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Developing confident, respectful and successful young people

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Our school

Our school

Welcome to Aspire Academy

Welcome to Aspire Academy

Helen McDicken, Headteacher, Aspire AcademyA special message from the Headteacher

Welcome to Aspire Academy website where hopefully you will find lots of helpful information about our school. Whether you are a prospective or current pupil, parent, carer or member of staff, an external professional or an interested visitor, thank you for showing an interest in our school.

At Aspire Academy, our goal is to provide comprehensive support, encouragement and education to our students in order to help them achieve their full potential and become fulfilled, successful contributors to society. Our vision entails fostering a learning environment that is ambitious, inclusive, diverse, and enriching, inspiring our children and young people to strive for excellence and be the very best version of themselves. Our curriculum is broad, balanced and enriching offering access to a range of experiences, opportunities and qualifications.

All of our pupils have Educational Health Care Plans (EHCP) that identify Social Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH) often alongside associated behaviours that challenge and significant gaps in their learning. Many of the pupils that attend the school have additional barriers such as attention deficit and hyperactive disorders (ADHD) and speech, language and communication difficulties. Students are never judged on previous experiences and our mantra of “every day is a new day” informs our thinking at all times. Many of the pupils that attend Aspire Academy have not had success in their education elsewhere however through their attendance and perseverance these pupils rebuild their trust and desire to learn with renewed confidence and motivation to succeed.

We take great pride in our school and in setting ambitious goals for our students. We are dedicated to creating a dynamic learning environment that seeks to captivate and motivate through educational experiences both inside and outside of the traditional classroom setting. The unique requirements of each child are prioritised, and our staff possesses a thorough understanding of each student in their care, offering diverse learning opportunities.

If you would like to visit the school, please contact the main office to book an appointment.

Helen McDicken 

Local governance committee (LGC)

Local governance committee (LGC)

The LGC meets termly, the reports from this meeting are then fed to the Futura Learning Partnership trustees who meet termly to discuss Futura-wide issues and scrutinise the performance of all the schools in the partnership.

There is a robust and objective selection process for governors and trustees. Appointments are skills-based and made by recommendation from the LGC or relevant Trust committee – subject to the completion of a DBS check and declaration form. Governors are either parent governors, staff governors or community governors. They are usually appointed for a term of office of four years. In order to ensure good succession planning, however, a term of office for a governor may be varied by the board of trustees from between one and four years, subject to a maximum term of office.

If you have any queries relating to governance of the school, please email

Or alternatively, you can write to the chair of governors, C/o Aspire Academy, Frome Road, Odd Down, Bath. BA2 5RF.

Our governors

Kathryn Davies: Community Governor
Term of office: 28 March 2023 - 27 March 2027

Peter Langton: Safeguarding and Community Governor
Term of office: 1 September 2020 - 31 August 2024

Helen McDicken: Headteacher
Term of office: Appointed 21 June 2023  Ex officio

Sonia Taylor: Parent Governor, Pupil Premium and Looked After Children Governor
Term of office: 4 January 2022 - 4 January 2026

Bernadette White:  Chair of Governors (from October 2023), Community Governor, SEND, Careers Education and Employability Skills Governor, and Nominated Child Protection Governor
Term of office: 12 May 2021 - 11 May 2025

Clerk to Governors

Recently resigned

With our sincere thanks for their service:

Janet Wilkinson
Term of office: 12 July 2022 - 31 October 2023

Rebecca Briggs
Term of office: 1 July 2022 - 24 November 2023

Pete Headeach
Term of office: 27 January 2020 - 20 June 2023

Susy Summers
Term of office: 7 December 2022 - 4 July 2023

How we appoint our governors

  • Community governors: appointed by the Local Governance Committee (LGC)
  • Headteacher: Ex-officio
  • Parent governors: elected by the school’s parent body; may be appointed by the LGC in limited circumstances
  • Staff governors: teaching staff elect the teaching staff governor and non-teaching (support) staff elect the non-teaching (support) staff governor.

Useful documents



Admissions requirements

Parents/carers considering making an application for a place at Aspire Academy should contact the Special Needs Section at Bath and NE Somerset Local Authority as all admissions to the Academy are approved through them.

Students are placed at the Academy by the Local Authority seeking specialist placements for learners with social, mmotional and mental health (SEMH) profiles. All students at the school need to have an active Statement of SEN or Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in place, outlining their specific needs and the provision determined to meet those needs. Parents are advised to speak to their local SEN department, or current school placement, if they wish to enact provision of an EHCP for their child. Parents or Professionals wishing to pursue a placement with Aspire are very welcome, and actively encouraged, to visit the school. Visits can be arranged by contacting the school.

Parents may also wish to contact the SEN department within their local authority to advise that they wish to pursue a placement at the school.

Further information



We are pleased to announce that in March 2017 Aspire Academy was rated as good by Ofsted.

