James Brindley Academy

About us

We work across 10 sites: Dovedale, Northfield and Parkway Teaching Centres and Hospitals Centres, including home teaching. This section provides an overview of leadership and governance.


James Brindley is a multi-sited, multi-provision special Academy that provides education for young people, aged 2-19, whilst either in hospital or unable to attend mainstream school due to their medical conditions, special educational needs or disability.

Our locations are spread throughout Birmingham and comprise: 7 hospitals (both physical and mental health); 2 teaching centres for young people with social, emotional and mental health conditions and an autism specialist centre.  We also provide teaching in the home. On a daily basis we provide education for an average of 500 young people. Annually this equates to teaching approximately 2,500 young people, all with complex and varied needs. These young people may be placed with us through Birmingham’s referral route or come from across the UK and wider via their medical placement.

Many of our young people make exceptional progress in the face of significant personal challenges with physical or mental health.  It is our primary role as educators to prioritise their academic studies but equally we recognise the importance of supporting their well-being and preparing them for their next steps.  We believe that every young person deserves an education which enables them to be the best they can be.

In each of our Centres we put young people first in all our decision making.  Our aim is to create an ethos of resilience, inclusivity and high expectations for both staff and pupils.

The Academy employs approximately 220 specialist staff to ensure the highest quality provision for our young people. They all share our vision and work hard to create an inspirational education in a safe, stimulating and supportive environment.  We have an ambitious, highly motivated Leadership team and a supportive, challenging and aspirational Governing Board who are working together to ensure that the school builds on recent successes whilst continuing to innovate and expand the services we provide across Birmingham and beyond. 

We have developed a range of partnerships within Birmingham and beyond.  The most important of these is with parents.  The school recognises the demands and additional responsibilities that come with being a parent/carer of a child with additional needs.  Our philosophy is grounded in working in partnership with parents, offering as much support and encouragement as possible.  Parents need to feel confident that the staff understand their child’s specific needs and that measures are in place to meet those needs.  Parents will be involved in personalised planning and target setting as well as agreeing strategies to support their child and which respond to challenges and situations if and as they occur.  Good communication with parents means that they can support the work of the school effectively and feel reassured that appropriate provision is in place.  Of particular importance is communication from parents about any change in home or family circumstances and, where relevant, any change to their child’s medication.  We use Dojo and other systems such as text and email to send messages about activities, behaviour and achievement during the day.

Ofsted agree that this is a Good School and have found that our teaching provides learning experiences for young people that are “skilfully adapted to their complex needs” where young people “make good and sometimes outstanding progress with their social and emotional skills, confidence or their behaviour”.

We are very proud of the achievements our young people make whilst they are on short or long-term placements with us.  At James Brindley, staff and the Governing Board work together towards our aim of providing excellent education that is creative and engaging, providing suitable pathways for our young people’s next steps.

Hardip Bissell