We’ve just celebrated the 70th Anniversary of our Academy. We weren’t always an Academy of course or this good! Back in the day when the school was built and opened on 1 September 1953 its main purpose was to accommodate railway children. Nothing to do with Edith Nesbit’s classic novel I would add, it’s just that most of the children who were first enrolled had initially relocated from London and then more latterly had been born in and around this area of Bletchley.
The school which has enjoyed a mixed reputation over the years has been known by a number of names, thankfully all of them publishable! In 1953 the school opened as Water Eaton Junior School, under the stewardship of headmaster Mr William Crisp. Rumour has it that he was an avid Walker!
This school was built to the latest ideas on school architecture and was known locally as ‘the sunshine school’ due to the amazing amount of glass. Its name has been changed five times since, firstly in 1972 it became Water Eaton Combined School, then Eaton Mill Combined School, next it became Eaton Mill Primary School and then things got really really interesting!
In 1998 Eaton Mill Combined School was visited by Ofsted and was deemed to be unsatisfactory in lots of categories. You can read this report along with all the school’s other reports by clicking our Ofsted link. The team at the time worked really hard to turn that grading around and salvage the reputation of the school but like most schools with poor performance numbers began to drop off and people looked to get out!
In 2002 Warren was appointed to the school by the Governing Body. He was enthusiastic and presented us with new and exciting ideas, some of which were rather grand, like sports halls, theatres, swimming pools and increasing the size of the school to ensure that all children in the area received a good education. He told us at the time that he wanted Eaton Mill to be the watchword for quality in the area!
The governors had never come across this attitude before and whilst it could of course all have been hot air, time has proven that this was definitely not the case! He failed to mention a dining hall, a dance studio, a music room and an IT suite and another site called Premierville which we are all incredibly pleased to have, however, I must point out that we are still awaiting the swimming pool!
In 2010 we became the first outstanding school in England to convert to being a self-regulating, autonomous Academy and whilst we have always done things differently to other schools, academisation really allowed the creative thinking of the team to be unleashed. This of course started with the fifth name change in the school’s history. We could have played it safe, and stuck with Eaton Mill Academy but that isn’t our style as anyone who has ever attended a community event at the school will confirm.
The style which has served us well so far is one of constant evolution whilst trying to keep things simple so as the first outstanding convertor in the country what better name could there have been than, The Premier Academy?
Premier of course means ‘first’ but it also means ‘best’ and I am pleased to say that we now have some of the best academic results in the country, the most amazing facilities that you will ever see in a primary school and most importantly we provide our services to over 700 clients, also known as TPA children.
It really is an amazing place. My son came here many moons ago and benefitted greatly which is the reason why I initially got involved with governance. And twenty-three years later I’m still here.
It really is true that every child deserves a great start in life and at TPA that start is guaranteed.