Welcome to our School

A message from Helen Porter, Headteacher

Dear Parents and Carers,                                                   

The last few months have been an incredibly challenging and anxious time for all as we have come to grips with the challenges of Covid-19.                                                                          

Priestley Smith is following all government guidance carefully and trying to ensure that we support our students and families in the best way we can.   

Throughout this period of time the school has remained open to Primary and Secondary children of key workers and those who are considered highly vulnerable due to complexity of need. 

We have also recently welcomed back more children from Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 6, Year 10 and Year 12. The students are being taught in ‘bubbles’, with separate break times, lunchtimes, staffing etc. so that they do not come into contact with other groups. This helps to maintain their safety and that of the staff.

As many of our students are still at home with their families, we are trying to ensure that they can all continue their learning by providing work packs through the post, by email or by home delivery. We are also delivering online learning, where appropriate to each child’s age and access skills.

Your child’s form staff will be in regular contact with you to check that your child has received their work, to make sure they are not having difficulties with it and also to see if your child can access on-line learning platforms such as Google classroom. Please remember to check emails, the school website and the school’s Facebook page regularly for further information and updates. From 15th June onwards Year 10 and Year 12 students will also have frequent contact with subject specific teachers each week to help them maintain progress within their examination courses.

In addition to these calls about work, we are also continuing to make weekly telephone calls to you to check that you and your family are safe and well and to ensure that you do not have any difficulties that we could help to resolve. If we miss you when we call, we would ask please that you phone and leave us a message so that we know all is well.

Children who are eligible for free school meals should all be receiving digital vouchers from the government which you can take to a supermarket of your choice.  If you have any difficulties with regard to these vouchers, please email Jo Shale on j.shale @priestley.bham.sch.uk

You can contact the school at any time on the main school number 0121 325 3900. At certain times, like holidays, calls may be diverted, but if you can’t get through you can call 07470 825058 rather than the usual school number. Please contact us if you have any difficulties or need help or support during this time.

I hope you and your family all stay safe and well.

Best wishes,

Helen Porter

Important Numbers

If you are in self-isolation and in need of urgent assistance, these key numbers will be able to support you.

• School – 0121 325 3900 or 07470 825058

• Special School Nursing Service – 0121 466 4270 or 0121 465 262

• Police – 999 – 101

• NHS – 111

• Social Services – 0121 303 1888 • Social Services (Emergency out of hours) – 0121 675 4806

Follow this link to find other information which may be of use to you.


Where Are We?

Priestley Smith School is located on the site of Perry Beeches mainstream schools in Great Barr, Birmingham. The campus includes Perry Beeches Nursery, Infant, Junior and Secondary schools. Our buildings are purpose-built for visually impaired students and are very well resourced to meet their needs, providing the specialist equipment they require to access the curriculum.

Priestley Smith School is a city-wide provision. Students attend our school from all areas of Birmingham and also from surrounding Local Authorities, including Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Have a look at our contact us page for more information on our location. P


Our Ofsted Report

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‘In March 2012 and January 2015 and 2019 OFSTED inspected our school. We were delighted by the outcome of these inspections, which concluded that “Priestley Smith is an outstanding school”.

Here are some extracts from the latest report:

“Pupils achieve extremely well because staff have expert knowledge in their subjects. They know how to promote the learning of pupils who have visual impairment extremely well. The most able achieve as well, and sometimes better, in their GCSEs and A levels as all other pupils nationally.”

“Pupils’ behaviour is excellent. They thrive from early years to sixth form in an environment that nurtures their confidence and teaches them to value and respect everyone’s different talents and backgrounds. This means that their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding”.

“Teaching is outstanding because staff are so skilled at promoting each pupil’s learning. Staff have a detailed understanding of the pupils they teach and of how to promote the learning of pupils who have a visual impairment. They also convey a love of their subjects that inspires pupils to learn.”

“Attitudes to learning are exceptional. Pupils say this is because they ‘want to learn’ and ‘do things for ourselves’. They also say they know their teachers value and respect them… Pupils take great pride in their work and achievements.”

“Outstanding skills programmes ensure pupils are extremely well prepared for their next steps in education as well as for life in modern Britain. These include courses in personal and social understanding, mobility and independent living. Pupils hugely value the independence they gain from them.”

“An exceptional headteacher, ably supported by a strong leadership team, has created an ethos in which all are determined that every child matters and will succeed. Leaders and managers at all levels, including governors, have the highest expectations of themselves and of pupils.”

“Excellent technological support ensures pupils have ready access to the specialist equipment that they need to learn. Pupils become highly skilled in using it.”

“All pupils feel extremely safe in the school. Leaders are meticulous in carrying out all the checks they should to ensure this.”

“The governance of the school is outstanding. The governing body is hugely committed to the work of the school and very involved in monitoring  its work and evaluating its outcomes.”

Read the full report below: 

Ofsted Report 2015 

Ofsted Report 2019