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Ormiston Academies Trust appoints executive principal for academies in West Midlands

Posted by admin on Thursday 15th March 2018

Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), one of the country’s leading multi-academy trusts, today announced Andrew Burns as Executive Principal of two of its academies in the West Midlands.

Andrew will serve as Executive Principal for Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath and Tenbury High Ormiston Academy in Tenbury Wells, working closely with the senior leadership teams at both and sharing the benefit of his considerable expertise and experience.

Andrew, who is currently Principal of Ormiston Forge Academy, will work across both academies and with OAT’s Regional Director for the Trust’s West Region, Robert Pritchard, to support the schools build on their successes to date and to continue to go from strength to strength.

Tenbury High Ormiston Academy (THOA) joined OAT in September 2014 and has since been transformed under the sponsorship of OAT, confirmed in its first Ofsted inspection since joining the Trust, in September 2017, which saw the academy rated ‘Outstanding’ for personal development, behaviour and welfare and ‘Good’ in every other category – with an overall rating of ‘Good’.

In October 2017, THOA celebrated achieving outstanding results in the GCSE tables, which highlighted the progress students make while at secondary school. The academy’s score of 0.18 and equates to each student achieving on average, almost one-fifth of a GCSE grade better per subject than they had been expected to achieve when they joined the Academy. This is above the national average and was also up on the Academy’s 2016 mark, when it achieved a strong score of 0.14.

Andrew joins THOA as the current Principal, Adrian Price, who has overseen the academy’s rise, moves to lead another strong OAT academy, George Salter Academy, in West Bromwich, where he will take over from Pank Patel, who is retiring. Andrew will work closely with the senior leadership team at THOA to ensure a smooth transition.

Andrew joined OAT in 2012 as Principal of Ormiston Forge Academy, when the predecessor school first converted to academy status and joined the Trust. Under Andrew’s leadership, Ormiston Forge Academy has undergone a period of rapid improvement, which culminated in the academy being rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in April 2016 and it has subsequently been designated as a National Support School.

Andrew, who was appointed a National Leader of Education (NLE) in March 2017, has more than 23 years’ experience in education, having started his career as a mathematics teacher in inner-city Birmingham. He has since worked in a number of different schools, many in challenging circumstances, working to improve outcomes for students and to ensure that they fulfil their potential.

OAT, which has been sponsoring primary and secondary academies across the country since 2008, champions the excellent academic achievement and all-round development of the 27,000+ young people it serves. With a central office in Birmingham, the Trust oversees 36 academies, which are clustered into North, East, South and West regions across England, with academies in each region sharing best practice and expertise under the leadership of a dedicated regional director.

Andrew Burns, Executive Principal of Tenbury High Ormiston Academy and Ormiston Forge Academy said:

I am excited to take up this new role, which will allow me to continue to work with the fantastic team at Ormiston Forge Academy supporting them to further raise standards and improve outcomes for students. I am also looking forward to supporting the, soon to be appointed, new Academy Headteacher at Tenbury High Ormiston Academy to do the same – ensuring that both academies are providing the very best education possible to all our students.

Both academies have undergone periods of considerable and sustained improvement over the last few years, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of staff, students and the wider community at both. I now look forward to supporting them to go from strength to strength, on their journey to becoming ‘Outstanding’.

Robert Pritchard, Regional Director West at Ormiston Academies Trust, said:

We are delighted to announce Andrew’s new role as Executive Principal for both Ormiston Forge Academy and Tenbury High Ormiston Academy. Since he joined OAT as Principal of Ormiston Forge in 2012, the academy has been on a significant journey of improvement and Andrew has played a huge part in driving this.

Andrew’s passion and enthusiasm for school improvement and ensuring that all students fulfil their potential, regardless of their background or starting point, has helped to inspire students and staff alike at Ormiston Forge and in this new role Tenbury High will now benefit from his energy, dedication and considerable expertise, which will be a huge asset to the fantastic team there”.

Andrew was the first in his family to go to university and in his spare time is now a trustee of the Access Project working to give the children at his academy, and more widely, the same opportunities he was afforded, and the chance to study at a top university. Andrew also serves as the Chair of Governors at Corngreaves Primary.















Posted by admin on Saturday 17th February 2018

There was a whole lotta love in the air at a Cradley Heath school this week when pop star Asher Knight visited.

Asher, who has just released his first single Hurricanes & Tornadoes, visited Ormiston Forge Academy on Valentine’s Day as part of his anti-bullying school tour.

The 21-year old singer from Bradford performed to over 550 students in year 8 and year 9 and wowed then with his own songs and covers by Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.

