Ellowes Hall Sports College

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Ellowes Hall Sports College'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 Ellowes Hall Sports College 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


Highlighting best practice
Aerial shot of extensive school
Head teacher Alan Jasper with
senior prefects
Current head teacher Alan Jasper first joined Ellowes Hall at
the turn of the millennium. He became deputy head teacher
in 2005 when the school’s transformation under previous
head teacher Andy Griffiths began. At the start of 2015, Alan
was appointed head teacher, and Ellowes Hall became the lead
academy of the newly established Invictus Multi Academy Trust
(led by Andy Griffiths as executive head teacher). Both Ellowes
Hall and Invictus have gone from strength to strength, the latter
expanding to six academies by September 2018.
Traditional values and an independent-minded education
Our mission statement has been unchanged since 2005 and consists of the 4 As:
aspiration, achievement, providing an all-round education for all; it has the
high expectations of its stakeholders running through it.. We unashamedly aim to
provide an “independent school” education in a comprehensive secondary school at
the heart of the Black Country in Lower Gornal, Dudley. Our values are very traditional
in that we expect high standards of work, behaviour, uniform and conduct, and a
commitment to engaging in learning and all that the school has to offer.
In return we aim to provide the highest quality of learning in a caring environment
in which every student has the opportunity to shine. We also offer a multitude of
extracurricular experiences ranging from our own Army Cadet Force to staging
West End-style theatrical productions, sports (including sailing at Himley Lake),
Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, charity work, robot wars and public speaking
competitions. We have found that the more students engage in the extracurricular
activities, the more they go on to succeed academically.
»Head teacher: Alan Jasper
»Founded in 1964, and
converted into a sports college
in 2004
»Based in Lower Gornal,
Dudley, West Midlands
»Type of school: Mixed
secondary for students aged
»No. of students: 1,100
»No. of teachers: 60
»Pupil premium: 25 per cent
»SEND: 12 per cent
»Motto:”Aspirare et Vincere”
(aspire and achieve)
»MAT: Invictus Education Trust
»Ofsted: “Outstanding”, 2012
Ellowes Hall Sports
Academic and vocational
Although we have 10 per cent
admission by sporting aptitude on
entry in year 7, we have a truly
comprehensive intake, predominantly
from students within a mile of
Ellowes Hall. We have been heavily
oversubscribed in the past six years
and have taken well in excess of our
PAN in order to ensure we can still be
the school of choice for local parents.
In order to cater for the complete
academic spectrum of abilities in
years 7 and 8, we have “grammar
stream” classes for the most able
as well as “boost” classes for those
who initially find academic work
the most challenging. All students
study art, music, performing arts
(drama & dance), food and design
in addition to the core subjects
(English, mathematics, science, history,
geography, RE and PE) right up until
the end of year 8, with the vast
majority (over 90 per cent) studying
a modern foreign language. At the
start of year9, around 80 per cent
of students will follow an academic
(EBacc) pathway continuing their
MFL course, with the remaining
20per cent increasing their English
and mathematics (with a modern
foreign language) but following one
of our successful vocational courses.
However, it is very important to us
that the GCSE “arts” subjects are still
available to every student to be able to
study should theywish.
We had previously “dabbled” with
providing extra lessons after school
for year 11 in their final two terms but
four years ago we decided we needed
to establish a culture of independent
learning outside of normal lesson
time for more students. We now have
40 minutes of prep time three days
a week for 30 weeks a year for all
year 10 and year 11 students, with
students in Key Stage 3 directed to
attend focused prep sessions as and
when they need them and in addition
to the extracurricular and homework
clubs that are available at these times.
Students appreciate the value of prep
and the difference it makes to their
overall progress andattainment.
Sports facilities
Even though we became a specialist
sports college in 2004 and we had
an outstanding PE department, our
sporting facilities were quite frankly
woeful. We were awarded a Sport
England grant and support from
the LA but this was not enough to
provide us and, more importantly,
our local community with the very
best. With the provision of a sizeable
Army cadets with MPs
Ian Austin and Dan Jarvis
School production of Les
It is very
important to
us that the
GCSE “arts”
subjects are
still available
to every
Highlighting best practice
five-year loan and the support of
local councillors, we gained planning
permission for a double-sized sports
hall and floodlit Astroturf pitches. We
now admit 10 per cent of new year7
students by sporting aptitude, and
we have an “alpha” group of elite
sportswomen and men who receive a
specialist programme in appropriate
Performing arts
Our annual theatrical productions each
November literally showcase the talents
of our students. Over 100 students and
staff begin work on the production
each April and the outcomes are
magical and extraordinary. Last year’s
production of
Billy Elliot
was seen by
over 1,400 paying customers. The
shows are of a West End scale in terms
of the performances, music and its
production values.
Student leadership and house
We firmly believe that giving students
leadership opportunities contributes
greatly to their personal development
and their ability to become well-
rounded individuals and contribute
to society as they become young
adults. The school has a team of senior
prefects (head girl, head boy, sports
captains, and their deputies) who
are appointed following a rigorous
interview process towards the end of
year 10. We have an elected school
council as well as a team of anti-
bullying ambassadors. We have four
houses (Clent, Enville, Himley and
Kinver) and a very competitive inter-
house competition with each having
junior and senior house captains.
Army Cadet Force
We had always offered great
opportunities for those with a passion
for sports and for the arts, but we
felt that there was a missing piece in
the extracurricular “jigsaw”. Having
forged links with the local commander,
we successfully managed to launch
our own ACF having converted old
changing rooms into their bespoke
ward rooms. The CO and his sergeant
are employed during the day as cover
supervisors and so are an integral part
of our school. The force has gone
from strength to strength and we now
have our own high ropes course in the
school’s extensive grounds, which was
partly funded by the ACF and theMoD.
Throughout our success story, but
particularly in those times when
we felt resistance from external
sources, the support of our member
of parliament Ian Austin has been
invaluable, and he continues to be a
tremendous advocate for Ellowes Hall
The support of
our member
of parliament
Ian Austin has
School production of
Billy Elliot


This article was sponsored by Ellowes Hall Sports College. 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 Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister