Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy is a mixed secondary school in the town of Birtley in the Gateshead area of Tyne and Wear, England. It was first opened to students in the early 1970s and was rebuilt in September 2007 as part of the Governments Private Finance Initiative (PFI). The new building was constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine via the Local Education Partnership (LEP) called Pinnacle Schools.
The current Principal is Mark Lovatt, who took up the position in September 2013. Mark has many years of experience and is passionate about Education. The academy had previously been led for the last eleven years by David Grigg who retired in August 2013. Prior to this, the Headteacher was Mrs Maureen Maltby. It was most recently inspected by Ofsted in April 2013 achieving ‘Good’ in all areas of the framework. Inspectors were very complimentary about most aspects of the academy’s performance.
The school is named after Jack Lawson, an influential British trade unionist and Labour politician, serving as Secretary of State for War during the 1940s. Consequently, the school has been associated with left-wing politics, particularly relating to its connections to the mining industry and trade unionism, as well as Lawson’s refusal to join Ramsay MacDonald’s National Government due to his reluctance to work alongside Conservatives. The school motto, “each other…and our dreams”, is a quotation from Lawson’s autobiography, A Man’s Life
The school is broken up into four house-blocks for years 7-11. Named after prominent areas in the North East, they are all assigned a colour and community space. Each house-block is led by a Head of House and a Deputy Head of House, with students selecting their own Head Boy, Head Girl and Prefects.(During the 1980s, the Houses were named after notable people from the history of the area surrounding Lord Lawson).
The House Block are:
- Brookside (formerly Hepburn and Gray) – colour Blue
- Fleet (formerly Collingwood and Bede) – colour Yellow
- Talbot (formerly Rutherford and Grainger) – colour Red
- Turner (formerly Bewick, Stephenson and Grove) – colour Green