Manor Community Academy

Manor Community Academy is a secondary school in the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool, County Durham. It is a 'coeducational comprehensive' school, and part of the Northern Education Trust which caters for students aged 11 to 16

Manor Community Academy
Owton Manor Lane

, ,
TS25 3PS

Coordinates54.657°N 1.240°W / 54.657; -1.240
Local authorityHartlepool
TrustNorthern Education Trust
Department for Education URN141686 Tables
Chair of GovernorsMr Michael Lister
HeadteacherMr Lee Kirtley
Age11 to 16


The school's students come from outlying villages and from both private and council housing estates. The school became a designated DfES Technology College in 1998 and changed its name from Manor School to Manor College of Technology to reflect the new status. In March 2015 the school converted to academy status and was renamed Manor Community Academy.

The school has approximately 1326 students[2] and emphasizes examinations, high standards of discipline, full school uniform, and extra-curricular activities. It has a strong sports tradition and also has Creative and Performing Arts, Brass Band, Orchestra and Choir and produces annually a stage production, a formal carol service in a local church and two major concerts. The junior choir performed at the National Festival of Music at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London in 1999. The senior chamber choir performed in Notre-Dame de Paris in 2005, and in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Lincoln Center and the Bandshell in Central Park during an Easter visit to New York City in 2006.

In 2003 the school was selected by the National Theatre to premiere a play which was performed at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle. The College repeated this in 2004 with performances of ‘The Musicians’. It received the Arts Council's 'Arts Mark' (Silver) in 2005, in recognition of its achievements in this area of the curriculum..


In 1994, Manor was awarded 'Technology Initiative School' status. Following the school's successful bid for 'Single Regeneration' funds in 1995, the school was able to significantly upgrade its design technology and ICT facilities, including the introduction of video-conferencing and improved internet provision. Staff each have their own laptop and the school has wireless network, data projectors, interactive whiteboards and video-conferencing facilities.

In 2003 the school was designated as a DfES ‘Associate School’ for ICT (Information Communications Technology) development. The students can now use in excess of 400 computers across the school. The school is a pilot centre, nationally, for the new 'Diploma in Digital Applications' (DIDA).

In 2002/03 Manor's director of e-Learning created a software package, “Vital Statistics”, which is aimed specifically at GCSE Statistics candidates. This product, created and designed in partnership with a commercial software company, has attracted national and international attention with Malaysia, India, Singapore, Dubai and Syria. Cambridge – Hitachi are marketing the product on behalf of Manor.

The school has set up ‘MOLE’ – the Manor On-Line Learning Experience.

The school is working with the DfES, the Specialist Schools Trust, the Nuffield Foundation and the Learning and Skills Council to promote e-Learning initiatives. In 2003, the College hosted a national conference which was attended by the University of Cambridge and the Royal Statistical Society.

The DfES Innovation Unit are encouraging Manor College to become one of the United Kingdom's 'e-Learning' schools. The College's e-Learning initiatives and other curriculum innovations are gathered together under the title “Vital Education”. The College has established a company, Vital Education Ltd, which is a charitable trust aimed at generating funds to reinvest in education.

The school's work in this area of the curriculum was commended by Rt. Hon. Peter Mandelson MP in the House of Commons in July 2003. The Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Rt. Hon. Charles Clarke MP, endorsed Mr. Mandelson's statement by applauding Manor's work, stating:

“Manor College are behaving in an entirely innovatory way in an outstanding application of Information Communications Technology with different partnerships outside the school which is focused on raising educational standards”.
Rt. Hon. Charles Clarke MP (formerly) Secretary of State for Education and Skills

Manor's pre eminence in ICT, Maths & Statistics has resulted in the school being designated as the Specialist Schools & Academies Trust's 'Regional Centre of Excellence'. The Director of e-learning is the Trust's National Co-ordinator for the Leading Maths Practitioners Initiative.

A £1 million e-learning – Technology Centre was constructed in 2005 and provided facilities for staff, students and the community. Teachers from all over the UK have received CPD in the centre.

In late 2014, the e-learning centre was demolished to make room for the new school build, now complete.


