Bushbury Hill Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Bushbury Hill Primary School's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Bushbury Hill Primary School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Headteacher Kay Mason
Reading is the top priority
at Bushbury
Bushbury Hill Primary School’s vision is for every child to be
inspired through a creative curriculum, so that they can
become confident and caring individuals who work hard
and become lifelong learners. The school’s ambition is expressed
by its motto: “To Be the Best that We Can Be”. Headteacher
Kay Mason tells
The Parliamentary Review
more about their
pursuit of a curriculum that works best for their pupils.
Our goal is to ensure that every child meets their full potential. This is a goal that
permeates every level of our school. All of this is underpinned by our five core
values: respect, honesty, positivity, determination and resilience. We discuss our
values regularly and the staff seek to model them at all times through their own
actions and by rewarding and noticing children who display them. The children are
confident in talking about these values and clearly understand that while we have
rules for within the school, our core values are how we always conduct ourselves
and live our lives.
As the headteacher, I completely believe that we recruit for values and train for
skills – something that holds true for site staff, office staff, teaching staff, non-
teaching staff and governors. “Mission, Vision and Values” is the first item on the
Full Governing Body agenda each academic year and is always on the first page of
my headteacher report to governors. We actively recruit governors who have the
skills that are required for strategic leadership, although recruiting governors who
share our core values is of equal importance.
»Headteacher: Kay Mason
»Founded in 2006
»Based in Wolverhampton
»Type of school: Primary School
»No. of pupils: 297 (including
Bushbury Hill Primary
Highlighting best practice
Pastoral support and meeting
the needs of all children
When I was appointed headteacher
in 2013, there was no pastoral team
or support in school. The school had
a resource base for ten children with
SEMH, and we had no access to
educational psychology or pastoral
support for the children who were
the most vulnerable and presented
the most challenges, which were
often extreme and resulted in crisis
behaviour. This was in addition to the
many children in school who required
additional support to manage their
own emotions and behaviour in order
to self-regulate and be able to access
lessons without disrupting their own
learning and that of others.
We now have a team of learning
mentors who work across the school
with children, delivering support and
interventions to remove barriers to
learning. We have an educational
psychologist for one day a week and
a part-time speech and language
therapist, and we also buy into the
local authority specialist teacher. We
no longer have the resource base, but
we have developed a nurture provision
with talented and experienced staff
who have received the full training and
who work closely with our educational
psychologist to ensure that our most
vulnerable pupils’ needs are being
met and the potential disruption to
the majority of children in mainstream
classes is minimised.
The pastoral team is led by the deputy
head, who is also the SENDCo, who
has completely rebuilt and restructured
SEND at Bushbury and oversees all
the interventions across the school,
whether they are for communication
and interaction; cognition and
learning; social, emotional and mental
health; or physical and sensory
additional needs. Interventions are
then categorised under the area of
additional need depending on the
issue. It could be that the child has
SEN, is an underachiever, has a short-
term need or is a more able pupil,
among other things. Tracking the
impact of interventions is crucial and
something we constantly evolve and
improve upon.
In 2015, we restructured lunchtimes
and created a role for lunchtime:
learning and play leader. Each class
throughout the school has its own
LLPL, who works for two hours a
day, across lunchtime and then in
the classroom, supporting learning,
predominantly through our whole-
school focus on reading. This has
reduced the time that teachers have
spent on sorting out problems that
may have happened at lunchtime and
allows them to focus on quality first-
wave teaching, without the distractions
that can all too often interrupt valuable
learning time.
Attendance and lateness had
always been an area that required
improvement, and, in 2017, governors
identified the need to attribute
additional resources to improving
attendance. As a result, an additional
part-time attendance officer was
recruited, and we now have whole-
school attendance that is above 98 per
cent, with no groups of children being
below 96 per cent.
Quality first teaching for
every child
We now have
a team of
mentors who
work across
the school
with children,
support and
to remove
barriers to
High aspirations
Everyone at Bushbury has the highest
of aspirations for all children in school.
This begins with quality first-wave
teaching in every classroom. All staff
model our values and positive social
interactions for children at all times.
As the headteacher, I want the school
to be filled with a buzz of learning,
and laughter and happiness to be
an integral part of the daily diet of
learning and progress for every child.
Modelling the highest expectations
relating to behaviour and self-
regulation is also fundamental at
Bushbury. Our policy of no shouting
is inextricably linked to our core value
of respect. Everyone in school earns
respect and is given respect.
In 2011, the school was fortunate to
have a new Passivhaus school building
built on the existing site. Passivhaus
is a rigorous, voluntary standard for
energy efficiency in a building, which
reduces the building’s ecological
footprint and results in ultra-low-
energy buildings that require little
energy for space heating or cooling. In
line with our core value of respect, we
teach the children about the principles
of Passivhaus through assemblies
and eco schools. In this regard, we
also have close links with Architype,
who were the architects who built
the school. We believe that everyone
should be respectful, not only to each
other but also to the fabric of the
building in which we work and learn
every day.
The evolution of school
School improvement is a constantly
evolving process at Bushbury. In
order to fundamentally change things
for the better, I believe that strong
leadership at every level while not
being afraid to tackle the difficult
things is ultimately the road to
embedding positive change that will
make fundamental improvements
to a school. Valuing your team and
thinking creatively and doing things
differently so that staff can work more
efficiently and effectively with the time
that they have is also key to success.
Our commitment to this philosophy
is why I continue to be hopeful for
Everyone at
Bushbury has
the highest of
aspirations for
all children in
Bushbury: A flagship
Passiv Haus School


