New principal makes positive change at Copley Academy

NEW Copley Academy principal Ruth Craven is excited by the challenge of supporting and realising the aspirations of the 630 young people in her care.

Ruth has set out her objectives for the Stalybridge school, which was rated ‘inadequate by Ofsted in 2018, explaining: “My vision for Copley Academy is that it is a flagship hub within the community that not only delivers a first-class provision for our students, but benefits our families and the wider community in the opportunities we offer.

“As leaders in education we have a privileged role in influencing future generations by ensuring students are role models and citizens who will have a positive impact in the communities we serve.

“I know our students at Copley Academy have so much potential and we have a responsibility to ensure they are successful in realising their aspirations”.

Copley head teacher
Ruth Craven

Ruth also spoke of her approach to education, continuing: “I strongly believe that if you have children who feel safe, who have self-worth and who feel confident, they can go on to be successful learners in the future.

“Copley Academy will offer a first-class education to our community and this will be reinforced by pastoral support and wrap around care throughout their time with us.

“It’s about raising aspirations, so students actually have an ambition for when they leave the academy. I want their journey here to have a purpose where they experience an ambitious curriculum that’s going to enable them to succeed in realising their aspirations.

“My aim is for our students to be able to access the pathways that they aspire to post-16, which could be onto college, university or modern apprenticeships.”

Copley Academy was given an inadequate rating by Ofsted following its inspection in June 2018 but has received subsequent visits in 2020 and 2021.

In the latest reports submitted by Ofsted, Copley received positive feedback on the improvements to leadership and student provision throughout the academy.

Ofsted commented on the encouraging developments made by leadership during lockdown to ensure that subject curriculums have been adapted so that they can be delivered in classrooms as well as to those students who have to work remotely.


The steps taken means that all students are being provided with education in the current circumstances. Effective steps to ensure that students with SEND can continue to access a broad curriculum during national restrictions were also positively mentioned.

Students who spoke with Ofsted during the inspection said that they enjoyed being at the academy and valued the help they receive. Year 9 students felt well supported with careers advice, including the guidance that they receive about choosing GCSE option subjects.

Ruth, who is from Brighouse, in West Yorkshire, wants to make the academy a real hub within the Stalybridge community and local area.

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