Key Stage 4 students are able to select from a variety of 'free options' including courses within Health and Social Care, Leisure and Tourism and Art and Design. The curriculum was selected by QCA as an example of good practice and was included in a national publication distributed to schools in England and Wales. Manor is Hartlepool's highest performing school, and in 2004-06 produced the best performances by any Hartlepool school since the LEA's inception in 1996.

In 2006 the school achieved 73%. It appeared in the DfES '100 Most Improved Schools' list three consecutive years, reaching the top ten in 2005. In 2005 The Specialist Schools Trust ranked Manor as the 12th most improved Specialist School in the country. Manor's Contextual Value Added score is ‘1’, on a scale of 1-100, placing the College among the highest performing schools in England. Manor is the only specialist school in the Tees Valley to have membership of The SSAT's three ‘clubs’; the '70%+ Club', the 'Most Improved Club' and the 'Most Value Added Club'.

Manor was designated as a SSAT Mentor School in 2004-5 and the Headteacher is one of the Trust's 30 Consultant Headteachers.

Manor focus's on the development of 'thinking skills'. Children have their individual learning styles assessed and staff are aware of this information. The ‘Accelerated Learning’ team are examine new teaching styles and disseminate good practice across the school. The QCA's Key Skills courses are available online.

Manor has five 'Year leaders' under the direction of the deputy Headteacher and the Director of Children's Services. Year leaders retain responsibility for their 'Year groups' but have a more clearly defined remit regarding academic monitoring.

Manor subscribes to the government's ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda and OFSTED described the school's care for its students as ‘outstanding’.

In 1997 the school instituted a Student Council which meets each half term with the Headteacher to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern. The school has a well-developed Prefect system and the eight Senior Prefects meet with the Headteacher every fortnight in addition to having numerous diplomatic and representative responsibilities. The College Council is also Hartlepool's Junior Rotary Club (Interact club).

Manor has been inspected on five occasions (in November 1994, November 1999, November 2005, October 2011 and February 2018). In 1999 the Inspection could not identify any key issues - the ultimate compliment from any OFSTED team . In 2005 Manor was judged to be outstanding (Grade 1) by OFSTED. In October 2011 the school was judged as satisfactory by OFSTED.[3] In 2018 the school was judged to require improvement in every area OFSTED look into.[4]

There are 73(FTE)(2006) teachers at the school, giving a teacher/student ratio of less than 1:15. The school has detailed policy documents and procedures relating to performance management, induction and staff development. The school's work in this area was recognised in 1997 when the SCHPP received ‘Investors in People’ status. It was re-accredited for the third time in 2004.

The school has a music and science block and has achieved Yamaha Music School status. Sport has a high profile and a successful bid to the Football Association enabled them to create a changing complex, completed in 2003. The College has FA Charter status and is the regional centre for the development of boys and girls football. Hartlepool United's 'School of Excellence' is based at the school.

The school has a senior management team of nine, including the Headteacher, a Deputy Headteacher, six Assistant Headteachers and the Bursar. It received the European Foundation for Quality Management's (EFQM) Award for 'Excellence in the Public Sector'.

Manor Community Academy has partnerships with the universities of Durham and Sunderland.

Performing arts

The school has had a large focus on the performing arts for many years, performing up to three productions yearly. In recent years the staff working in producing these shows has reduced to a single teacher, with the summer 2018 show, The lion, the witch and the wardrobe, being completely ran by Mrs Caroline Cole, a teacher who left before the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

Notable former pupils


In late 2017, former headteacher, Anne Malcom, came under fire for comments made about skirts worn to school.[8] The criticism came after a group of school assemblies by the head teacher about uniform standards included a comment about pencil skirts looking "unflattering" on certain body types.


  1. "EduBase - Manor College of Technology".
  2. "EduBase - Manor College of Technology".
  3. "Ofsted".
  4., Ofsted Communications Team. (5 November 2010). "Find an inspection report". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  5. "Boyd shooting for the stars", Northern Echo, first published Saturday 15 May 2004
  6. "Town girl goes for Euro glory!". Hartlepool Mail. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  7. "West End dream comes true for young Hartlepool performer". Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  8. "'Body shaming' row as headteacher advises schoolgirls above size 8 to 10 not to wear short, tight skirts". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
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