Thomas Telford School
Headmaster: Sir Kevin Satchwell
reveal email address
School holidays for Thomas Telford School via Telford and Wrekin council
650 boys 49%
675 girls 51%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
— City Technology College
- Establishment type
- City Technology College
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Feb. 7, 1992
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 369117, Northing: 308960
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.677, Longitude: -2.4582
- Accepting pupils
- 11—18 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Jan. 21, 2009
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Telford › Lawley and Overdale
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Telford and Wrekin
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.4 miles St Leonard's Infant School TF42ED
- 0.4 miles Langley Junior School TF42ED
- 0.4 miles Old Park Primary School TF32BF (547 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Langley St Leonard's Primary School TF42ED
- 0.6 miles Queenswood Primary School and Nursery TF20AZ (144 pupils)
- 0.8 miles The Linden Centre TF35BT (3 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Ladygrove Primary School TF42LF (279 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Malinslee Primary School TF42JF
- 0.8 miles Newdale Primary School & Nursery TF35HA (480 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Hollinswood Primary School TF32EP (346 pupils)
- 1 mile Hollinswood Infant and Nursery School TF32EP
- 1 mile Phoenix Academy TF43JS (625 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Dawley Church of England Primary School with Nursery TF43AL (213 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Hollinswood County Middle School TF32EF
- 1.1 mile Mount Gilbert School TF43PP (40 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Lawley Primary School TF42PR (407 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Wombridge Primary School TF26AN (200 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Ketley Town Junior School TF15HF
- 1.2 mile Randlay Primary School TF32LR (368 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Hinkshay School TF31DG
- 1.2 mile Meadows Primary School and Nursery TF15HF (339 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Oakengates Childrens Centre TF26EP (94 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Captain Webb Primary School TF43DU (326 pupils)
- 1.4 mile St George's Church of England Primary School TF29LJ (528 pupils)
Ofsted report transcript
Thomas Telford School
123627Unique Reference Number
Telford and WrekinLocal Authority
21–22 January 2009Inspection dates
Michelle Parker HMIReporting inspector
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act
City technology collegeType of school
0–18Age range of pupils
MixedGender of pupils
Number on roll
0Government funded early education
provision for children aged 3 to the end
of the EYFS
13Childcare provision for children aged 0
to 3 years
The governing bodyAppropriate authority
16 May 2006Date of previous school inspection
Not previously inspectedDate of previous funded early education inspection
Not previously inspectedDate of previous childcare inspection
Old ParkSchool address
01952 200000Telephone number
01952 293294Fax number
21–22 January 2009Inspection dates
© Crown copyright 2009
This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes, provided that
the information quoted is reproduced without adaptation and the source and date of publication are stated.
Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must
provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost
of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.
2 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and four Additional Inspectors.
Description of the school
Thomas Telford School was formed as a City Technology College in 1991, specialising in
mathematics, science and technology. The school attracts students from the neighbouring
areas of Telford and Wolverhampton. Most students are from White British backgrounds but
the social and ethnic mix broadly reflects the make-up of the local community. The level of
disadvantage in the community is average but the proportion of students who are eligible for
free school meals is below average. Virtually no students move to or from other schools.
According to Key Stage 2 national test results, attainment on entry to the school is exceptionally
high. The number of students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is below average.
The school is extremely popular and demand for places is very high; for admission purposes,
the school uses nationally agreed selection criteria for City Technology Colleges, designed to
ensure that the intake reflects the full range of ability according to national norms.
The school also provides a small baby unit and Nursery with places for six babies and 13
The school works collaboratively with three Academies for which it is the main sponsor. The
objective is to replicate the practices of Thomas Telford School for the benefit of more students.
Key for inspection grades
3 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
Overall effectiveness of the school
Thomas Telford School continues to strive and achieve excellence in all it does. The determined
drive of the headteacher for the best for every student underpins the school's success. All the
staff share this vision. In this school, it is 'cool to work'. There is meticulous attention to every
detail. As the headteacher explained, 'It is the little things which add up and together become
more than the whole.' The school believes every student can achieve highly, consequently every
student, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, makes outstanding
progress. Standards achieved are the highest in England. Increasingly challenging targets are
continually set and met by the school. This ensures that the school has an outstanding capacity
to improve. The outstanding leadership of the headteacher infuses all the school does. He
knows the school intimately and his presence is felt in all parts of the school. He is a personal
tutor, has regular meals with students and his door is always open.
