Archbishop Ilsley (UK) is located in the south-east of Birmingham, the multicultural second city of England.
The school has a wide catchment and an entry from up to 49 different primary schools. It is an oversubscribed 11 – 18 comprehensive Catholic school (1,150 students) with a predominantly Irish population but a growing in-take of non-English speakers from Europe and further afield. The significant number of students with English as an Additional Language is creating a challenge for our school: how to gel the communities together?
The school is representative of the ethnically diverse city it serves and has a very high proportion (81%) of students with multiple deprivations who attract additional pupil premium funding. We also have a growing school population (10%+) with Additional Educational Needs who require support from Teaching Assistants to make the curriculum accessible to them.
Archbishop Ilsley has been involved in 8 previous projects, benefitting hugely from the collaborations by way of the mobilities, which have enabled our students to gain positive experiences of other cultures, to practise their language skills, to socialise with and make new friends.
One of the strengths of our school is its inclusive policy and endeavouring to provide all children with positive experiences through educational visits, religious retreats, fieldwork experiences and in-house educational events. Another strength is that despite the high proportion of ‘deprivations’, our students are renowned for their generosity and participation in charity work.