Welcome to Stephenson Academy

"On Track to Success" Judged by Ofsted as "Good In All Areas" in December 2018

I would like to welcome you to our website and hope that you find its contents useful. Please contact me should there be anything which is unclear or around which you would like further clarification.

Stephenson Academy, based in the north of Milton Keynes, was the first sponsored Special School Academy in the country, opening its doors on 1st April 2012. Our sponsors are St Paul’s Catholic School, a local secondary school in Milton Keynes and SERCO a national provider of educational services.

We support students, both male and female, with Statements of Special Education Needs for Social, Emotional and Mental Health. Currently we cater for students aged 11-19, taking students from Year 7 to Year 13. The vast majority of our students come from Milton Keynes but we do have a small number of students from neighbouring Local Authorities, currently that includes Buckinghamshire and Central Bedfordshire whilst some children in public care in Milton Keynes come to the school from Local Authorities further afield.

Teaching and learning is at the heart of what we do. We believe that this focus will best equip our students for the wider world they will face when they leave us and we have specialist teaching staff in all core areas of the curriculum plus vocational subjects. In 2012-13 over £2m was spent on refurbishing the main school and we have put in place a bespoke motor vehicle facility and a hair and beauty salon with treatment rooms, costing in the region of £300k that model real workplaces and show our commitment to vocational learning. Our vocational offer, at both Level 1 and 2, includes construction, motor vehicle, animal care, hair and beauty, health and social care, sport, drama, personal finance, public services and others. Core subjects studied by all students include the usual range of GCSE subjects including English, mathematics, science, ICT and humanities but also includes catering which we believe is an important life skill that all our students should have mastered before leaving us. It is for that reason that the subject is a core subject for all.

We have adopted a pathways approach to the curriculum so that student’s interests and abilities are catered for in a wide range of ways. The benefits of this more flexible approach are borne out by improving end of Key Stage 4 results the Academy has achieved. For example, in summer 2013, the end of our first full academic year at Stephenson Academy, 60% of our Year 11 students attained five or more A*-G benchmark with APS at 188. The following year, the average number of GCSE or equivalent passes per student was eight. 86% of students in Year 11 in 2013-4 passed five or more GCSEs at A*-G and the APS was 299. Comparing these results with the national SEBD dataset Stephenson would have ranked fourth in England for 5+A*-G and first for APS. Impressive for sure, but not yet good enough overall and we are well aware of and focussed upon what needs to be done to improve further.

Our focus on teaching and learning is supported by strong therapeutic inputs from a range of staff that include our own Educational Psychologist, Family Support Officer who is a trained Social Worker, two Psychological Therapists and a School Counsellor. This is important also given the changes in SEN categorisations with the move away from SEBD towards Social, Emotional and Mental Health in September 2014.

In October 2013 the Stephenson Trust welcomed into the fold Bridge Alternative Provision Academy, comprising four Pupil Referral Units. One centre caters for students at Key Stage 4, one for Key Stage 3 students and one for secondary aged students with a range of medical needs. There is also the Refocus programme for Key Stage 3 students identified as being at early risk of exclusion from mainstream schooling. Bridge Academy has developed from the continuum of support developed by Milton Keynes Behaviour Partnership, comprising all twelve mainstream secondary schools and the Local Authority. 

In Milton Keynes we have an extended range of provision from mainstream, through alternative provision to Social, Emotional & Mental Health Special, all linked together to meet a range of needs that we recognise can change over time.

I have taken on the role of Executive Principal across both Academies and there is a distributed leadership model of providing support and challenge across individual areas which include Teaching and Learning, Inclusion, SEN, Therapeutic support and academy operations.

Dr Neil Barrett
Executive Principal

Email:  neil.barrett@stephensonacademy.org.uk
Telephone: 01908 889400