The curriculum is outstanding in its flexibility. It enables subject content to be closely matched
to students' interests and prior learning. Topical events are included, such as the election and
inauguration of the president of the United States of America. The high quality provision of
information and communication technology (ICT) allows students to access curriculum materials
at anytime to support their learning. Students' high level of competence in the use of ICT
prepares them extremely well for their future economic well-being. Teaching is supported by
extensive use of interactive whiteboards in all learning areas. Students' enterprise skills enable
them to fundraise very effectively for a huge range of community projects.
Safety is an appropriately high priority. Students feel safe. Personal tutors know their students
well and give effective support. Relationships are strong and caring. Students value the mixed
ages within each tutor group, enabling older students to support younger ones. Incidents of
bullying are rare and swiftly dealt with. Many students travel long distances to the school but
the transport is well organised and supervised. This ensures that every student can participate
in the extensive range of extra-curricular activities after school. Students appreciate this. They
understand about the need for internet safety and older students know about safe driving.
Students know how to stay healthy because of the very strong emphasis on healthy lifestyles
and students are encouraged to use the many sporting facilities, including the fitness suite.
They choose healthy options at lunchtime and enjoy the award-winning menu provided in the
Outstanding care, guidance and support underpin all aspects of school life. Challenging targets
are set and effectively monitored for all students. End-of-module feedback, to parents and
students every three to four weeks, ensures clarity about what must be done for students to
meet their targets. The school effectively shares its methodology with other schools in its
locality and nationally.
Teaching and learning are outstanding. Open-plan areas in all departments facilitate the sharing
of good practice and a community of learners. Detailed feedback following lesson observations
also helps teachers to develop their skills. The school uses a wide variety of strategies to
communicate effectively with parents, including a parent forum. Parents are overwhelmingly
positive about the school. One wrote that they 'jumped for joy' when their child got in and are
'still jumping'. A tiny minority of parents feel the school does not sufficiently listen to them or
the students. Inspectors were impressed by the endeavours the school makes in encouraging
good two-way communication between home and school.
4 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
Effectiveness of the sixth form
The effectiveness of the sixth form is outstanding. Standards are significantly above average.
Students make excellent progress because of the first-class teaching and study support that
encourages total commitment as well as developing lifelong learning skills. Attendance and
retention rates are very high. Students are successful independent learners and take a real
pride in their work and achievements. Around 90% of students go on to university while the
rest progress to further education and training. Considering the outstanding achievements and
well-rounded nature of the students, too few obtain entry to the most prestigious universities.
Students' personal development and their acquisition of skills for future economic well-being
are outstanding. Students' integration as part of the school is successful as they take the lead
in organising events, helping in the running of games and other activities. There is no common
room and this ensures they are a strong presence and influence for good around the school.
Teaching and learning are excellent because of the high expectation and challenge in lessons,
matched with close tracking and timely support given to every individual. The leadership and
management of the sixth form are highly effective. Close and continuous attention is given to
every aspect of a student's life. Individual guidance and support, and very good relations with
their teachers, are strengths of the sixth form. The school has strong links with other sixth form
providers, universities and industry. The sixth form provides excellent value for money.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Parents are extremely pleased with the progress and level of care that their children and babies
receive in the Nursery and baby unit. They emphasise the family atmosphere; one parent
described a 'warm loving environment'. Children's emotional and welfare needs are met extremely
sensitively. For example, staff ensured that a very young child new to the baby unit had close
personal contact with her key worker at all times and this enabled her to feel confident and to
Children are happy, make friends, and share especially well. There are frequent opportunities
for them to choose what they would like to do. All make at least good progress and some make
outstanding progress in their learning. They have a good understanding of number work.
Everyday situations are used well to practise their counting. Children take responsibility by
serving drinks and healthy foods at snack times. They are very clear about what healthy food
is and what food is not healthy.
The setting works very effectively with the parents of children who find learning difficult. This
enables these children to make good gains in their learning and personal development. Children
are well prepared for their next stage of learning. Primary schools comment on their confidence.
Leadership and management have a rigorous approach to ensuring the safety of children.
Procedures are robust. Staff have embraced the new requirements of the Early Years Foundation
Stage (EYFS) enthusiastically. Although the Nursery receives management support on a daily
basis, there is not an early years specialist on hand to give the dedicated support that it needs.
What the school should do to improve further
Increase the number of students gaining places at the most prestigious universities by
exploring every avenue.
