The King's Academy, Middlesbrough

The King's Academy is an 1119 secondary school and academy located in Coulby Newham in the borough of Middlesbrough and the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England, serving the community of South Middlesbrough. Established in 2003, it is run by the Emmanuel Schools Foundation[3] established by entrepreneur Sir Peter Vardy. It was officially opened by Prime Minister Tony Blair in March 2004.[4]

The King's Academy
Stainton Way
Coulby Newham

, ,

Coordinates54.5238°N 1.2228°W / 54.5238; -1.2228
Religious affiliation(s)Christian[1]
EstablishedSeptember 2003 [2]
Local authorityMiddlesbrough
Department for Education URN134223 Tables
PrincipalDavid Dawes[1]
Age11 to 18

It was built to replace the former Local Authority-run Brackenhoe and Coulby Newham secondary schools and Beverley School for the Deaf, accepting its first students from educational years 7 to 11 on 8 September 2003 and first opening its sixth form a year later. It has capacity for 1,250 students and promotes a specialism in Business and Enterprise. It is wholly funded by the Department for Education and operates the same intake policy as that in place across all other Local Authority-maintained schools in Middlesbrough. It reserves 10% of its intake for children with Statements of Special Educational Needs, specifically for those with hearing and visual impairment and those with moderate learning difficulties.[5]

Academic achievement

In the academy's first Ofsted report in 2005 it was described as "a good school with many strong features".[6] In its second Ofsted report in 2009 it was described as "a good school with many outstanding features".[6] Ofsted report gradings in 2009 were "Outstanding" for Care, Guidance and Support and for Personal Development and Well-being and "Good" in all other areas.

In its first nine years of operation, the academy increased its GCSE pass rate (5 AC) from 34% in 2004 to 89% in 2012[7][8][9] In 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 it was given a Contextual Value Added (CVA) score that placed it in the top 10% of all schools nationally for the progress its students make between the start of Year 7 and the end of Year 11.[8] In January 2009, The Guardian newspaper ranked The King's Academy amongst the top 50 most improved secondary schools in the country.[10] The academy runs a sixth form, where examination results have improved consistently over the last four years.[8]

The academy has a non-denominational Christian ethos.

Even before it opened, opponents of City Academies and of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation, including the prominent British scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins, claimed that the Academy would teach creationism in science lessons; this allegation was published in the national press and repeated for a few years.[4][11] However, the school consistently denied teaching creationism.[12][13] Finally, in 2006, The Guardian visited the school and published a strongly supportive article, emphasising that associating the school with creationism "couldn't be more wrong."[5]


At Key Stage 3 students study English, mathematics, science, business studies, ICT and enterprise, French or German, history, geography, religious education, engineering or resistant materials, food technology, art & design, music, drama and physical education.

At Key Stage 4 all of the above subjects may be studied through an options system, plus English literature, double or triple science, economics, graphic products, textiles, electronics, business communications, health & social care and travel & tourism.

At Key Stage 5, Advanced Levels are offered in English language, English literature, mathematics & mechanics, mathematics & statistics, further mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, applied science, French, German, applied business, applied ICT, economics, history, geography, psychology, religious education, product design, food technology, art, textiles, theatre studies, music and physical education. BTECs are offered in business, sport, ICT and health & social care.

Music and drama

Students participate in a wide range of music and drama events throughout the year, including showcase events such as the performing arts festival, summer music evening and annual prize giving ceremony.[14] The Academy hosts the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music High Scorers' Concert in October each year. The King's Academy's Gospel Choir won the "Boro's Got Talent" Competition at the Riverside Stadium in 2008.

Major sports

Major sports throughout the autumn and spring terms are boys' football and rugby and girls' hockey and netball. Boys' basketball is also played. Major sports in the summer term are athletics, boys' cricket and girls' rounders. Tennis is also played.

Activities and events

Major annual events in the academy calendar include the Performing Arts Festival,[15] Staff vs Dads' Soccer Match, Christmas Carol Service, Senior Citizens' Party, Fashion Show, Careers Fair, Principal's Race Night, ESF Olympics, School Production, ESF Business Game, Year 8 Residential Week at Stainsacre, Year 9 Paris Trip, Year 6 Transition Week, Art & Textiles Exhibition, Tall Ships Challenge, Year 11 Principal's Dinner, Year 13 Leavers' Dinner, Sports Day, Sports Review Dinner and Prizegiving. Recent school trips abroad have included Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, skiing in the French and Italian Alps, charitable work in South Africa and a football tour of Texas, USA.

