Sidney Stringer Academy

Sidney Stringer Academy
Motto Believe - Achieve - Succeed - Thrive
Established 1972
Type Academy
Religion Multi-Religion
Principal Wendy Tomes
Location 2 Primrose Hill Street
West Midlands
Coordinates: 52°24′43″N 1°30′11″W / 52.4119°N 1.5031°W / 52.4119; -1.5031
Local authority Coventry City Council
DfE URN 103739 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1,320 (approx.)
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Jaguar, Swanswell, Lanchester, Da Vinci and Phoenix

Sidney Stringer Academy - formerly Sidney Stringer School (to 2010), Sidney Stringer Community Technology College (to c2004), Sidney Stringer School and Community College (1972 - 1994) - is a coeducational (mixed) academy school for pupils aged 11 18 in Hillfields, Coventry, England.[1]


Sidney Stringer first opened as a School and Community College in 1972 as the first urban community school in England.

The school was formed from the merger of two secondary modern schools - Frederick Bird on Swan Lane (became a primary school) and Broad Heath on Broad Street. It was one of the first Community Colleges in the 1970s and one of the first Technology Colleges in the 1990s.

The school was named after Alderman Sidney Stringer, a former mayor of Coventry who dedicated himself to the rebuilding of the city after the devastation of the second world war.

Today the school continues to serve an area close to the city centre with the most diverse population of any in the city. Numbers of students on roll, which fell to an all-time low of around 670 in the 1990s, have risen rapidly in recent years.

About the School

Sidney Stringer Academy caters for 1300 students aged 11-19 including a large sixth form. The Academy opened in September 2010 and moved into a new building in 2011.

The school has been a Specialist School for Mathematics and Computing since 2004. Sidney Stringer Academy is in the top 2% of all schools in the country for student progress. The Mathematics department is in the TOP 1%, and Humanities in the top 3%. English in the top 6% and Science and MFL in the top 11%.


The 2013 Ofsted report gave Sidney Stringer Academy outstanding in all areas.[2] The academy was also praised for the quality of its teaching which is consistently good or outstanding, where students “relish the imaginatively planned, vibrant lessons provided.” 95% of lessons were judged to be good or better and 45% were outstanding. The lead inspector told us that this was the best teaching and learning profile that he had ever seen.

The Ofsted report reads: “Behaviour is outstanding. Students from different backgrounds work very well together, have a very positive attitude to learning and feel safe. They are courteous and immensely proud of their academy noting that the academy allows them ‘to be leaders of their own learning’.

Student support was also highlighted as a strength “The academy looks after the students exceptionally well and the progress of students who need additional help is “outstanding”.

The report also praised leadership stating that “Outstanding leadership exists at every level. The leadership team has driven forward every aspect of academy life with vision, shared values and remorseless energy.”

Sidney Stringer Multi Academy Trust

The trust consists of Sidney Stringer Academy, Ernesford Grange, Radford Primary, Alice Stevens and from September 2015 Sidney Stringer Primary. A trust is where a group of Academies work together and are governed by one trust and a single board of Directors. Each school has a Local Governing Body with limited delegation and a focus on standards and reports to the board of Directors

All schools and their Local Governing bodies will be answerable to a single Multi Academy Trust board of directors for their performance, standards and finances. These directors consist of some current members of each of the governing bodies but also additional members that have been recruited to help ensure that standards are high in each school.

The aim is that all schools work collaboratively to provide a high quality education across all the schools. There have already been significant improvements and the ambition is for all schools in the trust to become OUTSTANDING by working together.

The Swan Teaching School Alliance

The Swan Teaching School Alliance is in its fourth year of provision and Sidney Stringer Academy took over leadership in September 2014. They offer CPD for staff, support via NLEs, LLEs and SLEs, School Direct placements and leadership development.

As the lead school for the alliance, Sidney Stringer Academy has appointed an Assistant Principal who is responsible for the R&D at school but also for implementing practices across the alliance.

The Alliance is currently made up of twelve schools, primary, secondary and special, all in Coventry. In addition, the alliance is made up of Coventry Local Authority, Newman University, the Royal National Institute of the Blind Pears Centre, Teaching Leaders and Achievement for All 3As, all of whom are strategic partners to the alliance.

North West Federation

Along with Barr's Hill School and Community College and the President Kennedy School and Community College it forms the North West Federation of Schools, which are allowed to provide the International General Certificate of Secondary Education English course to pupils at the school.[3]

Academic performance

The school's best subjects at GCSE level are Mathematics, ICT (the school's strongest subject), art and design, and drama. Standards of pupil achievement at year 9 are well below the national average in English, the sciences, and mathematics.

