583°W / 52.6776; -2.4583Coordinates: 52°40′39″N 2°27′30″W / 52.6776°N 2.4583°W / 52.6776; -2.4583
Local authority Telford and Wrekin
DfE URN 123627 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1200
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Colours Thomas Telford Maroon & White         

Thomas Telford School (commonly referred to as TTS) is a City Technology College in Telford, Shropshire and is sponsored by The Mercers Company and Tarmac Holdings Limited.[1] The mixed ability school has consistently ranked as the top performing comprehensive school in England,[2] and was the first to achieve a GCSE pass rate of 100% A*-C grades.[3] The school was rated by Ofsted as a Grade 1 outstanding school during 2009.[4]


The school was founded in 1991 as the eighth of fifteen specialist CTCs set up to raise educational standards in inner-city areas.[5] The catchment area includes Telford, Wolverhampton and the villages and suburbs in between. One of the school's initial main aims was to help relieve the under-performing schools in the urban areas of Wolverhampton. Thomas Telford School previously generated significant funds through the sale of its online curriculum content and qualifications sold through a subsidiary company TTSOnline Limited (Thomas Telford School Online Limited).[6]

Information technology[edit]

The school has long been at the forefront of using IT for education, the school makes use of electronic whiteboards provided by Smart Technologies in all classrooms, learning bases and study rooms. In addition to this the school has an advanced internal network operating mainly using Novell and Windows Advanced Server 2003 products. The school also provides an extranet, which is run using Novell Virtual Office, allowing students and staff to access their files and e-mail from home.

The school has at least 1 computer and interactive whiteboard in every classroom as well as around one hundred in each of the school's 4 ILC's (Independent Learning Centres). The school also has a state-of-the-art CAD/CAM suite; which provides access to a Roland CAM CNC milling and machining equipment and a set of 3D printers. The CAD/CAM suite also consists of an HP A1 Pantone printer, HP A3 colour laser printer and HP A3 inkject laser printer as well as the schools network of other laser printers. The CAD/CAM suite also houses around fifty computers for students to produce work on the various CAD packages the school has which includes the latest version of AutoDesk Inventor.

The school produces and sells what it calls an "online curriculum". This consists of interactive learning materials, online tasks and even podcasts which all relate to various subject areas.[7] The school hosts its online curriculum in-house, with a web server and Real Streaming Media Server housed in the computer services department of the school.[8]

Achievements and school life[edit]

The school caters for students from the age of 11 through to 18. This is in a system of national year groups from Year 7 to 6.2 (year 13). The school also has a unique and successful system of after school curricular activities called Session 3 which are highly encouraged, and which it claims is pivotal to its success over the past years. GCSE and A level results have also improved year on year and now results are consistently around 100% pass rates. Most students leave Thomas Telford with 12 or more pass GCSES of which most are A or A* grades. In the 2008-09 Academic Year, one student left with 15 A or A* GCSES.

In the 2009-10 academic year the school won two national football finals and were finalists and semi finalists in a further 3. Also the Synchronised Swimming Teams are currently national champions and a former student won a gold medal in the European School Games in 2006.[9] In recent years, the school choir has been invited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall, which is an honour for any choir[10]

In its lifetime the school has made several notable achievements. Its current Headmaster, Kevin Satchwell, was knighted in 2001 for services to education and the community,[11] and from 1998 to the present day, TTS has been named 'the most successful Comprehensive school in the UK', after 100% of its pupils gained 5 or more GCSEs at A*-C, being the first and only comprehensive school ever to do so in 1998.

A rigorous method of applicant selection takes place, including an entrance test to allow all abilities to be reflected and equally proportioned in the school, with the majority of successful applicants being middle achievers and an equal proportion of low to high achievers which reflects the local population. The teachers interview the parents, ensuring that the parents will encourage the students, regardless of their ability.

Ranking & Facilities[edit]

Headmaster Sir Kevin Satchwell commented that the school no longer uses the traditional yardstick of five or more GCSE passes at grades A* to C since all students achieved at least 12 GCSE passes at grades A* to C.[12]

The school is the best performing comprehensive school in England. [13]

The school's facilities include Swimming Pool, Theatre, State of the Art Fitness Centre, Astroturf, Football pitches and will be receiving even more sport facilities as part of the Building Schools for the Future campaign.


In 2004, Thomas Telford School partnered with a local under-performing school, Madeley Academy,[14] placing members of its own senior leadership in charge. This has seen exam results improve and other schemes like this across the UK. The academy is now graded Outstanding by Ofsted and is achieving great exam results thanks to the successful partnership.

The school has helped set up two other schools. These are in Walsall and Sandwell; both are now fully built and operational. These are headed by former Deputy Headteachers at Thomas Telford School. All four current academies compete in Inter-Academy competitions throughout the year in a variety of sports


Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Hattersley, Roy (2005-02-22). "Looking out for number one". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  2. ^ "GCSE results 2015: state school results". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  3. ^ Revell, Phil (2001-08-21). "Couldn't do better". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  4. ^ "IR". 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2016-12-26. 
  5. ^ "How the top comprehensive does it". The Independent. 1999-11-25. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  6. ^ "School nets £7m in sales of exam - Article - TES". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  7. ^ Staff; agencies (2001-12-06). "Headteacher knighted for online success". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  8. ^ School, Thomas Telford. "Computer and Media Services - Thomas Telford School". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  9. ^ Former student claims medal at European School Games
  10. ^ School choir invited to permform at Royal Albert Hall in London
  11. ^ Newly-knighted head, Kevin Satchwell quizzed, BBC news online, 21 June 2001
  12. ^ Times Article
  13. ^ Moore, Matthew (28 August 2009). "GCSE results: Thomas Telford School named top comprehensive". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  14. ^ Revell, Phil (2006-01-19). "Back to basics". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  15. ^ "It's no problem for Sophie". The Shropshire Star. 2006-10-10. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  16. ^ "AnOther Magazine, Insiders: Sharmadean Reid". AnOther Magazine. 2013-06-06. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 

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