Students fell silent when Asher spoke to them from the heart about his experiences as a child of bullying.

Asher said: “Bullying comes in many forms; physical, verbal and social media. Through music, I found the courage to overcome bullying. Now I want to share with others that they can also stand up to bullying by finding their own strength and resilience.

The tour has played to nearly 10,000 students in schools across the country. Asher is accompanied by backing singers Christie Alana, Luena Martinez and James C-C who are all pursuing their own musical dreams.

Senior Vice Principal at Ormiston Forge Academy, Craig Cooling said: “Using music to deliver important messages has a huge impact on the students. It also gives them an experience of live music and an opportunity to see what can be achieved through hard work and dedication.

The arts are a fundamental part of our culture and I firmly believe that music and the arts can actually sit alongside and complement subjects such as mathematics and science.

We were delighted to welcome Asher back to Forge and thank him for making a difference.

Asher visited Forge in December 2017 with his mentor CeCe Sammy.

Often referred to as ‘The UK’s Vocal Whiz’, CeCe Sammy has worked in many capacities with an impressive roster of talent and industry bigwigs including Diana Ross, Will Young, Leona Lewis, Spice Girls, Charlotte Church, Russell Watson, S Club 7 and Simon Cowell among others. She has appeared as a vocal coach on Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief, Pop Idol, The Xtra Factor and The Voice UK among many other projects.

Asher said: “I was delighted to bring my anti-bullying tour to Ormiston Forge Academy on Valentine’s day to share the love!

I was there in 2017 alongside my mentor Cece Sammy. This time we performed a full set including my first single, ‘Hurricanes and Tornadoes’ which was released just last week. It’s safe to say we blew the roof off Cradley Heath and I know the students had as much fun as I did.

The tour was run in partnership with the charity, Barnardos and, after a short break, will continue around the country in April. Asher can be followed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by searching for Asherknightuk.

If you are being affected by bullying, need help or would like more information, please visit where you will find useful information and details of people you can speak to confidentially.















Posted by admin on Friday 9th February 2018

Lee Harding, 18, from Rowley Regis, who is completing his A levels at Ormiston Forge Academy, has won a place and a financial aid package to study at a top US university after participating in the Sutton Trust US Programme, run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

Lee will take up his place at Brown University in Rhode Island this Autumn. Located in historic Providence and founded in 1764, Brown University is the seventh-oldest college in the United States. Brown is an independent, coeducational Ivy League institution.

Brown’s vibrant, diverse community consists of about 6,580 undergraduates, 2,255 graduate students, 545 medical school students, more than 6,000 summer, visiting, and online students, and more than 700 faculty members. Brown students come from all 50 states and more than 115 countries.

Last year, Harding was one of 150 students selected for the programme, which included a summer school in the US at either Yale University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They competed with over 1,000 applicants to win a place on the programme and spent a week living on campus and visiting many other US universities.

The students benefited from residential activities and received an intensive programme of support, delivered by the US-UK Fulbright Commission over several months before and after their US visit, which covered admission tests, college choices and the application process.

The aim of the Sutton Trust US Programme is to encourage academically talented British students from low and moderate income homes to consider studying at American universities.

The 2017 – 2018 programme cohort comes from across the UK. 76% of the students admitted early will be the first in their family to go to university.

Harding from Rowley Regis and currently studying at Ormiston Forge Academy said:
I’m delighted to have been accepted into such a prestigious institution. The support I’ve had from school, the Sutton Trust and the Fulbright Commission has been invaluable, they’ve broken barriers down and made something happen that I thought would be impossible.

Harding is one of 42 students who have been accepted under the early application deadline to US universities, and more students will be applying by the January deadline with results available later this spring.

The participants admitted early have been offered a total of approximately $11m of financial aid from the universities over the next four years. They have been accepted to 31 different institutions, including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia.

Support for the US Programme was provided in part by a grant from the Robertson Foundation. The programme is also made possible through support from its founding corporate partner, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as well as Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing who have generously supported the programme since its launch. The programme is also supported by Jerry del Missier, Martin and Antoinette Sullivan, The Neuberger Berman Foundation and EducationUSA.

Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust and Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
America’s leading universities are bastions of progressive values and outstanding education. Their campuses are welcoming places for international students, whatever country or social background they come from.

I’m delighted that 42 state school students have won places to study in the States. They will benefit from a broad and varied curriculum as well as in-depth study and generous funding for both tuition and living costs.

I hope more young people will look to their success and realise that a university education in the States is well within their grasp.