Our staff

Our staff

Senior leadership team

  • Helen McDicken, Headteacher and Safeguarding Lead
  • Amanda Tapsfield, Assistant Headteacher, Secondary and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Zoe Napier, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Susy Summers, SENCO
  • Tom Palmer, Behaviour and Engagement Lead
  • Helen Whitley, Attendance and Welfare Officer

Teaching staff

  • Hannah Bonnick
  • Lewis Bradbury (FTC)
  • Frankie Brennan
  • Rebecca Briggs
  • Tilly Butter
  • Alex Carmichael
  • Tom Gibson
  • Josef Gosden
  • April Iles
  • Olivia Jones
  • Nick Moore
  • Jon Parrett
  • Martyna Rozsman (FTC)
  • SJ Shepherd
  • Esther Stephens

Support staff

  • Winnie Coombe - Behaviour and Engagement team
  • James Cox, Behaviour and Engagement Team
  • Frances Creevy, Finance Manager
  • Genesis Dela Cruz, Teaching Assistant
  • Jess Dench, Catering Manager
  • Matt Donnelly, Teaching Assistant
  • Zak Drew, Teaching Assistant
  • Christine Holmes, Catering Assistant
  • Barnaby Hyde, Teaching Assistant
  • Ian Jordan, IT Technician
  • Neil Lindsay, Teaching Assistant
  • Fernanda Llewellyn-Jones, Teaching Assistant
  • Lorna Mackay, ELSA and Teaching Assistant
  • Morgan Marr, Teaching Assistant
  • Evie McCrea, Teaching Assistant
  • Iain McNeilage, Higher Level Teaching Assistant
  • Jerry Mitchell, Site Manager
  • Amy Pask, Teaching Assistant
  • Jodie Plummer Reception and Exams Officer
  • Jasmine Ritchie, ESLA and Teaching Assistant
  • Lorraine Self, Reception and HR Administrator
  • Travis Speedie, Behaviour and Engagement Team
  • Megan Stone, Teaching Assistant
  • Louis Wilson, Higher Level Teaching Assistant
  • Lucy Young, ELSA and Higher level Teaching Assistant

For information about our governing body please see the local governing committee (LGC).

Privacy notices

Privacy notices

We process personal data according to the General Data Protection Regulation of 2018. For full details of how we may use this data, please see the relevant notice.

Results and performance

Results and performance

As a provider of specialist education we hold a strong emphasis on the importance of both academic achievement and the development of social and emotional well-being.

All students are assessed on arrival so staff can tailor the curriculum to meet their needs. Our aim is for students to enjoy coming to school and enjoy learning. We aim to build their self-confidence, self-esteem and build resilient learners who will cope with the demands put on them.

At the end of their time with us students will have reached or exceeded their academic potential whilst being equipped with the social skills and tools required to continue their journey of success. 

School catering service

School catering service

Welcome to Zest our in-house catering service

Zest is proud to say it serves great homemade food using fresh, healthy, local ingredients at an affordable price for our staff and students to enjoy.

School day

School day

For more information please see Aspire Academy's school day (Pdf)



Post 16 Qualifications 

Our Post-16 students have a personalised pathway to achieve the best qualifications possible. Depending on a student's current attainment, they will start at a suitable level.

Functional Skills: 

Functional Skills are qualifications in maths and English that provide the skills students need to live and learn successfully.


GCSEs are the qualifications students can work towards to gain entry into further education.

Other qualifications: 

We have a range of vocational subjects including Construction, Cooking, Art, Land Based Studies, PE and Duke of Edinburgh Award. We also deliver the NOCN Independant Living qualification.

Information on the Aspire Post-16 Provision




What is Thrive?

Thrive is a systematic approach to the early identification of emotional developmental need in children so that differentiated provision can be put in place quickly by the adults working most closely with the child. It is preventative, reparative, pragmatic and easy to use.

What are the guiding principles of the Thrive Approach?

  • Every child is a unique person, constantly developing and learning in different ways and at different rates, each with his/her own abilities, talents and potential to be fulfilled
  • Children’s healthy development, emotional well-being and learning are crucially dependent upon, and promoted through, positive relationships
  • Children flourish when they are confident, self-assured, capable and resilient
  • Children thrive in enabling environments, in which their individual development, learning experiences and needs are understood, responded to and supported through strong partnerships with parents/carers.

Further information


Trips and enrichment

Trips and enrichment

Throughout the year we offer our pupils a range of reward activities and education visits, aimed to enhance their learning opportunities, develop their skills, knowledge and self-esteem and help to open their minds to other people, cultures and opportunities.

Educational Visits and Trips Policy

Trips and visits have included the following:

Educational trips:

  • The Egg Theatre
  • Trowbridge Fire Station
  • Farleigh Castle
  • Village study in Southstoke
  • Roman Baths
  • Bristol Zoo
  • Fleet Air Arm museum
  • We The Curious
  • Visits to supermarkets
  • Bath City Farm
  • Allotments for seasonal activities
  • Bath Cats and Dogs Home
  • Visit to a garden centre
  • War memorial
  • Bath Abbey

Rewards activities:

  • Laser Quest
  • Ice skating
  • Cinema
  • Victoria Park
  • Crazy golf
  • Avon Valley Country Park
  • Weston-super-Mare
  • Horse riding
  • Swimming
  • Go-karting


The school uniform is a black sweatshirt and t-shirt with the school logo, grey or black trousers or knee length skirt and black shoes. 

The school provides one sweatshirt, two t-shirts and PE kit (fleece, t-shirt and sport trousers). 

Parents/carers are expected to provide the trousers and/or knee length skirt, shoes and to replace lost kit which can be purchased through the school. Please contact the office.

Further information