The academy runs a comprehensive programme of House competitions throughout the year, where all four Houses compete against one another in each of the following disciplines: cross country, table tennis, boys' football, girls' football, boys' rugby, girls' hockey, boys' basketball, girls' netball, boys' cricket, girls' rounders, athletics, swimming, fishing, poetry, art, maths, short story writing, general knowledge, performing arts, chess, photography, cookery, merits and House boards.

The King's has recently established a partnership and exchange programme with No.2 Middle School in Cangzhou, Hebei Province, China.


The academy publishes a Yearbook once per year plus two Academy Times and one Sporting Times per year. News items on the website are updated on a weekly basis. There hasn't been no Academy Times, Sporting Times or Yearbooks being given out for 4–5 years.


The academy was purpose-built in 2003, designed by architects Howarth Litchfield Partnership and consulting engineers Cundall, and constructed by Surgo Construction. Its accommodation comprises over 80 classrooms, 12 seminar rooms, a main hall (seating 500) and lecture theatre (seating 269), a large sports hall (lined out for basketball, tennis, badminton, five-a-side football and with indoor cricket nets), a dance studio and fitness suite, school library, sixth form study centre and common room, drama studio and music recording studio, two restaurants, a full size floodlit astroturf pitch (lined out for hockey and football), a large hard court multi-use games area (lined out for netball and tennis) and extensive playing fields (lined out for football and rugby in the autumn and spring terms and for athletics and cricket in the summer term).

The school was the first to have closed-circuit television cameras installed in all classrooms.[16] The Head reported in the school's first year that CCTV had already proved valuable in protecting a teacher against false allegations.[4]


Duration Principal
2003–2005 Nigel McQuoid
2005–2015 Christopher Drew
2015– David Dawes

School Productions

Year Production Director/Co-Directors Dates
2004 Oliver! June Walker 3031 March
2005 Bugsy Malone 57 July
2006 Hello, Dolly! 1113 July
2007 Bye Bye Birdie 2729 March
2008 The Sound of Music 14 April
2009 Godspell 2427 March
2011 Fiddler On The Roof 29 March – 1 April
2011 Pygmalion (Sixth Form Play) Danielle Paul 1618 November
2012 Oliver! June Walker 2123 March
2013 Guys and Dolls 1517 March
2014 Singing in the Rain 2628 March
2015 A Midsummer Night's Dream Eddie Jones 1820 March
2015 Annie Jr. Eddie Jones and Danielle Dodsworth 1013 November
2016 Beauty and the Beast Jr. Eddie Jones 911 November
2017 Alice In Wonderland Jr. 810 November
2018 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe 2123 November
2019 Mary Poppins Jr. 2022 November

Other Emmanuel Schools

School Location
Emmanuel College Gateshead
Trinity Academy Doncaster
Bede Academy Blyth
Grace College Gateshead
Christ's College Sunderland

Partner School

School Location
Cangzhou No.2 Middle School Cangzhou


  1. "The King's Academy". Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  2. "The King's Academy homepage". Retrieved 16 March 2009.
  3. Charity Commission. Emmanuel Schools Foundation, registered charity no. 1093739.
  4. The lesson today, The Observer, 11 July 2004. Retrieved 22 April 2009
  5. Martin Wainwright, They aren't faith schools and they don't select, The Guardian, 5 December 2006
  6. Ofsted reports on The King's Academy
  7. Teesside students celebrate GCSE results, 24 August 2010
  8. The King's Academy school results 2006-2009 at DfE website
  9. Desira, Joanna (27 August 2009). "Teesside students celebrate GCSE results". Gazette Media Company Limited. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  10. "School league tables: Most improved schools 2005-08". Guardian Newspapers. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  11. 'Creationism' school opens its doors, BBC News, 8 September 2003
  12. Teach the origins of life based on evidence, scientists demand, The Times, 22 June 2006
  13. "Science fact not fiction". Gazette Live. 20 December 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2008.
  14. The King's Academy–Prizegiving at ESF website
  15. Talented students take centre stage, News page, December 2009
  16. CCTV in class 'will monitor bad behaviour', Daily Telegraph, 2 August 2003. Retrieved 22 April 2009
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