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, said:
These results echo the wider continuing upward trend of British students choosing US universities for their undergraduate studies. American universities offer an experience that is very different to that of a UK university and are actively looking for students from diverse backgrounds from across the UK to join their next intake. We are proud that this programme is successfully tapping into this demographic and giving these young people the chance of a lifetime.

Andrew Burns, Principal of Ormiston Forge Academy, said:
Lee has worked hard at Forge and his enthusiasm for learning has been infectious. We are all very proud of him as he continues his learning journey at such a prestigious institution like Brown.

Lee paves the way for the next Forge student who will no longer see a barrier to a place at Oxford, Cambridge, Yale or Harvard. Instead, through Lee, the Sutton Trust and the Fulbright Commission, our students see opportunity. Opportunity to be the best.

The US Programme is based on the Sutton Trust’s successful flagship programme in the UK which now runs at 11 leading British universities and has benefited over ten thousand state school students.  


Forge Achieves Youth Sport Trust Silver Quality Mark

Posted by admin on Sunday 14th January 2018

Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath has been awarded the Youth Sport Trust Silver Quality Mark for its commitment to physical education (PE) and school sport at its school. The Youth Sport Trust is a national charity that builds a brighter future for young people through the power of sport.

The Quality Mark is an online self-review tool which provides schools with a nationally recognised badge of excellence for the quality of its PE and school sport. The tool supports schools to audit their PE provision and identify priorities for its development.

Dawn Benson, leader of the performance faculty, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Silver Quality Mark from the Youth Sport Trust, which recognises our commitment to delivering the best possible sporting experiences for the young people at our school.

There are a whole range of educational, health and wellbeing benefits from delivering high-quality PE and school sport, and we see on a regular basis that when it is delivered well it can transform the lives of all pupils.

Ormiston Forge has increased its extra-curricular provision for sport with students now representing the academy in a diverse range of sports such as netball, girls football, athletics, handball, trampolining and badminton. Students are also now representing Sandwell at the Black Country Championships in badminton, demonstrating the progress that has been made by pupils in this particular sport.

Alison Oliver, Chief Executive at the Youth Sport Trust, said: “Congratulations to Ormiston Forge Academy for achieving the Youth Sport Trust Silver Quality Mark. Schools which achieve the Quality Mark, share our belief in the value of high-quality PE and sport and the positive impact it has on young people’s journey through education.

PE and school sport helps young people to live healthy and active lives and through it, helps them achieve their personal best in school and life. We are delighted to be working with thousands of schools across the country that recognise the competitive advantage this gives to their pupils.














Help us secure £4,000 by voting at Tesco

Posted by admin on Wednesday 3rd January 2018

We are currently one of the three projects being voted for in Tesco stores. If we come first, we will be given £4,000, for second £2,000 and third £1,000.

Vote Forge at your local Tesco store:

Cradley Heath, Extra – B64 5DF (closest to school)
Dudley Road, Halesowen Express – B62 8AA
Hasbury, Halesowen Express – B63 3JS
Rowley Regis, Express – B65 9AS
Stourbridge Halesowen, Express – B63 3UD

In the West Midlands, physical activity levels in boys and girls are extremely low, only 10% of girls meet the recommended physical activity levels each day (this is the lowest in the country).

You will be voting for Getting Girls Active at Forge which is a project that aims to provide exciting ways to promote and encourage girls to become physically active, it will also allow us to purchase new equipment.

We have until the 28th February to vote as much as possible.

Please share this post. Thank you.




























Forge students mark local charities day with music and kindness

Posted by admin on Friday 15th December 2017

Students started Friday by donating 170kg (376lbs) of items to the Quinton and Oldbury Foodbank. The food bank is a project founded by local churches and community groups, working together towards stopping hunger in our local area.

To help students at Forge celebrate the work of local charities, they were joined by renowned vocal coach and singer, CeCe Sammy.

CeCe visited as part of the Speakers for Schools initiative which has now reached more than half-a-million students. The programme brings together leading figures in public life from diverse backgrounds to deliver individual talks in state schools and colleges throughout the country.

CeCe, along with performers Sirine, Asher Knight, Christie Alana and James CC, spoke and sung to a full hall of over 500 year 7 and year 8 students about the power and motivation of music. CeCe, in particular, is a great believer in young people finding their voice through music.

She commented: “Music reaches us sometimes when other things can’t and being able to express yourself through music or any creative art is something we must hold tightly and celebrate.

CeCe continued: “Being involved in the Government initiative for local charities day and giving my time to Speakers For Schools means a lot to me. I’m delighted to be here, in Sandwell, celebrating the day with the Forge students and hopefully making a difference at many different levels.

