Ark St Alban’s Academy


Name Ark St Alban’s Academy
Website http://arkstalbans.org/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 12 October 2011
Address Conybere Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B12 0YH
Phone Number 01214461300
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 787 (58% boys 42% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 12.7
Academy Sponsor Ark Schools
Local Authority Birmingham
Percentage Free School Meals 56.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 75.7%

Information about the school

The St Alban’s Academy is a smaller-than-average Church of England school sponsored by ARK, with specialisms in engineering and mathematics. It opened in September 2009 replacing St Alban’s CE Specialist Engineering College. St Alban’s is the only state-funded Church of England secondary school in Birmingham and is the nearest secondary school to the city centre. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is very much higher than the national average. The percentage of students from minority ethnic backgrounds is over four times higher than the national figure and the proportion of those who speak English as an additional language is high. The percentage of students registered by the academy as having special educational needs and/or disabilities is well above the national figure; however, the proportion of students with a statement of special educational needs is in line with that found nationally.

Main findings

St Alban’s Academy gives richness and meaning to many students’ lives and provides an outstanding standard of education. The Principal provides the key inspiration for the overall success of the academy. Not only does he personally provide outstanding leadership and management, he is also able to develop high standards of leadership in others. Consequently, leaders and other senior managers carry out their roles to a high standard. There is a clear vision that all can succeed. This aim is central to the academy, where learning is the way of life. Staff and students alike work hard, display an ambition to succeed and a commitment to do their best. There is palpable evidence of a passion and hunger for change and innovation rooted in the belief that all students should have access to high-quality learning experiences. Consequently, from exceptionally low attainment on entry, students leave with above average attainment and outstanding achievement. The key strengths of the academy include: teaching that is consistently good and very often outstanding an ethos for learning that nurtures mutual respect and tolerance, motivates students and encourages their positive self-esteem, particularly for Muslim girls excellent care, support and guidance for students through the close relationships staff have with students the removal of the significant barriers to learning for students whose circumstances make them most vulnerable which enables them to make outstanding progress outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development that underpins students’ exemplary behaviour and makes an exceptional contribution to their excellent learning excellent attention paid to students adopting healthy lifestyles, particularly in relation to their emotional well-being rapidly improving examination results at GCSE, with above average attainment in many subjects. In those areas where attainment is average, standards are improving strongly. As a result, most students are successful in gaining the grades they need to follow their ambitions for higher and further education or employment. Although the proportion of students who gain grades A* or A in GCSE examinations is low by comparison with other schools, it is in line with expectations given students’ low starting points. The academy has a strong track record of improvement and leaders have an extremely clear and accurate grasp of how well it is doing and where further improvements might be made. This means that the academy has outstanding capacity to consolidate its successes and to bring about further improvements in the future.