Below we have provided information about some of the more commonly asked questions about our new school. As more information becomes available, we will update these.
Our new school will be situated on an easily accessible, town centre site on Booth Street, formally occupied by a Sainsburys supermarket (now demolished). See ‘our building’ for details of the fantastic learning and sporting facilities provided. The school will be situated right next to the tram stop and a 3 minute walk from the local bus station.
For the first 7 months, the Brian Clarke Academy will be located in 2 storey temporary accommodation on the Blue Coat school site. The two schools will be quite separate with their own facilities, playing areas and staff. The temporary accommodation has specialist classrooms for science, art and technology, and Computing. The only shared space will be the restaurant. Breakfast, break and lunchtimes will be staggered so pupils from the 2 schools have their own time and space. For PE we will use the new and extremely well-equipped sports hall and changing rooms at MAHDLO, just across the road. Outdoor games will use the separate caged area at Blue Coat which is going to be resurfaced and remarked for our use with staggered lunch arrangements for the two schools.
The school will open in September 2022 to Year 7
At least half of the places (120 in each year) will not be linked in any way to faith or church attendance. require any church or place of worship attendance. These will be allocated fairly across 3 geographical zones.
Up to half of the places (120 per year) will be allocated on a faith basis. There will be up to 60 places for Christian children. All church denominations that are in Churches Together and the Evangelical Alliance will be treated equally. Up to 60 places will be allocated to children of other faiths that are members of the UK Inter-Faith Network, Oldham Interfaith Forum or Oldham Mosques’ Council. If the faith-based places are not taken up, they will be added to the places available through geographical zones.
Distance doesn’t matter for faith places. For the geographical places, any places that aren’t taken up in the first 3 zones will be opened up to all children who have applied.
There are no sibling rules for admissions in September 2022. For sibling rules for September 2023, please see our Admissions Policy.
We want our students to look smart and wear their uniform with pride. There will be a blazer, a tie, a skirt/trousers option, a plain white shirt, black shoes (not trainers or boots). Jewellery will not be allowed except for a wristwatch. Hair will need to be of a conventional cut and of a natural colour. Long hair will need to be tied back. A hijab (if worn) will be the same colour as the blazer. PE kit will be kept simple and tracksuit bottoms are optional.
Not necessarily. Please read our information about admissions which can be found here.
Brian Clarke will be an entirely separate school, so you have to apply separately to both.
It is worth bearing in mind that Blue Coat is very over-subscribed by families who are worshippers and active members of faith communities, predominantly Anglican (Church of England).
At Brian Clarke, all Christian denominations are treated equally, and at least 120 places are not linked to faith or church attendance, so you would have an equal chance with other families in your geographical zone. The zones reach across Oldham, so someone in, for example, South Chadderton or St James’s has as much chance as someone living much closer to the school.
Children who have an Education and Health Care Plan which names Brian Clarke will automatically get a place. Please read our information about admissions which can be found here.
You can also read all about how we support learning for students who have additional needs by clicking here
Yes. The Cranmer Education Trust schools all adopt their Local Authority terms and holidays to support family arrangements. Students attend for the full 190 days per year. There are local adjustments – we extend the autumn half term by a day for students so that we can build in training time for teachers. Similarly, the start date of the autumn term and the finish date of the summer term might vary by a day from the local pattern. All our schools publish a calendar a year in advance so that parents can plan. Absence during term time for family holidays is not authorised.
From Monday to Thursday there will be a rich ‘period 6’ extra-curricula timetable. All students will take part in at least two activities per week. The vast majority of students will take part in two. There will also be clubs that run at lunch time.
There will be a range of sporting, musical, dramatic and artistic opportunities. Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award will be part of the curriculum in Year 9 – Silver will be extra-curricular. Chess, debating, computing, creative writing, film & media. Cookery, textiles and engineering, over and above the curriculum. Subject-related clubs, e.g. Young Scientists, Young Mathematicians, Philosophy.
