The Telford Priory School

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

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 The Telford Priory School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Highlighting best practice
All achievements are recognised
at The Telford Priory School
Cadets at the school take part in a
remembrance parade for the whole school
The Telford Priory School is a merger of two special
measure schools, which opened in 2015. This meant there
were two sets of staff, parents and students under one
roof. Mergers are complicated endeavours and one must ensure
everyone buys into the ethos, rules and ways of working. Head
teacher Stacey Jordan therefore resolved to create The Telford
Priory School as a super-powered centre of excellence in the
community that raises the aspirations of all.
Community superheroes
It has been an uphill battle to establish ourselves as a community hub. At the
start of our post-merger journey we received much opposition and struggled to
ingratiate ourselves with the wider public. We now hold termly community events
which present our students as leaders who host activities to raise money for charity
– last year we gave £4,000 to charity.
Our school image is that of the superhero. Across the grounds one can see
quotes displayed reiterating the idea that a hero can be anyone. We want to be
heroes, to be the best we can be for the benefit of the community. We cater to
the broadest range of student abilities, with a high number of SEND students
and almost half who are disadvantaged, but the backgrounds of our pupils
are just that – backgrounds. We are masters of our fate and have complete
ownership of our futures. These principles are very much embedded into our
school ethos.
»Head teacher: Stacey Jordan
»Founded in 2015
»Based in Telford, Shropshire
»Type of school: Sponsored
academy providing for
students aged 11-16
»No. of students: 960
»No. of teaching staff: 65
»No. of support staff: 62
»Disadvantaged pupils: 46 per
»SEND: 24 per cent
The Telford Priory
While many support staff are being
forced out of schools due to budget
cuts, we have revived structures within
the school including the appointment
of a full-time careers and enterprise
officer who is our strategic lead on
ensuring all students have access to
local and national businesses and
higher educational opportunities at
universities nationwide. We want
students to tap into the world beyond.
By changing our structures and
keeping this strong support staff team,
we are ensuring students can thrive in
areas outside of curriculum learning
and have secure pathways to their
future. We have an extracurricular
co-ordinator providing opportunities in
over 50 clubs per week. Furthermore,
The Telford Priory School is built upon
the same site as a leisure centre,
providing access to excellent sporting
and fitness centres, performing arts
venues and music equipment.
We have a “more able” co-ordinator
who ensures the most able students
can visit universities and participate
in the “brilliance programme”, which
has included visits from Cambridge
alumnae. Those on the programme
annually visit universities to observe the
goings-on of higher education, from
local high-calibre universities to those
of the Russell Group and Oxbridge.
We naturally cover the academic side
of education aiming for the highest
standard, but our students all need
to be “hooked” into education and
have access to a range of pathways
that encourage engaged and
Raising expectations
There has been considerable challenge
in establishing a merger school. While
we are still finding our own identity
independent of our predecessor
schools, to be one’s own superhero
underlines everything we do. To be
this hero one must persevere and a
quotation from Winston Churchill
– “Success is not final, failure is not
fatal; it is the courage to continue that
counts” – is proudly displayed across
the school.
Many of our students have low
expectations and aspirations and
we must build up their resilience
and teach them perseverance – it
is okay to know failure, and this
does not define us. It is wonderful
to see these children become
student – and community –
leaders, supervising activities on
weekends and becoming voluntarily
involved in business enterprise.
Studentsstartunderstanding that they
can be whoever they choose to be;
there are no limitations.
Making the change
Manifesting this change in student
personal perception came from a
strong belief in what a school can
achieve. I have the unwavering belief
that with a senior team sharing a
clear moral drive and values-driven
focus, we can make the Priory a
place where all students can achieve
the very best and not be affected by
factors outside of theircontrol.
In my first year I was told that my
expectations for students were too
The Telford Priory School
raised over £4,000 for
charity last year
Success is not
final, failure is
not fatal; it is
the courage to
continue that
Highlighting best practice
high. I do not think this is true – the
right provision and support means you
can become anything you want. I want
our students to know they can get into
Oxbridge; there are simply no limits to
what they can achieve.
My team have established very good
connections within the community,
from the mayoral office to local
businesses, and use social media to
reach out to those around us. I run
an “open door” school encouraging
staff to be available to support
students – and my staff go above
and beyond. I invite parents and
prospective parents into the school
regularly so they can see that our
children are thriving. I ensure our
school is open during holidays so
that students and members of our
local community can make use of our
excellent provisions. We even provide
opportunities for parents to have
stalls at our fayres.
To maintain our appeal, our school
finishes early, facilitating afternoon
activities. Even as I write this in the
early evening, I can see from my
window students practising netball
at the leisure centre and going to art
club and can hear the senior choir
rehearsing in the hall.
We want our children to not only learn
but also receive training to enable
them to be successful leaders – to
this end we promote our school as a
fun learning environment with superb
facilities to appeal to new students.
Not only do we care for each child;
we create the environment in which
children help each other. As part of our
community engagement we work with
local primary schools on a myriad of
projects from year 2 to year 6 utilising
our student leaders and specialist staff
for MFL, arts, music, sport, English,
maths and STEMprojects.
We want every student to know they
can have a fantastic future and can
move forwards as positive, resilient
members of society. Students are
reminded that there are countless
pathways to success which need not
be restricted by nationally assigned
curricula – one can excel and lead
in so many forms. For students,
the school provides a doorway to
their future – we must help them
understand there is more to life than
selfies and “fitting in” with cliques.
They must know there is a limitless
world beyond where anything can
be achieved if it is believed – that
they can truly become their own
A hero can be
The school is teamed
with local businesses as
part of a STEM challenge
Health and social care
students host local
elderly people at a tea

This article was sponsored by The Telford Priory School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.