NHS to sponsor academy

Released 22/01/2010

Stockton-on-Tees could get sponsorship from local PCT

Parents and school staff are being asked to give their views on a new state-of-the art Academy sponsored by the NHS.

In an innovative move, NHS Stockton-on-Tees would be lead sponsor of the new North Stockton Academy, which would replace Blakeston School Community Sports College and The Norton School Humanities College.

NHS Stockton-on-Tees intends to develop a science specialism at the new Academy, which would be strongly supported by a health, well-being and sport theme, designed to transform the educational experiences of young people and improve their employability, while also promoting a healthy lifestyle.

It will be the first time that a PCT in the UK has ever been a lead sponsor of an Academy.

Stockton College Consortium, involving both Stockton Sixth Form College and Stockton Riverside College, would be a co-sponsor of the proposed Academy, along with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

School staff and parents at both schools are receiving letters about the consultation this week, inviting them to find out more at special meetings, where they can ask questions and give their views.

The consultation period will begin on January 28 and will run until February 26, and will include a number of events around the Stockton area for members of the public to attend.

If the government gives the proposal the go-ahead, the new 1050-place Academy, serving the northern half of the town, will open in September 2010. Students will move into a brand new facility at the start of September 2013, which will be built on a site off Norton Road.

Its vision will be to always put students first, so that gaps in achievement are closed and health inequalities are reduced in an environment that excites and inspires young people to learn.

Celia Weldon, director of corporate development at NHS Stockton-on-Tees, said: "NHS Stockton-on-Tees is delighted to be the lead sponsor for such a prestigious venture and to help transform the educational experiences of young people in Stockton.

"It is our aim that the Academy would set the highest aspirations, and provide a curriculum which is enjoyable, challenging, relevant, and underpinned by the purposeful use of new technologies.

"The sponsors are explicit in their aim that every student will leave the Academy with the highest qualification matched to their potential, and an appropriate pathway to further learning or training post-16. This high level of expectation would be shared with all current and prospective parents and carers, and their support would be actively sought and fostered."

The initiative project is part of Stockton's £180m BSF programme, which aims to create educational environments suitable for 21st century teaching and learning by rebuilding, remodelling and refurbishing 12 of the borough's secondary schools.

Despite the significant progress made by both Blakeston School and The Norton School, the local authority believes that an Academy, which draws on the experience, knowledge and investment of the combined sponsors, would bring even higher levels of achievement.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough council's cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Alex Cunningham, said: "I'm looking forward to seeing the exciting plans for the Academy develop as the consultation progresses.

"The expertise that the sponsors bring will certainly ensure our young people have access to first class learning opportunities and will have a positive impact on their future life chances and employability. I urge anyone with an interest in this new Academy to get involved and help shape the best future possible for our young people."

Stockton Sixth Form College principal Martin Clinton said: "Stockton Sixth Form College welcomes working in close co-operation with the other sponsors to enhance the progress of students in North Stockton. This development helps us fulfil our commitment to the community of the Stockton area and North Stockton in this Academy."

Sujinder Sangha, principal and chief executive of Stockton Riverside College, said: "We are delighted to be a co-sponsor for the Academy. We look forward to an exciting opportunity for further encouraging and supporting the progression of pupils into ‘A' levels, vocational Further Education and work-based learning."


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  • Jane
  • 2010-01-22 18:20:12
  • Presumably since the NHS trust have no experience of secondary education, they see this as a money making opportunity. I can't see how they can "help transform the educational experiences of young people in Stockton". Bringing privatisation and targets into the National Health Service has not improved things, neither has it in schools. The 2009 GCSE exam results demonstrate that quite clearly. The vast amount of money which is going into the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and setting up academies could be much better spent. I'm willing to bet that there will a) be nice glossy brochures promising parents the world b) no-one at consultation meetings being allowed to represent the opposition. I also question why, if academies are such a great success, it is so difficult to get any information about them. They are still exempt from the freedom of information act and are likely to be exempt from registering with the Charities Commission. How far will the government go to ensure the secrecy surrounding them.
  • Christine
  • 2010-02-14 17:38:08
  • Have I missed something? I have always believed that the NHS could do with more money so why are they giving money towards a new school? Is it to train new nurses and doctors or is it to somehow get more money in to the NHS?

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