Shire Oak Academy is an 11-19 comprehensive school which gained specialist school status for science and mathematics in 2003. In April 2011, it became a converter academy.
We enjoy an enviable reputation in the local area: our Academy has been oversubscribed for many years. We pride ourselves on the atmosphere at Shire Oak which Ofsted inspectors described as calm, purposeful and harmonious. We believe that our focus on learning and personal success is effective because of that environment, which is both ordered and disciplined and caring and supportive.
The legacy of our specialist college status is seen both in the Academy and in the local community. We set challenging targets for our own students and support the teaching of STEM subjects in local primary schools. Our Primary Partnership involves ten schools working together on a range of projects. Our Academy provides facilities and specialised learning opportunities. The partnership’s work has been recognised as outstanding and we have received local and national awards for its effectiveness.
We believe that every child who enters our Academy does so with potential and talent. It is our job to develop this potential, unlocking it when we need to, and turning it into excellence. We value our students’ role in society and prepare them to be healthy and active citizens. We want them to be receptive to the world around them and open to important ideas in our own and other cultures.
Our students will leave the Academy equipped to be lifelong learners and ready to make a positive contribution to society.
Having graduated in 1982 from West Midlands Teacher Training College, with a Bachelor of Education degree, specialising in mathematics, with movement studies as a subsidiary subject, Ray Beech took up his first teaching post at Manor Farm Comprehensive School in Walsall, teaching mathematics and PE. From there he moved to a promoted post at Sneyd School in Bloxwich, before becoming second in department (Mathematics) at Willenhall Comprehensive School in 1989. In 1991 he was appointed Head of Mathematics at Shire Oak School.
During his time at Shire Oak the school has grown in popularity, from the 500 pupils on roll in 1991 to the 1500 they have today. Ray insists he was very fortunate to lead a team of first class mathematics teachers, over a number of years that resulted in the department being given the accolade of ‘Leading Maths Department’ in the borough. In 2003 he was invited to join the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and became the Science College Manager. Some years later, he became the Vice Principal and in 2015 was privileged to be appointed as the Principal of Shire Oak Academy. Ray was a founder member of the Shire Oak Primary Partnership which has had national acclaim for its work in driving standards forward, as well as creating an environment that allows smooth transition from the primary to secondary phase. Ray is committed to providing the best educational package for the youngsters at Shire Oak Academy, blending traditional values with new innovations to give all children the chance to turn their potential into excellence.
Ray was born and bred in Walsall and still lives in the town, with his wife and two children. He is an active sportsman and can often be seen walking around Park Lime Pits, Walsall Canal and the Arboretum.
Ray is delighted to take on an executive role in the Mercian Trust and is confident that he can play a positive role in the ongoing drive for excellence that the Trust has adopted as one of its key objectives.