Tilbury and Chadwell St Mary Excellence Cluster

Last updated

Tilbury and Chadwell St Mary Excellence Cluster was a cooperative group of schools brought together under the government's Excellence in Cities initiative. [1] The purpose of the cluster was to raise standards of attainment for all children in cluster schools and to support the new Gateway school. The original schools were Chadwell St Mary Primary School, Corringham Primary School, Grays Convent, Hassenbrook School, Herringham Primary School, Jack Lobley Primary School, Landsdowne Primary School, St Chad's Comprehensive School, Torrell's Comprehensive School, Tilbury Manor Infant School, Tilbury Manor Junior School, Tilbury St Mary's RC Primary School and Woodside Primary School. Schools outside of Chadwell St Mary or Tilbury were included either to add capacity or because a large number of their children came from the area. Jack Lobley school was closed in 2003 but the building was used for a while to house a cluster Inclusion Centre. St Chad's and Torrell's were also closed and reopened as one fresh start school; The Gateway Community College, which has since become The Gateway Academy but continues to have problems. Standards and attendance are still significantly below average. Excellence Clusters were originally given additional funding to development provisions over a four "strands": learning mentors, learning support units, gifted and talented and a tailored strand decided by each cluster which is in this case is school improvement.

Excellence in Cities

The Excellence in Cities (EiC) programme was launched by the UK's Labour Government in March 1999 to raise standards and promote inclusion in inner cities and other urban areas. Initially targeted at secondary schools, the programme was later expanded to include primary schools, working alongside the Primary National Strategy.

Grays Convent High School is a girls' Roman Catholic secondary school in Grays, Essex, England.

Hassenbrook Academy is a secondary school with academy status located in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, England.


Learning Mentors

Each cluster school had one or more learning mentors whose task was to overcome barriers to learning among children in the school. As well as working with individuals this has included proactive work to remove bullying and improve attendance.

Learning Support Units

The Gateway Academy had a unit within the school but there is a Learning Support Unit for the Primary Schools at Rainbow House on The Landsdowne site.

Gifted and Talented

Each school has a gifted and talented coordinator supported by the cluster who maintains a register of the gifted and talented children in their own school, tracking progress and promoting good practice in challenging the more able. The cluster also arranges special events such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra workshops for specifically talented children. Each cluster school has worked with a creative designer to establish a Link Gallery. [2]

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra orchestra based in London

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), based in London, is a British Orchestra that was formed by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1946. In its early days, the orchestra secured profitable recording contracts and important engagements including the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the concerts of the Royal Philharmonic Society. After Beecham's death in 1961 the orchestra's fortunes declined steeply; it battled for survival until the mid-1960s, when its future was secured after an Arts Council report recommended that it should receive public subsidy; a further crisis arose in the same era when it seemed that the orchestra's right to call itself "Royal" could be withdrawn.

School Improvement

This strand has focussed on developing the quality of teaching and learning throughout cluster schools with high quality professional development for staff and cluster wide monitoring and reporting.

A number of the former Excellence Cluster Schools are now involved in Thurrock Excellence Trust. The main work of this collaboration is to establish "turnaround centres" in different parts of the borough. These are used to house children already excluded from school or in danger of exclusion. The main user is The Gateway Academy itself but all Thurrock Schools are able to buy into this service.

Related Research Articles

Thurrock Borough & Unitary authority area in England

Thurrock is a unitary authority area with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council.

Gifted education is a broad group of special practices, procedures, and theories used in the education of children who have been identified as gifted or talented.

Tilbury town in the borough of Thurrock, Essex, England

Tilbury is a town in the borough of Thurrock, Essex, England. The present town was established as separate settlement in the late 19th century, on land that was mainly part of Chadwell St Mary. It contains a 16th century fort and an ancient cross-river ferry. Tilbury is part of the Port of London with a major deep-water port which contributes to the local economy.

Thurrock (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1945 onwards

Thurrock is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Jackie Doyle-Price, a Conservative.

A selective school is a school that admits students on the basis of some sort of selection criteria, usually academic. The term may have different connotations in different systems and is the opposite of a comprehensive school, which accepts all students, regardless of aptitude.

Chadwell St Mary village in the United Kingdom

Chadwell St Mary is in the unitary authority of Thurrock in Essex, England. It is one of the traditional parishes in Thurrock and a former civil parish. Its residential areas are on the higher ground overlooking the former Thameside marshland. Grays is a town centred 2 miles (3.2 km) west of it. Closer still, 1 mile (1.6 km) south is the modern town of Tilbury which was almost wholly part of the parish until the end of the 19th century. The settlement is frequently referred to simply as Chadwell, particularly before the 19th century.

West Tilbury village in United Kingdom

West Tilbury is a village on the top of and on the sides of a 30 metres (98 ft) tall river terrace overlooking the river Thames. Part of the modern town of Tilbury is within the traditional parish of West Tilbury.

James Temple (1606–1680) was a puritan and English Civil War soldier who was convicted of the regicide of Charles I. Born in Rochester, Kent, to a well-connected gentry family, he was the second of two sons of Sir Alexander Temple, although his elder brother died in 1627. As a child, Temple moved with his father from Rochester to Chadwell St Mary in Essex and then to Etchingham in Sussex, where he settled.

Little Thurrock suburb in Thurrock, Essex, UK

Little Thurrock is a ward and Church of England parish in the unitary authority of Thurrock, Essex.

The Gateway Academy is a secondary school in Grays, Essex, England. It became an academy under the sponsorship of the Ormiston Academies Trust. after Thurrock council was unable to find the resources to provide a new building. It was previously a successful ‘Fresh Start’ school, The Gateway Community College which was created from two failing secondary schools; Torells School(Chadwell St Mary) and St Chad's School(Tilbury). The opening of the new modern building was delayed by three years. The Gateway Community College was signed off by Ofsted as a successful Fresh Start school in 2006. The school then became an academy in 2007. The Academy has brought many improvements in access to education for the students of the area, and as of an inspection in November 2011 was rated as "Outstanding" by Ofsted. A subsequent Ofsted inspection of March 2017, downgraded the school from Outstanding to Requires Improvement category. After an inspection in March 2019, Ofsted graded them as 'Good'.

Terrels Heath

Terrel's Heath is, in spite of its name, an area of woodland in Chadwell St Mary named on the 1938 six-inch Ordnance Survey map.

Orsett Heath human settlement in United Kingdom

Orsett Heath is a location and recently built hamlet in the unitary authority of Thurrock, in the ceremonial county of Essex. It is located about twenty miles away from London. Nearby settlements include the towns of Tilbury and Grays Thurrock and the villages of Orsett and Chadwell St Mary. For transport there is the A13 road (England), the A1089 road and the A1013 road nearby. The nearest railway station is Tilbury Town railway station. The Gateway Academy is about a mile away.

National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth

The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY) was based at the University of Warwick and was founded in 2002 by a government (DfES) initiative for high-achieving secondary students in England. It closed in August 2007, after Warwick University decided not to apply for the new contract.

The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education (HKAGE) is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to offering information, support and learning opportunities to gifted students aged 10–18 years , their parents, teachers and researchers in Hong Kong. It was set up in 2007. Most of the programmes and services are provided free of charge.


  1. DfES 1999 Excellence in Cities HMSO
  2. Tilbury and Chadwell St Mary Excellence Cluster Annual Report 2007