This article was sponsored by Bushbury Hill Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Professor The Lord Blunkett.

The Rt Hon Professor The Lord Blunkett's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Professor The Lord Blunkett

A new Prime Minister, a new Education Secretary and, as we're all painfully aware, a deeply uncertain future. It is in this context that the education service continues to deliver for individuals, communities and of course for our nation. 
There is no doubt whatsoever that the education service as a whole, schools, post 16/Further Education, and yes, lifelong learning, needs the most enormous injection of cash. Independent analysis shows that there has been at least an 8% average reduction in the amount of spend per pupil in our schools. Those damaged most by this have been pupils with special educational needs, whose voices are sadly rarely heard. The necessity of urgent action was underlined in July by the report of the all-party House of Commons Select Committee on Education. They could not have been clearer about the need for substantial funding and a long-term 10-year commitment. 
At the same time, there are a number of reviews taking place. One of them, in relation to post-16 qualifications, is in danger of a classic mistake by politicians and officials who have little or no understanding of the complex territory they're dealing with. Namely, the ridiculous proposition that BTEC National Diplomas might be set aside because 'T Levels are the gold standard'! 
I'm in favour of T Levels, but in the right context and for the right outcome. They are intended to be extremely focused specialist qualifications in defined areas of employment. When and if they eventually take off – there is predicted to be just a thousand students in 2021-22 taking up the qualification – they will not replace the BTEC, which has been the workhorse providing a general and high-quality education for decades. The BTEC has equipped young people for a variety of opportunities in a very changing employment market where the development of artificial intelligence, robotics, and changed working practices makes confining the choice of vocational pathways to one narrow focus, frankly ridiculous. 
Meanwhile, her Majesty's Opposition continue to throw out titbits which do not give, as yet, a very clear idea of what, if elected, Labour would do in office. What is needed is positive proposals. Abolishing this, that or the other – assessments/tests for those leaving primary school, for instance – is not the same thing as a very forward-looking agenda for radical improvement in standards and equity between those who can and cannot afford additional help for their children.  
There are a handful of Labour Party members, supported by some people who ought to know better, who have decided that a full-frontal assault on private education would be a good idea. For those worried about this, stop worrying. A party that put this in its manifesto wouldn't get elected, and if by some fluke it did, it would be challenged in the courts to the point where all the contradictions would be exposed for everyone to see. 
Just contemplate one simple fact. 20% of secondary schoolchildren in the borough of Hackney attend private schools! Yes, Hackney. This is because a large number of parents, some of whom scrape the money together, are sending their children to private education in London which happens to be the area of England with the best academic outcomes from state education. What's more, very large numbers (again, particularly in London) pay for private tutors. At the last estimate 40% of parents in London had at some point over the last year paid for a tutor for their child!  
Perhaps therefore an opposition party, hoping to provide unity rather than division, opportunity for all rather than a futile class battle against educational privilege, would seek ways of ensuring that those who can't afford tutors have the kind of support outside school that would put them on equal terms. 
One thing is very certain, no government would be able to stop parents buying additional tutoring for their children.
So, a practical agenda for equalising opportunity, for investing where it's needed most, for transforming the pipeline from school through college, apprenticeships, or university, is a goal worth fighting for. A positive way of linking business and education through political decision-making, with the delivery by excellent professionals in the education service, to the children of today and the economy of tomorrow. Surely that is a much more progressive and less negative way forward for both government and opposition. 
The Rt Hon Professor The Lord Blunkett