Students will also get to represent the school in competitive sports and artistic/musical events.
The Brian Clarke CE Academy is committed to all our young people progressing at 16 to the course that is best and right for them. Our investment in careers and progression starts in Year 7 and is built into the curriculum. We want all our students to be able to build their future, be independent and make a positive contribution. For some this might mean Level 3 qualifications – A Levels or the new T Levels – and then Higher Education. For others, it may be an apprenticeship route with degree-level training beyond that. We will build close relationships with local and regional employers/firms and involve them in the students’ learning. At 16, students will be able to progress to any of the local area providers, including the Sixth Form at The Blue Coat School.
Full details for details around our expectations for Behaviour please see our Behaviour for Learning section.
In brief the principles are clear. Everyone is equal. We are kind and respectful to one another. No forms of bullying are tolerated. Relationships are at the heart of great education. Staff invest in their students and we expect students to listen to and respect the staff. All students must be able to learn, and teachers must be able to teach. Behaviour which disrupts lessons is not allowed. We are proud of our school and our community and we work together to make them the best that they can be.
Yes, but they will not be allowed to use it during the school day. They must be switched off in bags. We want students to be able to focus on learning and talking to each other to build our school community. We are making a huge investment in personal devices to ensure that pupils can access resources in lessons which enhance learning in a way that the teacher can control. Using phones to do this in lessons sadly rarely works – it is just too tempting!
So school policy is that if a mobile phone is seen or heard during the school day it will be confiscated. There may be emergencies when students have to contact home. This is fine – they go to Student Services who will provide a space and they can use their mobile privately. We strongly advise parents NOT to ring students during the day – they are learning! If there is a home emergency, Student Services will be able to get a message to the pupil in the right way.
We will look after your child and they will have a great experience – uninterrupted by phone distractions or inappropriate use!
The school is extremely well served by the local transport network (bus and tram). We want our students, who will come from a geographically diverse area, to use the current public transport network and as well as cycling and walking to school where possible. Learning to use public transport is a life skill. We know that it is a big step when children have been used to a short and supervised journey to primary school, but they are growing up, and learning to manage travel themselves is part of that.
Brian Clarke staff will be out in high vis at various duty points around the main transport spots to ensure our students are safe and conducting themselves impeccably at all times.
We are going to be on the Blue Coat site for about 7 months. During this period we will be forming those close relationships of trust with children and parents that characterise transition at a really good school . We will give your children an excellent education, and support, care and nurture, and together we will build up our collective identity as Year 7 of Brian Clarke and what that means and looks like. I will be hand-picking the right staff to achieve this.
Taking possession of a brand new building is a huge privilege, so we will prepare the children for that, and we will practise the route from the bus station so that, on the great day, everyone knows that you turn left not right, see the high vis, and the new day has started. After the temps, Brian Clarke will feel huge, but we can put the routines in place for everyone without having to work around older pupils, which is always the challenge for year 7s joining an established school. Your children will be our first, special generation – the leaders for the future, so we will be working with them to ensure they are ready for this come 2023 and the arrival of the new Year 7.
Brian Clarke will be small when we start, but we will grow exponentially to a big, busy high school!
We do not inform families of their number on the waiting list. This is because under the terms of our policy, the date of application is not an admission criterion and once all on-time applications have been processed, any late applications are then added to the waiting list. For Christian places, the waiting list order is based on the number of points awarded as a result of church attendance. For all other admission categories (other world faiths, geographical zones and all other children), this is based on random allocation which is re-set at the point that any late entries are added to the appropriate category’s waiting list. This means that each time a child is added to the waiting list the priority order will be ranked again.
The Brian Clarke Church of England Academy is proud to be part of the Cranmer Education Trust
Cranmer Education Trust is a company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity. Company registration number: 07687709. Registered Office: Cranmer Education Trust, c/o Blue Coat School, Egerton Street, Oldham OL1 3SQ