Aston Academy

Aston Academy (formerly Aston Comprehensive School until 30 April 2011) is a secondary school with academy status at Swallownest in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England.

Aston Academy
Aughton Road

, ,
S26 4SF

Coordinates53.3688°N 1.3227°W / 53.3688; -1.3227
Local authoritySheffield
Specialistmaths and computing (Operational)
Department for Education URN136718 Tables
Chair of GovernorsJohn Barton
HeadteacherEunice newton
Age11 to 18
HousesDarcy, Furnival, Melton, Verelst


The school first opened in 1957 as Swallownest County Secondary School with the original school buildings completed in 1957 and which still stand today. In 1962, as a result of the amalgamation of Swallownest County Secondary School and Woodhouse Grammar, the school changed its name to Aston Woodhouse High School with further buildings added in 1965 and in 1996. In 1974 the school was placed within the Rotherham Local Authority and became Aston Comprehensive School.

In 2011, the Aston Comprehensive School took advantage of the 2010 Academies Act,[1] which allows a school to apply to the Secretary of State to convert to academy[2] and formed Aston Community Education Trust (company number 07577113)

At the start of the 2011-year term, former basketball player and coach Peter Scantlebury was appointed as Y11 Pastoral Manager and no longer works for the company.[3]

Previous headteachers have been Mr. Hoskins, Mr Woodlands, Mr Watson, Mr Lowe, Mr Light, Mr Neal and Mrs Newton.[4] Dominic Curran is the current Principal.[5][6]

Aston Community Education Trust Management

Following conversion to an Academy, Mrs. Eunice Newton (trust member unit 2017) was promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer.[7]

As reported by Companies House, The four Persons with Significant Control consist of:

  • Timothy Baum-Dixon (Also of Sheffield Masonic Hall Company Ltd)
  • John Barton (Retired)
  • Paul John Bennet (Also Managing Director of Clark & Partners, Mobility & Agecare Ltd, Mobility & Agecare Centres Ltd.)
  • Ron Dyson (no occupation)[8]
  • The company consists of a further 18 officers.


Before converting to an academy Aston Comprehensive School was rated as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted in 2010. Since conversion Aston Academy has been downgraded to the lower 'Good' rating following on two subsequent inspections in 2014 and 2018. Data published by Ofsted in 2013 reports that 55% of children from disadvantaged backgrounds make expected progress compared to national standards.

Ofsted inspections

Since the commencement of Ofsted inspections in September 1993, the school has undergone seven inspections:

Date of inspectionOutcomeReference
26–30 September 1994??? 
8–12 February 1999GoodReport
1–5 November 2004SatisfactoryReport
28–29 November 2007SatisfactoryReport
29–30 November 2010OutstandingReport
4–5 February 2014GoodReport
13 June 2018GoodReport

Community Education Trust

In 2011 Aston Comprehensive School was given permission to form the Aston Community Education Trust, breaking away from Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to set up a state-maintained independent Academy school, which has control of its own budget, is able to source its services from private providers, and has flexibility of curriculum. The Trust is a registered limited company incorporated on 24 March 2011. The company is registered under Companies House (company no. 07577113). Carol Davidson and Patricia Graham were appointed directors at the date of incorporation but later resigned: Davidson on 11 November 2011, and Graham on 31 July 2011. On 19 December 2012, nine directors were terminated, leaving only six directors with the additional appointment of another.

On announcement of the governors' intention to convert, a joint NUT, NASUWT and ATL union meeting was convened and staff voted to oppose Academy status – a letter to this effect was addressed to the governors.

Changes to the Trust

On the month of the one year anniversary of Academy conversion (May 2012) the Academy directors annexed the trust’s Articles of Association document making amendments to the previous nature of the organisation as a Comprehensive School and a new Academy. This resolution increases the independence and autonomy of the trust and gives the directors greater powers, more in line with those of a conventional business. Some of the main powers include the ability to:

  • Form private companies to carry on any trade or business for the purpose of raising funds for the Academy.
  • To buy and sell property including existing school buildings and land.
  • Offer scholarships to present and former students.
  • To raise and borrow money.

In addition school property can be held in the name of a nominee private company acting under the control of the directors.

Thurcroft Junior Academy for pupils aged 7 to 11 at Thurcroft, is administered by Aston Community Education Trust.[6]


Ages for attendance at Aston are 11–16 years (Year 7 to Year 11), and 16–18 years (Year 12 to Year 13) for Aston's sixth form. Most pupils at the school are from the Aston-cum-Aughton area, with other pupils from nearby villages such as Beighton, Woodhouse and Treeton.

House system

Students in Years 7 - 11 are part Aston Academy's house system. There are four tutor groups who act as houses, each with its own motto and heraldic symbol. The four houses are Melton, Furnival, Verelst and Darcy.[9]


  1. "Academies Act 2010". Expert Participation. Retrieved 3 December 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. Norris, Frank (14 February 2012). "Academy conversion and predecessor schools". Ofsted.
  3. "Y11 visit to Aston Academy | Springwell Learning Community Blog". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  4. "£3,000 book boost for Aston Academy library thanks to youngsters". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  5. Curran, Dominic. "Aston Academy - Principal's Welcome". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  6. Curran, Dominic (March 2018). "Aston Academy NEWS" (PDF). Aston Community Education Trust (ACET) Newsletter. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  7. "Home". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  9. "Aston Academy - The House System". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
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