5 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
Strengthen the management of the Nursery by ensuring that a suitably qualified person
supports the nursery staff on a day-to-day basis.
Achievement and standards
Outstanding progress is made at Key Stages 3 and 4 because the range of strategies employed
ensure challenging targets are met and students build on success. Students complete Key Stage
3 effectively, with all students achieving much better than the national average in two years.
This allows them early entry to GCSE courses. Rigorous analysis of data ensures that the mix
of vocational and academic courses taken by every student leads to them all attaining at least
ten A* to C GCSE passes. In 2008, 99% of students gained at least ten A* to C grades, including
English and mathematics. Every student also gained at least a GCSE grade C in ICT. This is much
better than the national average.
Personal development and well-being
Students' personal development and well-being are outstanding. Attendance overall in 2008
was 98%, which is well above the national average, and testimony to how committed students
and parents are to the education offered by the school. Students enjoy coming to school and
value all the opportunities they have to develop both academically and as young people. They
are proud of their achievements and are excited by others' successes. These are celebrated
regularly, by the 'Monday broadcasts' to all students, for example. Students say this encourages
them to work hard to gain success themselves. They look to many teachers and high achieving
students as role models and are inspired to emulate their success. They value their place at the
school highly. Consequently, attitudes to learning are excellent and behaviour is exemplary.
The strong emphasis on the 'thought for the week' enables students to reflect on important
issues and supports their spiritual development. They work very well together in lessons and
support each other and there is a strong ethos of teamwork.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
The quality of teaching and learning are outstanding. Parents endorse this view. The three-hour
lessons enable a wide variety of teaching styles, which are well matched to all students' needs,
including students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. This leads to a high level of
engagement. Students said they liked longer sessions because they could complete work.
Flexibility of teaching allows students to have breaks when they need to. No bells interrupt
the purposeful atmosphere. Very good attitudes, relationships and behaviour ensure that there
is an excellent culture for learning.
Meticulous planning by individual teachers and teams ensure that teaching responds to individual
students' needs on a lesson-by-lesson basis. No group of students fall behind because of this
collaborative approach. Effective deployment of teaching assistants ensures all students achieve
targets. School staff are paid to teach lessons of absent colleagues. Appropriate specialists
teach subjects, and consistency and high standards of teaching ensure students continue to
make excellent progress.
6 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
Curriculum and other activities
The school provides an outstanding curriculum. The school continually monitors the effectiveness
of the curriculum so that it meets the needs of all learners and encourages strong personal
development. Carefully planned provision for students to further their spiritual, moral, social
and cultural development is evident in all aspects of the curriculum.
The school has successfully achieved a balance of academic and vocational pathways for students
to ensure success for all. For example, for students who have completed their physical education
GCSE early, there is the option of a fitness instructor course in Year 11. Work with local partners
is a strong feature and provides enrichment of the vocational curriculum, with, for example,
mock interviews, work experience and trips to local businesses. Key partners also provide
sponsorship for students going on to higher education. The extensive range of extra-curricular
opportunities and high participation rates allow students to develop their personal interests
and skills. The programme is responsive to students' suggestions, for example in setting up a
girls- only swimming gala.
Care, guidance and support
Staff are extremely committed to ensuring the very best provision for the pupils. Safeguarding
procedures are robust and meet all current requirements. Excellent relations and a strong ethos
of support, underpinned by rigorous systems, ensure that students get the very best care,
guidance and support for their learning and personal development. Relationships are highly
effective and systems for tracking each student's progress are rigorous. Those students who
are vulnerable and those who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities make outstanding
progress. Students who have a history of exclusion from other schools achieve at least five A*
to C grades. This is far better than would normally be expected.
Leadership and management
Every element of leadership and management is outstanding. The headteacher leads the senior
team effectively. Its strength lies in its multi-disciplinary expertise. This securely underpins its
clear and detailed understanding of the school. The flatter management structure enables
prompt and effective action on day-to-day issues. Each deputy headteacher works alongside
a department and teaches 50% of the timetable. Thus, senior managers are able to model good
practice and know their area of learning intimately. The weekly senior leadership meeting has
as much time allocated to discuss individual students as whole-school issues. Thus, accountability
is embedded at all levels. All staff feel valued through systems that guarantee preparation and
marking time. They are remunerated for taking extra-curricular sessions. Frequently held team
meetings ensure the regular sharing of planning and moderation opportunities. Money is spent
where it will have the greatest impact on students' learning. Rigorous interrogation of assessment
data informs support activities aligned to school improvement. Income generation leads to
funds being reinvested within the school. Students are involved at every opportunity in
determining how funds are spent on improving their learning. Governance is outstanding.
