Last month sponsors Sussex Downs College, co-sponsors East Sussex County Council and partners Brighton University submitted a document to Government detailing their plans for an Academy. This document has now been approved which means the proposals can now move forward to the next stage which will include more detailed planning and consultation with the public.
Councillor David Elkin, East Sussex County Council's Lead Member for Learning and School Effectiveness, said: “We are delighted that the Government has agreed our outline plans for the Academy. We can now move onto the next exciting stage which involves talking to people, finding out what they want and filling in more of the detail about the project. We really want to know what everyone thinks and get their ideas and input so I would encourage people to get involved and come along to as many meetings as possible.”
Dr. John Blake, Principal and of lead sponsor Sussex Downs College, said: “The College is very pleased that the Government has supported the proposals for the Academy. We strongly believe that the Academy will enhance educational opportunities for young people in Eastbourne and we look forward to working with our partners and other key stakeholders in achieving this goal. We believe that the Academy will be a major boost to the community including young people and their parents and the College and we welcome the opportunity to be involved.”
The process for the Academy began in July when councillors and sponsors set out outline plans for the Academy that would open on the site of the existing school and specialise in Science and Digital Technologies. Those proposals have now been approved by Government and will form the basis of consultation with parents, students, staff and the wider community. This stage is called the Feasibility Stage. During this time detailed plans such as the curriculum and the initial designs for the new building will be drawn up.
At the moment it is planned for the Academy to open in the school's existing buildings in 2010 with a target to open the new building in 2013.
The sponsors and the County Council have already set out their plans around the ethos and values for the proposed new school, namely to drive up standards and expectations for all students. They continue to stress that it would be an all ability, non-selective school for local pupils. If there are more parents applying than places, the county council's normal admission policies will apply. The new Academy will provide for pupils with special educational needs in improved facilities. It will cater for up to 180 pupils a year, 900 in total.
It is hoped the school will form the heart of the community, adding value to the whole town. The aim is to raise standards and attainment across Eastbourne and act not just as a school but offer extended learning to the whole community, whether that be in adult education, in revitalising the sports club on site for the benefit of everyone, or as a base for youth activities.
Dates and times of public meetings and events will be advertised on our website.
Academies are all-ability, state-funded schools established and managed by sponsors from a wide range of backgrounds, including high performing schools and colleges, universities, and businesses. Some are established educational providers, and all of them bring a record of success in other enterprises which they are able to apply to their Academies in partnership with experienced school managers. All academies are bound by the same School Admissions Code, SEN Code of Practice and exclusions guidance as all other state-funded schools. All new academies are also required to follow the National Curriculum programmes of study in English, maths, science and ICT.
The feasibility stage involves detailed planning. In this period we also have detailed consultation with all stakeholders. Once the Govt is content with the finalised proposal the next stage is the called the implementation stage during which the vision can start to be put in place
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