2007 Examination performance

Key Stage 3

English saw their best ever results showing a good improvement.

Performance in mathematics continues to be strong: the results are good when looking at the level of entry. This cohort of students had the lowest KS2 L5+ at 49% compared to any other cohort of students currently at the school. Therefore considering this lower starting point the subject still exceeded FFT B and D estimate.

Science continues to improve year on year. This year the conversion of 2 levels has improved greatly and although the results are below 60% they are still inline with FFT D estimates.

Key Stage 4

The progress is again good with all FFT B and D exceeded (5+ A – G, 5+ A – C, 5+ A – C including maths and English). The overall 5+ A* - C was just short of 40%

Key Stage 5

This year the points score improved despite a reduction in the %A-B grades from 52.9 to 36.1 and a drop in the number of entries from 104 in 2006 to 72 in 2007.

Other Improvements

The school has grown to its largest population (1,200) for many years.

CVA Sidney Stringer has one of the highest CVA - Contextual Value Added scores in the city. This is a new, complex Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4 contextual value added (CVA) score designed to show the progress children have made. This is done by comparing their achievements with those of other pupils nationally who had the same or similar prior attainment in their test results at KS2 and KS3. It has one of the highest improvement rates in the country making their grade from year 7 to year 9 a whole two levels higher. In summer 2007, Sidney Stringer students produced their improved SATS, GCSE and A Level results. The SATs results in 2007 were the best ever for the school; GCSE results were up 11% on 2006 and 97% of A level students passed, with 48.4% of these passing with A or B grade – placing the school third in Coventry.

Local involvement

The school liaises with its feeder primary schools, with year 5 and 6 pupils from those schools attending Sidney Stringer to experience "taster" lessons. Other primary pupils make use of the school's ICT facilities, and teachers from Sidney Stringer run physical education clubs at the primary schools during lunchtimes.[1]

The school is also the location for various evening courses run by the Coventry Adult Education Service.[4]

Charity work

The school holds displays to raise awareness of World Refugee Day[5] and in 2006 participated in the Motiv8 project.[6] 16+ also holds an annual charity week in which they raise as much money as possible for an international charity and a charity more closer to home.

In 2006, controversial plans to merge Sidney Stringer School with Barr's Hill School to form a city academy were dropped.[7]

Coventry City Council applied for Sidney Stringer to become an Academy, opening in existing buildings in September 2010 and in new buildings the following year. The City Council is itself a major sponsor, together with the City (FE) College. The other two sponsors are Coventry University and Jaguar Cars. This unusual arrangement paid tribute to the school’s excellent record in providing for the education of local children, and formed part of city plans for the regeneration of the city area of Hillfields – the Swanswell Regeneration Initiative. The formal consultation exercise undertaken in February 2008 revealed remarkable support for the school from the local community, with over 80% of respondents demanding that the name of the school remain the same. The specialisms of the new school would be Mathematics, and Design and Technology.[8] Amongst changes made on Academy formation were the remodelling of the house system, a uniform change from green sweatshirts to black blazers, the introduction of Head boy and girl along with a prefect system (year 10, 11 and 16+ students). The academy also has an academy council for years 7-11. The principal of the new academy was Mrs Wendy Tomes.


On 25 September 2007, a fire destroyed 40% of the old 1972 school buildings.[9] The school, however, was operating as normal, albeit in temporary classrooms, by February 2008. The school was rebuilt at a cost of £28 million and reopened in 2012 with an official opening ceremony on 4 October 2012 conducted by the Duke of York.[10]


  1. 1 2 Tom Comer (15 February 2001). "Sidney Stringer School" (PDF). Ofsted.
  3. "The Coventry City Council and the North West Federation of Schools (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) Order 2005". Office of Public Sector Information. 2005.
  4. "Black History Courses starting January 2005". Local History Magazine. Local History Press Ltd.
  5. "Overview of Activities: International Refugee Day 2006". UNITED for Intercultural Action.
  6. "Motiv8". Groundwork. June 2006.
  7. Lucy Lynch (28 February 2006). "City drops plan to merge two schools". icCoventry. Midland Newspapers Limited.
  8. "Sidney Stringer Academy".
  9. "Fire at city school is suspicious". BBC News. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  10. Bagot, Martin (5 October 2012). "A School Fit for a Prince". Coventry Telegraph. p. 3.

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