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The ACE Academy, formerly Alexandra High School, is a large mixed school serving the South of Tipton, one of the urban towns within Sandwell which scores highly on the various deprivation indices. The school currently has over 1400 pupils on roll and is growing. Most years we are full. We plan to take over 280 pupils in Year 7 in September 2013. Approximately 25% of pupils come from ethnic minority backgrounds. The school is a harmonious community with the vast majority of parents being opposed to any form of racism. We are part of the University of Wolverhamptons Education Central Multi Academy Trust. Eventually this will be a family of 25 primary and secondary schools. We are very excited about the link with the university believing that it will
The school is an Extended School. We provide a whole range of out-of-hours activities for pupils and parents.
Most of the pupils are lovely. Their parents send them to school well turned out, ready to work and tell them to behave themselves. Most do. Any poor behaviour is dealt with speedily. The vast majority of pupils are very friendly and eager to learn. They welcome new teachers and are both loyal and generous.
KS3 Levels and GCSEs have improved significantly over the last five years. Our GCSE results in 2011 with 50% 5+ A*-C (EM) put us in the top 5% of schools in the country for value added. We are the 46th most improved school in the country. We had a full OfSTED in September 2010. The school was classed as satisfactory with good features. We had a HMI Monitoring Visit in December 2011. They praised our good progress and capacity to improve. We had an ICT subject inspection in May 2012. Our ICT provision was classed as good with outstanding features.
The ACE has a thriving Sixth Form. In 2012, the pass rate for A2s and vocational courses was good.
We aim to make learning exciting and involve the pupils in as much decision making as possible. The partnerships we have developed both within and beyond our own school community provide an array of opportunities for both our pupils and staff. We work collaboratively with a number of other schools, our Local Authority and increasingly partners from business and industry.
The ACE was part of the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme. £27 million has been spent to give us brand new facilities and high quality ICT.
The staff, both teaching and non-teaching, are the school’s greatest asset. Many have been at the school for some time. None have stood still. We have a good mix of new and experienced staff who are good-humoured and very supportive.
We are a Business and Enterprise College - this now forms part of our school vision and complements the BSF programme. We are adopting a whole school approach with the aim to encourage and develop enterprise in our students that will give them the transferable skills required to proceed on a successful career path. We also support the whole school provision with a series of Enterprise activities throughout the school year. We want staff and students to have a "can do" attitude; we would hope that new staff would embrace this approach and take a full and active part in promoting the specialism.
Finally, Tipton itself is a thriving community. There is an excellent community network that is committed to regeneration. The people of Tipton are rightly proud of the very real advances over the last few years. Few secondary schools are perfect and there are challenges ahead at the ACE. Our ethos is very positive. It is an excellent place to begin your career or to develop it further. If you wish to discuss any of the above with myself or wish to visit the school informally, do telephone or e-mail the school on the number and address above.
I have been at this school since September 2000. After 30 years of teaching it is the best move I could have made. Even at the advanced age of 58 I still find the job exciting and rewarding. I am proud to be the Headteacher of the ACE.