Backwell School

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Backwell School
BackwellSchool Logo.png
Backwell School.JPG
The main gates
Established 1954 (1954)
Type Secondary Academy
Trust Backwell School Academy Trust
Interim Headteacher Jon Nunes
Deputy Headteachers Paul Conkie, Ben Houghton
Chair of Governors Maurice Moloney
Founder Somerset County Council
Location Station Road
North Somerset
BS48 3BX
Coordinates: 51°24′58″N 2°44′21″W / 51.4161°N 2.7392°W / 51.4161; -2.7392
DfE number 802/4129
DfE URN 136722 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Capacity 1,728 (Data from January 2015)
Students 1,706 (Data from January 2015)
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Houses      Cotswold
Colours Navy blue & gold          
Publications Backchat, Backwell School Radio
Teaching school Yes, since 2012

Backwell School is a comprehensive secondary academy in Backwell, North Somerset, England.

The school (a National Teaching School with Healthy School and International School status), has had academy status since March 2011 and leads the North Somerset Teaching Alliance. It also holds the Artsmark Gold award and includes a sixth form.

Backwell has previously been a Beacon School, visual and performing arts college specialist school and National Training School. It has 1,738 pupils, of which 387 are in the schools sixth form as of 2016, from the age of 11 (year 7) to the age of 18 (year 13).[1]


The original secondary modern school at Backwell was founded by Somerset County Council in 1954 and later became a comprehensive school in 1976 when the tripartite education system was abolished in the area. The school's original building dates from 1954,[2] when Britain was in the midst of a post-war school-building boom.[3]

In 2009, 71% of GCSE pupils achieved at least five GCSE passes above grade C including English and Maths.[4] This is 21% above the national average that year. It is the highest performing state secondary school in North Somerset.[5]

In November 2008, Backwell School was rated as outstanding by Ofsted.[6] It was inspected again in May 2013 (no. 413323) due to the school having converted to academy two years previous. It was judged to be outstanding in all categories.

On 11 September 2015 a small fire broke out in the Cotswold house building, causing minor damage to the block. All staff and pupils were safely evacuated.[7]

Catchment area[edit]

The school's catchment area includes the villages of Backwell, Yatton, Claverham, Cleeve and Kingston Seymour, although several hundred of the school's pupils come from locations outside of its official catchment area from locations such as Nailsea and Bristol. Admissions are managed by the local education authority - North Somerset Council.

School site[edit]

The site at Backwell is relatively large, featuring multiple large sports grounds to the North. Buildings vary extremely in design and age with the oldest part of the original school, known as 'Lower School' and the 'Science Corridor', which includes the main theatre, dating back to 1954—being the same design as at Kingsmead School while the Sixth Form Centre was completed in just 2011.

Backwell Leisure Centre is not part of the school grounds, but is directly next to the front entrance of the school, and is used for the swimming module in PE lessons.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Backwell is known for its strong association with the performing arts; in particular its bi-yearly Whole School Productions, which last featured the ever popular musical "Singin' in the Rain", regular music concerts, as well as the yearly student-organised sixth form production, this year (2016), being the Broadway musical "Hairspray".

In 2015 a radio station was launched, having been set up by the student council. Run entirely by a team of students it broadcasts a variety of music and topical conversation in line with its mission statement, For students — by students.[8][9]

Notable alumni[edit]

Former headteachers[edit]

  • Julian Baldwin (2006–2016)
  • Roger Mason
  • Richard Nosowski


  1. ^ "Backwell School" (PDF). Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Planning committee meeting minutes". North Somerset Council. 11 November 2001. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 30 May 2007. 
  3. ^ "Designing Britain — Schools". Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Backwell School". Education League Tables. BBC News Education. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Secondary schools in North Somerset". BBC News. 13 January 2010. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Inspection Report". Ofsted. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2009. 
  7. ^ Cardwell, Mark (14 September 2015). "Backwell School evacuated as three fire crews tackle blaze". North Somerset Mercury Website. North Somerset Mercury. Archived from the original on 2015-09-27. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  8. ^ Sparling, Helen (30 January 2015). "Radio Station Launched!" (News Update). Backwell School Website. Backwell School. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Angear, Vicky (28 January 2015). "Pupils take over the airwaves" (News Article). North Somerset Times Website. North Somerset Times. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  10. ^ Interview in Venue magazine, 2008

External links[edit]