‘Exceptional’ Technology Primary in Smethwick Receives Outstanding in First Ofsted Inspection 


Shireland Technology Primary, based in Smethwick, has been judged outstanding in all areas following its first Ofsted inspection since opening in 2019.  

The two-form technology primary, part of Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, received a glowing report with inspectors praising its ‘exceptional education for all pupils’, who are ‘happy, feel safe’ and are ‘rightly proud to attend’.   

Ofsted says ‘pupils’ behaviour is impeccable’ and commends the curriculum which ‘is of exceptional quality’ and offers an ‘impressively wide range of experiences’ for pupils, who ‘achieve very well’ and make ‘strong connections’ in their learning. They say that pupils also ‘successfully meet’ the school’s ‘extremely high’ aspirations for what pupils can achieve. 

Staff are praised for their teaching, which is packed with ‘captivating experiences’ designed to fuel pupils’ imaginations and promote excellence. These include drama and opera workshops with professional performers and organisations including the Birmingham Hippodrome, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.  

The inspectors highlight that reading is a ‘high priority’. ‘Pupils love reading’, which they begin developing ‘as soon as they start school’ and ‘enjoy a wide range of fiction, poetry and information books’, which are ‘exciting and engaging’. Pupils also look forward to their daily Story Escape, when staff read to them. 

The technology primary offers an ‘impressively wide range of experiences’ as part of its provision for fostering pupils’ ‘talents and interests for future life’ and character development, which aims to ‘broaden pupils’ horizons’ outside the curriculum. This includes their enrichment programme, which is much loved by pupils and offers ‘exceptional opportunities in technology, sports, art and music’.  

Lady Kirsty Grundy, Principal at Shireland Technology Primary and Director of Primary Education at Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, said: “We are exceptionally proud to have achieved outstanding in our first inspection, which reflects the unwavering commitment of all our staff to provide the highest quality of education for our children. This includes the invaluable support from our Trust and our families, whom we could not have done this without.  

“However, we will not be complacent, and will continue to work hard to maintain our outstanding grade and look for ways to make our school even better so that pupils continue to thrive and succeed in the future.” 

Staff expressed feeling ‘supported’, ‘valued’ and ‘proud’ to work at Shireland Technology Primary, with leaders recognised and appreciated for their attentiveness towards staff workload and ‘high-quality training’. 

Sir Mark Grundy, CEO at Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, commented: “I am delighted with Shireland Technology Primary’s success, which is a testament to the school’s unwavering commitment, dedication and hard work.  

“This is a school that truly embodies excellence in education, offering a vibrant and innovative learning environment combined with the best technology-enabled opportunities that cultivate and empower pupils’ to reach their true potential. At Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, we are committed to providing each child with an exceptional education and are incredibly proud to be supporting Shireland Technology Primary in its delivery of excellence.” 

Ofsted praises the school for ‘going beyond the expected’ for pupil character development and wellbeing, which is ‘exceptionally well promoted’. Learning experiences have been effectively designed to help children develop the qualities they need to ‘flourish’ in society, and ‘effective’ safeguarding arrangements are in place across the school.  

Children display consideration of ‘their own and other people’s values and beliefs’. They say that pupils are ‘polite and look after one another’ and that pupils from different backgrounds work and play happily together. 

The school makes innovative use of technology, adapting it ‘exceptionally well’ to complement and support pupils’ learning, such as their immersive room which provides pupils with ‘unique’ opportunities to explore places around the world and from history without leaving the safety of school. The academy’s ability to use technology to deliver inspirational experiences is typical of the creativity of the school in all that it does.  Ofsted rarely uses the term exceptional; Shireland Technology Primary is exceptional. 

The school, on Wilson Road, has 350 pupils on roll.  

Our latest Ofsted report can be found and read here:Ofsted reports – Shireland Technology Primary