Curriculum Context

The Radcliffe School is an oversubscribed secondary school with a Sixth Form in one of the original industrial towns in Milton Keynes. The school was built in 1956 as a Grammar School, becoming a Secondary Modern/Comprehensive school in 1958. The school changed its age of transfer in September 2005 and became a single site in 2005. The majority of buildings were built between 1956 and during the 1960s with new sports facilities added in 2017.

According to the IDAOPI, 6 out of 9 estates served by the Radcliffe School are in the bottom 30% deprivation index with five in the lowest income band in Milton Keynes. On average, 33% of the students within The Radcliffe are identified as Pupil Premium, with 35% having received Free School Meals (FSM) at any point during their school life. 21% students are identified as English as an Additional Language (EAL) with 29 first languages within the school. Mobility rates have declined within The Radcliffe School to 2% in 2017/18 compared to 4% nationally.

Despite KS2 Reading and Maths scores being above expectation, 52% of students arrive below their chronological age for Numeracy and 37% below in Literacy.

Students going to Higher Education or Training is broadly in line with national averages.

Wolverton is the first Railway town, but the numbers employed by Wolverton works has significantly declined over a long period with local employment profiles more reflective of Milton Keynes as a whole. In general, employment rates are in line with National data other than for 18-24year olds, where unemployment is above the national average. 44.4% of Milton Keynes employment identified is within managerial, professional and technical roles.

Milton Keynes is expanding rapidly and plans for MK Futures: 2050 focus on being part of the Oxford-Cambridge arc. Milton Keynes is embracing the STEM agenda by introducing plans for the new Milton Keynes University, MK:U, with plans for the first intake of undergraduates, starting in 2023. Courses will potentially focus on Digital and Cyber Technologies alongside Design and Business courses. There are also plans to build a new Insititute of Technology, based at Bletchley Park, offering more vocational Level 4+ courses in Cyber Technology.

The potential sponsors of these projects have stressed the importance of students developing a range of core learning skills, especially Collaboration, Creativity, Critical thinking and Communication, as being crucial requirements for successful learners.