Governors act as 'critical friends', holding the school to account, and offer a range of business
7 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
skills. The latter are used by the school to enhance its business and enterprise culture that has
a strong ICT dimension.
Community cohesion is outstanding. This is because the school curriculum has embedded values
of reducing intolerance and increasing understanding of other people. Exploring current issues
in the news helps students consider difficult moral problems. For instance, a visit by a group
of refugees challenged students to reconsider their assumptions. Thus, students develop a high
degree of social awareness. The school provides a vast range of opportunities for students to
take responsible and supportive roles within the school and the wider community. Students
initiate and manage ambitious fund-raising projects, such as supporting building a school in
Africa with which the school has strong links. Large numbers of students take the Duke of
Edinburgh Award, enabling them not only to develop personally and socially, but also to show
initiative in the service of others. In addition, the school has links with a range of schools in
the Midlands region that enable the effective sharing of good practice that fosters excellence.
8 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out
in the guidance 'Complaints about school inspection', which is available from Ofsted’s website:
9 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3
satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate
How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of
education,integrated care and any extended services in
meeting the needs of learners?
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since
the last inspection
How well does the school work in partnership with others to
promote learners' well being?
11The capacity to make any necessary improvements
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of
children in the EYFS?
1How well do children in the EYFS achieve?
How good are the overall personal development and well-being
of the children in the EYFS?
How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and
1How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?
1How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?
Achievement and standards
11How well do learners achieve?
reached by learners
How well learners make progress, taking account of any
significant variations between groups of learners
How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none
significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally
10 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
Personal development and well-being
How good are the overall personal development and
well-being of the learners?
The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural
11The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles
11The extent to which learners adopt safe practices
11The extent to which learners enjoy their education
11The attendance of learners
11The behaviour of learners
The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to
How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will
contribute to their future economic well-being
The quality of provision
How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the
full range of learners' needs?
How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range
of needs and interests of learners?
11How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?
Leadership and management
How effective are leadership and management in raising
achievement and supporting all learners?
How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear
direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of
care and education
How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets
to raise standards
11The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation
How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination
11How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?
How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are
deployed to achieve value for money
The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards
discharge their responsibilities
Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current
NoDoes this school require special measures?
NoDoes this school require a notice to improve?
11 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009
Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection
23 January 2009
Inspection of Thomas Telford School, Telford, TF3 4NW
Thank you for your warm and friendly welcome. We very much enjoyed hearing your views.
They greatly helped us in understanding what makes your school so outstanding in every way.
You are an important part of what makes your school outstanding because you make a serious
commitment to your own learning and to the school.
Your outstanding achievement is because of a wide range of things the school has put in place.
The most important is the vision and leadership of your headteacher; he ensures you have high
quality care and support from every member of staff in the school. The online curriculum support
is excellent and ensures you can access information when it is convenient for you. Teaching is
challenging and extra support is provided for all through the mix of subjects, both traditional
and vocational. You are involved in an extensive range of school activities, in which nearly
everyone participates, and this helps you stay fit and healthy. Your involvement in the wider
community, through activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, is impressive.
Your care and consideration for everyone in the school is outstanding. We were very impressed
with the range of fund-raising initiatives, such as helping to build the school in Africa. You
care about your education and your school, which you have helped develop through your
well-thought-out suggestions. The school's excellent leadership ensure the continued high
quality of your education.
You are very well equipped for your future life through business and enterprise activities that
continue into your sixth form. The sixth form continues the excellent work of Key Stages 3 and
4. We were impressed by the involvement of the sixth form students in the whole of the school.
They are excellent role models for you. Considering these outstanding achievements, we would
like to see more of you go to the most prestigious universities and we have asked the school
to increase numbers by exploring every avenue.
The Nursery and baby unit attached to the school is also outstanding. Consequently, the
pre-school children get off to a very good start. To help them do even better, we have asked
the school to make sure that an early years specialist supports the Nursery staff on a day-to-day
We wish you continued success in the future.
Her Majesty's Inspector
12 of 12Inspection Report: Thomas Telford School, 21–22 January 2009