School to give our 800 free blazers and ties ahead of renaming
8th March 2024
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The generous move, at John Willmott School, is part of a journey of improvement that will see the school renamed the Royal Sutton School in September, with the readopted motto of ‘Potential into Reality’, a redesigned school badge and a brand-new uniform.

Elsewhere at the school, which is part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), a revised curriculum is delivering results in the classroom, while innovative ‘Moral Virtues’ are improving behaviour and instilling a sense of pride in the students.

The significant progress at the school also resulted in its first ever ‘Good’ Ofsted rating in January.

Ahead of the new academic year, vouchers to get the new blazers and ties will be provided to students in Years 8 to 11, who will also get a free PE sports top. The vouchers will be redeemable at popular school uniform retailer Clive Mark.

The other parts of the uniform – such as trousers, skirts and jumpers – are all basic navy-blue items, which can be bought at a reasonable price from numerous outlets.

Headteacher Nicola Gould said: “We are so excited to announce this uniform scheme, which will really provide the icing on the cake when the school relaunches under its new name in the autumn.

“Providing the basic uniform items like this removes so many barriers – we are passionate about our students and are very proud of how they have embraced the new direction of the school, so being able to so this enables everyone to stand together and look forward.

“It will help the students see that all the things that we have been working towards together – from improving the curriculum to shaping better behaviour and building school pride – are actually happening. 

“The uniform scheme will make the school’s vision much more tangible and involve them all directly in it.

“There is real excitement among the students about the uniforms, although a few of them are nervous about having to tie a real tie! We may have to organise a few workshops on how to do it!”

The school was originally founded in 1958 as Sutton Coldfield County Grammar School, and was renamed in honour of John Edward Willmott, a much-respected local figure, in 1975.

A consultation into the switch of name to ‘The Royal Sutton School’ received nearly 500 responses, which were overwhelmingly supportive of the changes.

The town’s MP, Andrew Mitchell, has also expressed his backing for the change, as has the office of the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands.

The school’s new name reflects Sutton Coldfield’s historic status as a ‘Royal Town’, with the 500th anniversary of its first Royal Charter set to be celebrated in 2028. The new badge reflects the town’s history, basing its colours on the Tudor rose, and featuring a stag as its main image.

More recently, hundreds of pupils at John Willmott School wrote to His majesty the King to tell him how their school will be reborn as the ‘Royal Sutton School’.

Dawn Ward CBE, Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands, visited the school in December to collect the hand-written letters, ready to deliver them to the Palace. Some students also chose to write to the Princess of Wales.

It is hoped that a Royal visit can be arranged to help celebrate the school’s renaming, and give the students an opportunity to show off their new uniforms.

The rebirth of the school in September will coincide with the introduction of the next level of school ‘Virtues’ – this time focussing on the intellectual development of the children. Further in the future, Civic Virtues will follow.

ATLP CEO Richard Gill CBE said: “John Willmott is on a journey of improvement and reinvention, with its first ever ‘Good’ Ofsted rating and great innovative ideas that are instilling pride and making a real difference.

“When the school reopens after the summer break as the renamed Royal Sutton School, it will mark another huge step in that journey and we thought that providing students with the most important parts of the new uniform would be a great way of celebrating the changeover.

“It is a big step for ATLP, but we feel it illustrates our belief in the brilliant project that is seeing this school reborn.”

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Ian Henery

Member since: 4th February 2019

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