Often referred to as ‘The UK’s Vocal Whiz’, CeCe Sammy has worked in many capacities with an impressive roster of talent and industry bigwigs including Diana Ross, Will Young, Leona Lewis, Spice Girls, Charlotte Church, Russell Watson, S Club 7 and Simon Cowell among others. She has appeared as a vocal coach on Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief, Pop Idol, The Xtra Factor and The Voice UK among many other projects.

CeCe and her guests also treated a small group of performing arts students at Forge to a masterclass where Sirine, a 12-year-old blind girl with an incredible voice, sang and spoke about her life and the positive influence that music has had on it.

The principal of Ormiston Forge Academy, Andrew Burns, commented: “We speak a great deal about the Forge family, today we welcomed CeCe and her friends into our family. A family is all about looking out for one another and helping each other; it’s incredibly humbling to see a group of people like Speakers For Schools, Quinton and Oldbury Foodbank, CeCe and Forge, come together to make a difference. If ever there was a great Christmas story, it’s right here.














Food Bank Donations

Posted by admin on Wednesday 13th December 2017

Friday is local charities day and we’ll be collecting for the local food bank.

Please, can you send your child in with an item for the food bank? If we all donated one item, we could make a huge difference to the lives of people in need over Christmas.

Some suggestions of things you could donate:

  • Toiletries: deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand wipes.
  • Household items: laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid.
  • Feminine products: sanitary towels and tampons.
  • Baby supplies: nappies, baby wipes and baby food – but not formula milk due to UNICEF regulations.
  • Cereals
  • Soup
  • Pasta, rice, pasta sauce
  • Beans, tinned meat and tinned vegetables
  • Tinned fruit
  • Biscuits

There will be a drop-off point near main reception as students arrive at school on Friday morning.

Thank you.








Open on Wednesday 13th December 2017

Posted by admin on Tuesday 12th December 2017

On Wednesday 13th December, Ormiston Forge Academy will be open. We are continuing to leave the decision to send students at the discretion of parents but we will ask parents to call the main reception to register any absence. Whilst we expect students to arrive in a timely fashion, it is more important that students arrive with us safely. We will not be running detention for late arrivals.

We are unable to protect attendance tomorrow as we have done today, therefore, attendance will be affected by any absence on Wednesday.

Wednesday will also be non-uniform again, please wear substantial footwear as the site will be wet as snow starts to thaw.

We expect the Academy to be open on Thursday and Friday with all students attending in full uniform.

Thank you for your support and cooperation.

Andrew Burns

Open on Tuesday 12th December

Posted by admin on Monday 11th December 2017

On Tuesday 12th December we will be opening the Academy. However, we do understand that some families will experience some travel issues getting here. The decision for students to attend will be at the discretion of parents.

For students who are absent, we will ensure that your attendance mark is not affected. We will ask that you log in to Show My Homework as we will be asking staff to set work.

Students who are able to make it in will have a normal timetable and all lessons will run accordingly. We do not expect you to wear school uniform, please dress according to the weather – something warm and shoes or boots that are substantial and safe.

The safety of our Forge family is paramount but we also take the education of our young people incredibly seriously. We have worked hard to clear the site and we hope that you are able to support us in ensuring students attend as long as you consider it safe to do so.

Andrew Burns

Sixth Form Open Event

Posted by admin on Monday 27th November 2017

Ormiston Forge Academy Sixth Form in Cradley Heath is throwing open its doors in December to prospective post sixteen students at its annual open event on Thursday 7th December.

Students who are due to start post 16 studies in September 2018 are invited to visit Forge to gain a taster of life at the academy sixth form. The academy achieved record-breaking A level results this summer as well as an outstanding record of 100% of leavers going to university, work or apprenticeships.

The doors will be open from 5.00pm–7.00pm on Thursday 7th December.

Visitors will be able to see the enormous variety and quality of courses Forge has to offer students for life after year 11. Also in attendance will be a number of universities, The Access Project who help students improve their grades even more and support their applications to top universities and our groundbreaking football scholarship programme where students play, train and study with us.

Darren Grimes, Assistant Principal for KS5, said: “2017 has been a very good year so far, we achieved another set of excellent A level results in the summer. We’re graded Good by OFSTED and we’re a National Support School. We’re very much looking forward to prospective parents and students coming to visit us. Each and every student is important to us and we hope to enable them on the next stage of their journey.”

The event, on Thursday 7th December, is open to current students at Forge as well as external candidates. Please contact Mrs Yvonne Siviter on 01384 566 598 or email if you have any questions.

You can find our sixth form admissions page here:

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Ormiston Forge Academy, Wrights Lane, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 6QU. Tel: 01384 566 598.