Ladypool Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Ladypool 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 Ladypool 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

Highlighting best practice
The senior leadership team
Our forest school in action
Ladypool Primary School, in Birmingham, is housed in
an old but well-maintained Grade II* listed building. In
spite of their high pupil premium, EAL and SEND figures,
all of which are over 50 per cent, and their situation in one
of the most deprived areas of the city, the school has been
turned around and is now one of the most improved schools
in Birmingham. They have worked tirelessly to broaden
experiences and horizons for their pupils and to ensure they
have the best platform possible for secondary education and
their lives ahead. Huda Aslam, their head teacher, discusses how
they have achieved this.
I’ve been here for five years, but the real transition we have seen has been over
the past two. With a great leadership team and committed staff, we’ve turned the
school around, and have become a successful, thriving school looking forward to
the future. We aim for excellence in all we do, and have every member of staff
committed to our caring but aspirational ethos, to be the best that you can be. We
are dedicated to the success of these pupils and of future pupils that will attend
Ladypool; this is a vibrant place, now – one that prepares children for prosperous,
enriched lives.
The school values learning through exciting opportunities and linking these to
real-life contexts. We take advantage of our partnerships with King Edward’s
grammar schools, the University of Birmingham and Aston University to create
opportunities for our pupils and raise their educational aspirations. We have also
broadened their range of experiences by taking them outside of their local area
»Head teacher: Huda Aslam
»Founded in 1885
»Based in Birmingham
»Type of school: Local authority
maintained primary school
»No. of pupils: 470
»Situated in a Grade II* listed
Ladypool Primary
and providing opportunities for them
to work on exciting projects including
the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust,
the Birmingham Reparatory Theatre,
the Birmingham Hippodrome and
other educational theatre, music and
Our broad curriculum is enriched
further by a forest school woodland
area where classes will go out and
explore the natural habitat of living
things. Regular outings are designed
specifically around the curriculum,
including visits to the Globe theatre,
the Houses of Parliament, Selly Manor
and many more. We work to provide
our children with exposure to new and
stimulating opportunities, and help
them to understand that their future is
not defined by their past.
Ethos and morals
All staff are passionate about investing
in our pupils and aiming for excellence,
and ensure that, here, our pupils are
leaders. They play an active role in
evaluating the effectiveness of the
school in various aspects but also
help leaders in meeting their needs.
We are proud to be the first school
in Birmingham to have achieved the
Investors In Pupils award and we are
a Unicef Rights Respecting School.
We strive to turn out well-rounded,
curious, articulate, confident and
happy individuals, who are well
prepared for the 21st century and
beyond. Everyone is equal, and
our motto is “Together Everyone
Achieves”. Our work is underpinned
by inclusion, diversity and respect – we
care about the whole child, we care
about their prospects and we want
them to achieve the best outcomes
they can.
We also want our pupils to be good
global citizens with the capacity to
actively participate in society in a
positive way, while maintaining a
healthy approach to life. A focus on
mental and emotional health and
wellbeing allows us to look at the
whole child, and concentrate on
giving them the skills and resilience to
A positive perception
Families that have chosen our school
are giving us glowing feedback, and
it’s of paramount importance to us
that our children are happy. Once
we have that, everything else falls
into place. As a school, we support
families with their individual needs and
challenges that they may be facing,
and provide ample opportunity for
children to be appropriately nurtured
and mentored.
We’re a school that has a growth
mindset, and we make it clear to pupils
that we’re all learning. We run sessions
with parents to allow everyone
to evolve and develop alongside
one another, but intelligence isn’t
something that’s fixed.
A highlight of the year
is our cultural diversity
carnival, which we share
with the community
Our broad
curriculum is
further by a
forest school
Highlighting best practice
A curriculum overhaul
We have changed everything
and brought in a real focus on
communication from a young age.
We’re operating a drama programme
to develop children’s confidence and
ability to articulate themselves. We
naturally cover the traditional areas
– mathematics and science – and
try to identify areas where children
might show aptitude. We keep things
fun, celebrate pupils’ skills and try
to recognise extracurricular talent
– the great swimmer, marvellous
mathematician, fantastic footballer
or the brilliant ballerina, for example.
We don’t exclusively celebrate
academia, but it remains at the core of
We keep British values, spiritual, social,
moral and cultural development, at the
heart of everything we do. We mark
and recognise all national events and
religious festivals, ensuring they’re
interwoven into our events calendar.
All children at Ladypool understand
that they are British and proud to be
so – we ensure that cultural identities
don’t conflict and are integrated well.
Although we are a two-form-entry
primary school with 60 children per
year group, we make sure children
are taught in classes between 10
and 20 where necessary. We offer
lots of after-school classes, and at
times, run them on weekends and
holidays. We always seek to accelerate
the learning of the children who
display magnificent potential in their
Challenges and our future
A dip in the birth rate locally over the
past few years has naturally been a
challenge, and running a Grade II*
listed premises takes its toll financially.
Thankfully this has been managed
well and has not had a detrimental
impact on the quality of teaching at
our school. A focus for us is changing
minds and hearts and getting families
to value education by ensuring
their children attend school every
day regardless of bad weather or
cheaper holiday tickets. We also have
a whole-school drive on developing
excellent reading habits both in
school and at home as we know this
is the key to effective communication
Going forwards, we want to be a hub
of excellence, unique in our character
and to nurture future leaders in our
staff, our children and our community.
There’s a constant philosophy of
improvement in Birmingham, the UK
and worldwide.
The children of Ladypool Primary
School are on their way to becoming
global citizens, and we actively look
for new experiences, locally, nationally
and internationally, to facilitate this.
We have, for example, a project in
Indonesia underway, and an exchange
partnership in Spain. For now, though,
we are concentrating on fostering and
developing our children as citizens and
leaders of the future.
The children
of Ladypool
Primary School
are on their
way to
global citizens
We continually challenge
pupils outside of their
comfort zone

This article was sponsored by Ladypool 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 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